This Is What Democracy Looks Like


If the Occupy Wall Street movement was initially criticized for being inchoate, it is because the protesters are speaking a language that is new and therefore not well understood. The generational shift at the heart of this burgeoning movement, seen in its vocabulary and medium, seems to be central to the way it is being misunderstood. As the autonomous and disparate OWS media efforts bypass mainstream channels again and again, whether they be print, Web or televised media, or corporate, police or government spokespeople, it is clear that this disparate group speaks in a vernacular that can only be understood as of the Internet age, and does so horizontally instead of the

traditional print-based verticality of the past. While even new media sources try to report on the movement, the OWS media campaigns have shown that the challenge is to speak more clearly, more quickly and more broadly without regard to being understood in the old sense. Although the movement lacks what many critics say it must have (a single message, a leader, a platform, demands), its messages have gotten out clearly, spread widely and been discussed globally.

This is what democracy looks like considers this historical moment and the transformation of its communicative gestures from a twentieth to twenty-first century model of communication. In this exhibit, we ask, What exactly is the Occupy Wall Street movement? What is the language it speaks? And we look at the promise it offers in its ability to communicate in new ways and to open up new channels of democratic dialogue and participation.

Keith Miller, Curator


                     NYU-11-0149-092 NYU-11-0149-088

 Isaiah KingNYU-11-0149-085  NYU-11-0149-067 NYU-11-0149-070 NYU-11-0149-064 NYU-11-0149-060 NYU-11-0149-051 NYU-11-0149-050 NYU-11-0149-045

Keith Miller, Dread Scott, Stephen Duncombe

NYU-11-0149-047 NYU-11-0149-041 Dread ScottNYU-11-0149-039 NYU-11-0149-035 NYU-11-0149-032Michael Rippens NYU-11-0149-031 NYU-11-0149-028 NYU-11-0149-022 NYU-11-0149-024 NYU-11-0149-020 NYU-11-0149-016 NYU-11-0149-015 NYU-11-0149-014 NYU-11-0149-012 NYU-11-0149-009 NYU-11-0149-011 NYU-11-0149-002 NYU 11-0149 083  NYU 11-0149 066    NYU 11-0149 030 NYU 11-0149 018 melaniecervantes2Melanie Cervantes melaniecervantes1Melanie Cervantes MBakerrajatincuffsMelanieBaker MBakerMeProsper1 Melanie Baker

dread_scott_democracy_looks Dread Scottm_baker dread_scott_democracy_looks_5 dread_scott_democracy_looks_3 dread_scott_democracy_looks_4 dread_scott_democracy_looks_2 dread_scott_democracy_looks_1 This is what democracy looks like