A storytelling code

If you want to show a new example you need to show a bad one

SecretBaker was a new example that got entangled with some very bad ones. SecretBaker played out over three years. Circuit venues included theaters, cinemas, concerts halls, nightclubs, galleries and the street. The SecretBaker cycle productions were culled from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files of Josephine Baker, Walter Winchell, and J. Edgar Hoover. The cycle storyline gave deference and berth to issues of the day: racism, surveillance, feminism. But Secret wanted more. This storytelling code was greedy. It wanted something to stand up to the bugs, the deadbeat code. It wanted myth as a shield against the column of super civilized monkeys Hannah Arendt saw approaching.



“Secret” is an information age morality play, a surveillance tale from an earlier time. It is constructed as a mosaic, culled from thousands of pages of the FBI files of Josephine Baker, Walter Winchell, and J. Edgar Hoover. FBI chieftain Hoover represents forces which paralyze by encircling. Gossip master Walter Winchell is a symbol of forces which destroy by cleaving off slice by slice. St. Louis’s Josephine Baker embodies the creative disruptive force, an impulse that struggles to soar. Baker is the trickster who leaves traces as she crosses international borders and moves from stage to stage, level to level.




¶ 47. Marshall McLuhan meets Josephine Baker was produced in collaboration with The Pulitzer Foundation of the Arts. PFA executive director Matthias Waschek worked closely with the Plaintiff on the installation. The concrete exterior walls of the museum were used for the projections. This required approval from the building’s architect, Tado Ando, since the museum’s exterior had never been used as a surface for a multimedia projection and because of certain contract design restrictions. Marshall McLuhan meets Josephine Baker was well attended and received.

¶ 140. Axi:Ome-Specular Between Practice and Education continues with a “Stalinesque flair” by altering the original graphic content displayed in the Media Box’s presentation drawings. The initial presentation drawings included graphics from SECRET: The Josephine Baker FBI Files. SECRET was one of the Plaintiffs protocol research and development projects: a multimedia project cycle that critiqued big data and the national security state. Eric Friedman testified that the Plaintiffs Secret Multimedia cycle and the Media Box and were “intertwined”. Kim and Woofter ditched all that in their Media Box/Media Arcade shell game.

SecretBaker Shorts 1

SecretBaker Shorts 2