The era of fractured attention spans, heightened emotions, and ravaged hierarchical systems for ordering institutions, beliefs, and the truth is ripe for examination and dissection – even if it takes a looking glass to see it.
The anonymous art-activist thinkers at INDECLINE have spawned many interventions in the last decade in public space – intricate and smartly storied at times, obvious and deliberately provocative at others.
For Easter, we appreciate how they cleverly hopped between the pagan practices adapted to Christianity – namely the signs of spring and fertility – and the surrealist White Rabbit of Louis Carroll and the magical beliefs of so-called Q-Anon.
And why not?
For children and adults of many generations, it has been an un-rewarding exercise to parse the bloody crucifixion of Christ who rises from the dead – combined with the story of a human-sized rabbit who breaks into your home at night to leave a colorful woven basket of decorated eggs, jelly beans, and bunnies made of chocolate. This all makes as much sense as the Q-Anon theories alleging that a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic pedophiles who operate a global child sex-trafficking ring was plotting against former U.S. President Donald Trump while he was in office.
So while Washington DC is supposedly ringed in high-security apparatus since the capital riots, INDECLINE decided to hop through several parks – Garfield Park, Stanton Park, Lovejoy Park, Meridian Hill Park, Rose Park, Logan Circle, Kalorama Park, and Farragut Square – spreading their cheerful and colorful egg-hunt for presumably confused kids and parents to discover yesterday morning while Christians the world over proclaimed “He Is Risen.”
They also hung customized banners that mimicked the kind that may accompany a typical “Egg Hunt” on soft green lawns across parks nationally, subvertising an event sponsored by Q-Anon – filling eggs with packets of cleverly designed Qool-Aid.
An INDECLINE spokesperson says they chose Qanon as the focal point of this series of interactive, engaging public art installations precisely because of the wayward thinking that is necessary to support its evolving theories – and the many dangers of manipulation that are now at play.
“As far as conspiracies go,” they say in a statement, “QAnon has blazed a remarkable and confounding trail into the era of information, organizing itself as an interactive game where adherents are encouraged to become participants, crowdsourcing the narrative through a patchwork of YouTube tutorials and Facebook rants. Supposedly, Q, and insider, is leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for them to follow (originally across Reddit, then into the Chans), and as they collect enough, they are supposed to ‘bake’ them into a full-fledged narrative.”
As the military has gamified the hell of war for a generation of young men, today GenZ is gamifying the stock and currency markets and blockchain gallerists are gamifying art with NFTs, so why not gamify the disinformation industry that distracts us from the Rich v. Everybody battle that is firmly afoot in the 21st century? INDECLINE admits that “the gamified nature of the QAnon conspiracy is really the appeal.” What could possibly go wrong?