Week 5 Reading “Critical Vehicles” by Krzysztof Wodiczko

Vehicles served as a means for enacting a psycho social machine

The subjects of that oppression were themselves often unaware of the extent to which they were an active component – a cog or a gear  – in that machine.

The use of a vehicle is used to represent a government system that is run by important elements that make up democracy – which are its people. The artist take on this appeared pessimistic in nature – where oftentimes citizens are unaware of their power to make a change to the system they are a part of – otherwise, as the main driver of social change they would have been the driving force.

the hypocritical life we lead when we take refuge in the machine of a political or cultural system while closing one eye to… our own passivity, or frankly speaking complicity.

The author is trying to show how as we active consumers of the culture and political system that we reside in, where we could choose to believe what they say they will do for us in exchange for our loyalty. And it also seems to dislike the idea of us being blindly accepting this type of norm, because it is easier than to throw an uprising against the government, which is much more difficult.

ideaosis – the commonsense life of well-calculated choice for navigating through the system by claiming a critical or independant perspective on it


If democracy is to be a machine of hope, it must retain one strange characteristic – its wheels and cogs will need to be lubricated not with oil but with sand. This will disrupt its symmetry and legitimacy and keep the machine in a kind of ethical turbulence.

The author seems to use the symbol of machine parts to represent a certain belief to how politics should work. The wheel and cogs are used to represent how followers of the government should learn to be vocal, and play the role as devil’s advocate in the way they perceive how the politics is currently being run. By “ethical turbulence” seems like the author is suggesting that it is the morally righteous thing to adopt this approach when ruled under democracy.

Democracy is ill, silently suffering, and we must heal it, make it whole, of the wounds from hundreds of years of forced muteness and invisibility impoased on so many of its subjects.

The author’s stand is that he seems to observe the shortcomings of democratic principles in general, where people who accept the majority seems to overlook the importance of valuing minorities or those of the marginalized.  Also, there is some criticism with regards to him and he aims to “shake” off this sheep mentality by making sure the voices of the “silence,alienated and marginalized” are heard.  He also appears like some savior or hero in this article, where he’s trying to win support of the good guys ( the marginalizeD) and to go against the “oppressor” namely the Uncle Tom of the country.


Author: Najiha

Always looking for something more.

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