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Popotla (Infoweapon) press release Past projects / Popotla vs. Titanic / press release

August 4, 1998
Contact: popotla@rtmark.com


Ars Electronica, the foremost new media technology festival in the world, has awarded its prestigious InfoWeapon cash prize to the people of Popotla, a tiny Mexican fishing village, for resisting unwanted technologies by means of trash and recycled materials.

To film the movie Titanic, Twentieth Century Fox built a sort of "movie maquiladora" in Popotla, and surrounded it with a giant cement wall to keep the villagers out. ("Maquiladora" is the term for US factories operating in Mexico because of the low wages.) The people of Popotla reacted to the unsightly wall first in humiliation and anger, and then by covering it with a mural constructed from garbage they amassed and collected. The Ars Electronica InfoWeapon jury is rewarding Popotla for this remarkable low-tech gesture against an unpleasant high-tech situation.

Ars Electronica is also awarding the movie Titanic itself, which cost US$200 million to make, its Golden Nica cash prize for computer animation.  Ars Electronica is thus in the cutting-edge position of rewarding both parties in a cultural and economic dispute that some consider unresolvable.

RTMARK will present the InfoWeapon cash prize to a representative of Popotla at the Ars Electronica award ceremony in Linz, Austria, this September.

For the official statement of the Popotla fishermen, see http://rtmark.com/popotlaaustria.html.
For images of the Popotla wall and Titanic studio, see http://rtmark.com/popotlaimages.html.
For a description of the InfoWeapon prize, see this.

To learn about Ars Electronica, see http://www.aec.at/.

RTMARK was established in 1991 to further anti-corporate activism, in some cases by channelling funds from donors to workers for sabotage of corporate products. Recent and upcoming acts of RTMARK-aided subversion are documented on RTMARK's web site, http://rtmark.com/.

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