If I don’t document this and nobody except the rubbish collector picks these papers us, did it ever happen? (On trying to help the Pandemic cause)

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A twinge of self-doubt made me feel that I needed to prove that I had done this (Infiltrated copies of the free newspaper The Metro) for a cause I believe needs all the help it can get, and I was a little worried as I left the papers this afternoon that they may all just end up being collected by the train station rubbish collector, never opened up to see what new things could be found in them. Let’s hope not! But just in case, here are some images to prove that this happened, giving me more space to mention the event/happening in question.The event is Pandemic, a situationist art event, in Sheffield, Yorkshire, starting on Saturday 5th November, lasting for 2 weeks, consisting of a combination of experimental music, film, lectures and performance. Taking ample inspiration from the The Society Of The Spectacle by Guy Debord, the event aims to create ruptures in what is currently presented to us as normality, encouraging people to both participate, and to question the ‘normality’ of being passive spectators of the world.

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I think The Metro newspaper is worthy of infiltration due to its un-asked-for omnipresence in our commuter/consumer lifestyles, and actually worthy of carrying ‘Pandemic’ – being objects that pass from one person to another as they are picked up then put back down on the train and bus seats. It is also produced by the same company who produces The Daily Mail; a deeply conservative, soft fascistic, powerfully pushy, very influential news paper, which (if not on its own) has certainly contributed to the maintenance and bolstering of some of the most backward, disagreeable aspects of this Island, the aspects which make one sometimes think “oh my, is there any hope for this place?”.
These free papers have to be some of the worst papers, minus the soft porn/soft Nazi Red Tops. The fact that they are free thus available to all is not a plus-point: this un-asked-for presence, grabs our tired-thus-weak-from-commuting attention, with pages full of advertisement spreads, nullifying celebritism, and joke-equivalents of more serious news stories on the remaining scraps of available paper space, that are liable to put ones mind in a state of retreat from the public to the extent that they will switch on the televised equivalents of this shit when they get in, tired and haggard from spending so long getting to and from work.

So here goes an infiltration of 15 or so papers. Some are old ones, but rather than hampering the aim, it might actually encourage people to make a ‘reality check’ whilst reading this. Perhaps the post-modern-era phrase of encouragement of ‘do something every day that scares you’ should be replace by ‘every day, make sure you have a reality check’…..

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About John Ledger

A visual Artist, eternal meanderer and obsessive self-reflector by nature, who can’t help but try to interpret everything from within the tide of society. His works predominantly take the form of large scale ballpoint pen landscape drawings and map-making as social/psychological note-making. They are slowly-accumulating responses to crises inflicted upon the self in the perplexing, fearful, empty, and often personality-erasing human world.

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