The Moral Reform

Door: Ztohoven.

“More and more of these text messages (SMS) started to spread – between MPs, between heads of political parties, between press representatives and journalists. Both directions. Everyone was joining the moral reform. Everyone wanted to know more. The texts were promising a press conference that would explain the concept of moral reform to journalists and citizens. Rath did not finish yet, but something was going on here. How is it possible that Karel Schwarzenberg managed to write a message while sleeping? How is it possible that colleagues sitting next to each other exchanged messages without even touching their phones? The answer was in the text. “Moral reform is the only way out of it.” (“Morální reforma je jediná možnost jak z toho ven”)

Ztohoven is a Czech art group that is formed and then dismantled with every action they do. They became famous when they transformed the giant neon heart at Prague Castle (seat of the president) into a large red question mark. Their most famous artwork is their pirate broadcast of nuclear explosion above Krkonoše mountains on Czech Public Television (see more in the documentary about this project – English subtitles included). Project “Media Reality” was seeking an answer to question “Do people believe in what media present us as reality?”. TV cameras that are broadcasting live footage from Czech ski resorts (even during the summer) apparently were not secured that well. This group of artists managed to broadcast their own signal instead of live feed to the transmitter, replacing colorful panoramas of the Czech countryside with the atomic blast. This did not cause nation-wide panic, but a discussion about questions like “What is art?” and “Does this threaten the public?”. Discussion ended up in the court…

When they were sending the texts to the members of parliament, they could have changed voting or cause panic. But did they want to do that? Did they want to cause panic or change votes? It’s sad that media wrote that “Hackers attacked mobile phones of members of parliament”. The content – the Moral Reform – was probably not so interesting as the hacker attack. MPs did not disapprove of the project (how could someone disapprove of Moral Reform?), but they never spoke about it. Media was focusing on the fact that someone can send fake text messages and getting hold of phone numbers of most MPs, the president and relevant journalists. They did not focus on the fact that our world needs a real moral reform. Maybe that’s the reason that the members of Ztohoven call their projects “media sculptures” – they can set the funding stone, but the resulting shape of the project is usually formed by the media. And most of foreign media totally ignored this project. What a pity.”

Aldus Juraj Bednar (afbeelding van Ztohoven).