“The Porcine Dilemma” by Paul Turano

  • ©2015, Paul Turano, The Porcine Dilemma


    The Porcine Dilemma

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Creation Year:



    Single-channel video



Artist Statement:

    In China’s Zhejiang province in early spring of 2013 dead pigs began appearing in multitudes on the Huangpu River, which supplies drinking water to Shanghai’s 26 million residents. When the count was finally complete, over 16,000 were hauled from the water. Speculations arose about the unchecked productivity of pig farming indicating excessive supply despite increased demand (estimated at over half the world’s pork consumption) and the dispatching of pigs as a desperate strategy to maintain market values. Meanwhile, the polluted water that flows into the city’s taps can only be matched by the toxic visions promulgated by apocalyptic evangelicals in America.

    This work is part of the “Repurposed Web Reports” Series, a series of “reports” composed entirely of media collected from the Internet. Using the web as an investigative archive, these works mine the margins of the public sphere for vicarious insights into the contemporary state of humanity. Each work is prompted by a Google search, with the results creating the parameters of information and research as well as the dynamic media (image and sound) to be used as source material. Typically the subjects or events are at the margins of Western media representation and the content is often generated by nonprofessionals amateurs, tourists, and other on site witnesses using portable personal recording devices but in some instances it is either mixed with reports from conventional media outlets or originates from them singularly. Through editing, dialectic audio and sound juxtaposition, lo-fi video and glitch EFX, and text interplay, I then recast and remix this material to better illuminate and critique the deeper meanings and insights that can be generated. This approach is akin to the Situationist’s strategy of détournement – a form of appropriation where the materials are altered and subverted so that rather than supporting the status quo, their meaning becomes altered in order to put across a more radical or oppositional message.



All Works by the Artist(s) in This Archive: