The book examines cultural contexts and stereotypes with visual examples. It demonstrates that communication tools are never neutral, and encourages its users to rethink global cultural understanding. Additional works by contemporary artists and designers show that political awareness does not limit creativity, but opens up new explorations for a critical visual culture

Each of the essay in the book explores a different case study: ‘anti-Indianism’ in New Mexico, influence of Israeli policing structures on the LAPD, New York city’s strategy to rely more on invasive policing than on mass incarceration, LA Skid Row as a testing ground for police practices that will be exported to the world, links between criminalization of poverty and real estate speculation, state violence and gentrification in El Salvador, etc.

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Through the course of these lifeworks, Hsieh moved from a year of solitary confinement in a cell to a year in which he punched a worker’s time clock in his studio every hour on the hour to a year spent living without shelter in Manhattan to a year in which he was tied by a rope to artist Linda Montano and finally to a year of total abstention from all art activities. In 1986 Hsieh announced that he would spend the next thirteen years making art but not showing it publicly