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Make America Great Again (and again…and again)
Tony Yanick
Artwork 2017
A still frame from Tony Yanick's monochrome video 'Make America Great Again (and again...and again)' depicts close-up and upside-down view of an individual's mouth.
Artwork: Tony Yanick, Make America Great Again (and again…and again) (2017). Black-and-white video, sound. 7 min 30 sec. Courtesy of the artist.
Artist Tony Yanick Title Make America Great Again (and again...and again) Date 2017 Materials Black-and-white video, sound Dimensions 7 min 30 sec Credit Courtesy of the artist

Make America Great Again (and again…and again), a tribute to Octavia E Butler’s post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, The Parable of the Sower (1993), was made in conversation with cinematographer Robert Banks Jr. Understood by the artist as a prophecy of the Trump Era and the existential threats of climate change, wealth inequality and corporate greed, the film pairs sound clips of Butler from interviews and readings with digitally eroded footage of the author speaking. This is intercut with close-ups of hands and feet, a mouth – all wet or slick with oil – abstracted from the human, becoming other, alien. To the whirring sound of a projector, a voice intones: “All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you. The only lasting truth is change.”

A multi-valent practitioner, Tony Yanick, works at the intersection of philosophy, technology, and art. Attending to the intricacies of aesthetics and ethics in the age of artificial intelligence, he finds variable modes to present his understandings. To Yanick, art is less a final form than a means of integrated research, a tool with which to articulate his findings beyond the written word.