Photo by Francis Chung
No Age have never been corporate shills– remember their anti-Walmart show earlier this year? On December 18 in Barcelona, they took things a step further during a show sponsored by Converse. In the middle of their set, they played a video for 15 minutes (originally intended to be 20 minutes long) detailing the poor conditions of Converse factories. It also contained images of crying babies, Black Friday shoppers, and sweatshop workers. They finished their set and thanked Converse.
Here’s a statement from Dean Spunt detailing what he dubbed their “Planned Contradictory Action”:
On November 21st No Age was asked to perform in Barcelona at a concert sponsored by Converse shoes. After several discussions over email regarding where banners could be placed, in contradiction to our contract, I allowed and agreed to as much overt advertising as possible. We asked for a projector to show visuals while we performed. For our performance we played 6 songs, the lights came down and the projectionist played the video piece we had made, we kept playing sounds from the stage. It contained images of Black Friday consumers with abstract text i had written, images of sweatshop workers, crying babies, protesters and excerpts from an article about Nike owning Converse shoes and the conditions of the factories and the workers that had been written in November of 2011 by the Associated Press. The promoter tried to shut the video off after about 8 minutes, i yelled at him to keep it playing, he eventually shut it off at about 15 minutes, not allowing the video to finish its duration of about 20 minutes. We played 6 more songs, i thanked Converse shoes, we packed up and we left.
Watch a Pitchfork.tv documentary following No Age at All Tomorrow’s Parties: