They Came to See Who Came

Steve Rushton


Some media events have real effects on the world simply by taking place, states writer and editor Steve Rushton. They are “pseudo events”, a concept coined by Daniel Boorstin in 1962 to describe events designed only to be reported.
Rushton collaborated in the visual artist Rod Dickinson’s Closed CircuitWho, What, Where, When, Why and How, a live performance in which a totally realistic presidential speech to the press is staged. The script was created by Rushton, who composed it from fragments of speeches delivered on both sides of the Iron Curtain since the Cold War, with the aim of showing how rhetoric works to justify violence. The performance is also a reflection on television’s stream of news, a continuous flow that creates a permanent state of crisis, fed by media events.
As the artistic background to Close Circuit, Rushton recalls two media events, both performed at the beginning of the video revolution, Media Burn and The Eternal Frame, produced by the group Ant Farm in 1975.


Steve Rushton: They Came to See Who Came
PostScriptUM #3
Series edited by Janez Janša
Language: English
Publisher: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Represented by: Marcela Okretič
Design: Luka Umek
Layout: Sonja Grdina
(c) Aksioma | Text and image copyrights by authors | Ljubljana 2014
Printed and distributed by:
In the framework of Masters & Servers
The project was realized in partnership with the Bunker Institute in the framework of the festival Mladi Levi and supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.
A version of this text was originally published in Dexter Sinister (ed.), The First/Last Newspaper, as part of the series How Media Master Reality, New York 2009

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