In Episode 3 of the Future-Proof Artist podcast series, Simon Preston talks to Rosie Kay and Adam Curtis, BBC journalist and BAFTA-winning filmmaker, about the origins of their fascinating partnership and how conspiracy theories fuelled the collaborative creation of MK ULTRA.
Taking its name from the LSD-fuelled experiments conducted by the US Military in the 1960s, MK ULTRA looks at the rise of conspiracy theory amongst young people and in particular in the realms of pop music and fashion. In the podcast Adam Curtis reflects on his first ever contemporary dance project: “If you do it in a medium that surprises people, it makes them look at it fresh…The only way you ever change the world is if you come together as a group…what I felt as I watched the show is that together a group of people can create something extraordinarily powerful which alone, they can’t and that’s what I learned from dance.”
Kay and Curtis express their views on why conspiracy theories are so tenacious in the modern world, how the art world can sometimes be found guilty of retreating from radicalism and how Kay makes these views and ideas dance.
From mind control to Brexit, the rise of Trump and the challenges of climbing the ladder of the dance world, both reflect on the political motivations behind making MK ULTRA, with Curtis concluding that “Both journalism and art would probably be a bit better if artists embraced a different way of looking at the world which is that you really can’t tell what’s going to happen tomorrow and we should embrace uncertainty.”
Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud here.