Hart Snider is an award-winning filmmaker, and remix artist from Vancouver. His work, Newshole: War Coverage Special, is a video remix of Canadian, American, and British news coverage in the months immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The piece was originally commissioned by the CBC Radio 3site 120seconds, and is Snider’s reaction to the fear-inducing stories that dominated the media during those early days of the ‘War on Terror’.
“We were being told to be afraid of everything, from opening our mail to being in public spaces, and the fear was having a cumulative effect- paralyzing people into blind obedience and more and more addictive viewing,” says Snider.
The piece is an exploration into the psyche of our culture during a period of uncertainty. Snider wanted to inspire people into to stop being afraid by offering the advice at the conclusion of the film, “Relax. Once in a while tell your TV to shut up.”
The footage used to create the piece was all recorded from television. Snider couldn’t afford to license any of the material, as purchasing the broadcast material would likely cost a minimum of 100 dollars per second. Since this video is 1:47 in length, a rough estimate is that it would have cost over ten thousand dollars to clear all of the samples used. The video was created for the web back in 2001 – 5 years before YouTube came online. “Interestingly,” Snider says, “the CBC was fine with ignoring clearances in this case.”