Pode Bal

Just think for a moment where your attitudes and beliefs about your ethical values, religion work, gender roles, other ethnic groups, political philosophy, sexual behavior, right and wrong, and economics come from. They receive their initial direction in the family setting. From an early age, family comunication affects our socialization as consumers - our attitudes toward many products and our purchasing habits. This influence is usually strong and longlasting. A child who learns that the right headache relief is Bayer aspirin and the right name for appliances is General Electric has his or her adult purchasing behavior prety well formed. (Arens, Bove - Contemporary Advertising)


The aspect of communication can be divided into two categories. The pragmatic function conveys information. The critical function suspends the conveyed information from its original context and allows it to be evaluated and aproached in the most objective way possible. The critical aspect provides alternatives to what is presented by the pragmatic function.  


Without the pragmatic function, communication would become useless - non existent. Without the critical function, it would become an uncontrolable weapon - propaganda - susceptible to exploitation through lies and manipulation, by whoever is in possession of it.

While in verbal/writen communication, the pragmatical function is usually relatively well balanced by the critical function (in the form of journalism and reporting), in visual communication the pragmatic function tends to prevail since the critical function is almost non existant. The question is how to create a form of visual communication in which the critical function dominates?


  Pode Bal is our self defense against the orthodox virus of communication in (not only) our society. We began our activity as a group in 1998, as a form of critical communication, counter-advertising. Our stand is on the ground of heterodoxy. The first action by Pode Bal was an exhibition of posters in a context we found interesting because of its inappropriateness - the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Pode Bal's last large scale project, GEN - Gallery of Established Nomenclature, sparked a large media wave of scandal and helped to uncover the ever present totalitarian trends in Czech society.


Media are secondary and purely quantitative to the artistic process. Information is a material just as solid as granite for conceiving a work of art. If one becomes a sculptor, that is the primary value; the material is secondary, and sometimes irrelevant. If there are sculptors of wood or granite, there can also be sculptors of information.


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