All White Bronco Brunch
On July 17th, 2017, 17 vehicles and 34 participants took part in the recreation of the now infamous eight hour chase that captivated a nation more than 23 years ago. At 11:30am, these 17 cars, starting at Robert Kardashian’s former residence in Encino, caravanned down to the Lake Forest cemetery in Orange County only to drive back to the former (now demolished) Brentwood residence where O.J. ended his moving standoff at a little before 8pm.
All participants were encouraged to be as authentically immersed in the conditions of 1994. Each vehicle was given a news print map that included the multi-freeway chase route and restaurants that were along said chase route that have also been in operation since 1994. Moreover, each vehicle was served with a custom box of DK Donuts, a Cambodian owned and operated donut shop that has been in operation for over 30 years. Additionally, each car was given a 9 hour sound track of the 94’ radio hits with intermittent breaking news interruptions from that day around O.J.’s whereabouts. And lastly, each registered vehicle was given two point and shoot cameras to document the event and were encouraged for the nine hours to not use their cell phone by “black bagging” their digital device (Black bagging is sealing a mobile phone in an opaque black mailing envelope which can only be ‘opened’ by destroying the bag itself).
All documentation of this event was captured with the very same technology available to most bystanders at the time of the original OJ Simpson chase: standard 35mm film. The entire event exists only on the still images which were completely gathered by the participating drivers themselves. The only video that may exist of the reenactment would be anything captured by actual bystanders who were not involved in the chase and who may have witnessed the caravan of cars with “Slow Speed Chase” pennant flags hanging out of their windows tailing a classic 1994 white Ford Bronco.
The objective was to use the OJ event as a way to engage the media apparatus and how media in the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles becomes the mutually binding polymer of our collective experience. Lastly, we ask what is ‘earned media?’ Earned media is a situation that is only earned when others who have nothing to do with what you’re doing and feel compelled to turn their camera on you to document what you’re doing.