It was early in 1990 that Nelson Mandela was released from jail. He walked from the grounds of Cape Town's Victor Verster Prison into the final hours of a three-year state of emergency and was greeted by ululating masses and a great jostling of international television cameras. A set of that footage would wind its way back to Johannesburg, to the CBS News library in the South African bureau, where it was Barker's job tosource and file material for international reports.

The pictures that he sorted were harrowing. The country had embarked on a course of volatile multi-party negotiations; the right wing had unleashed a terror campaign, and he would be startled by previously prohibited archive material - of military activity in the townships and decades of police brutality.

For Barker, who had never even owned a television set, CBS brought greater insight into the inner workings of mass electronic media and their complicated modes of commercial production. If the pop in his art was presented from a position of compassion, then what he saw emerging on the videotapes was the real thing - hard product. Human suffering and political drama packaged into inserts for adspend on the international market.

"For the first time I saw the real power of the media," says Barker, "and it was really quite overwhelming."

He decided to hang on to some of the archival footage, certain that he would find a use for it one day.

Blood Money

Wayne Barker: Artist's Monograph
Vienna Calling
60's Suburbia
Johnny Rottenism
Anyone for Tennis?
Fourteen Days in Hell
The Bad Art Attacks
The Famous Five do Downtown
Fragments of a Murder
Have you Hugged a Fascist Today?
Landscape with Target
Blood Money
Le Monde a L'envers
Bigotry on a Stick
The Heart of Neon
Divorce in Paradise
The South African Thing
Storming the Ramparts
The Wax Hand
A Love Story
Frankfurt in Latex
The Talking Curio
Back to Basics
Dirty Laundry
A New Kind of Freedom
Photo Credits & Works