Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Talk at the Art Museum

Jesse Walker's speech at the Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been hosting an exhibition called Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy, and I spoke there last month as part of the program. My talk took a look at the intersection between conspiracy stories created as works of fiction and conspiracy stories that people actually believe, and what happens when a story crosses over from the first category to the second.

Video of the evening's program is now online at the Met's site, and I've also embedded it below. After a three-minute intro by Marianna Siciliano of the Met, Doug Eklund—one of the curators of Everything Is Connected—takes the stage to offer an overview of the show. At the 11:30 mark, Jack Bratich, author of the 2008 book Conspiracy Panics, takes over and delivers the first lecture of the night. I come to the podium at 34:58 to give speech #2.

Obligatory advertising link: They invited me to speak because I wrote a book a few years ago called The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. It makes a great stocking stuffer, especially if you have large feet.