Filed under: Creative Activism
“Forget the Big Bang Theory, Let’s Just Go Out With a Big Bang!”
For three decades, New York City’s Annual April Fools’ Day Parade has offered the public an opportunity to express, in a comical way, its outrage against the foolishness of mankind. Thousands of participants in look-alike costumes with satirical floats creatively mock the thoughtless, corrupt and selfish acts of the past year. Kicking off at noon on Monday, April 1, the parade will march down 5th Avenue from 59th Street to Washington Square Park where revelers will party like there’s no tomorrow. It will conclude with the annual crowning of the King of Fools.
New York, New York — The 28th Annual April Fools’ Day Parade will begin at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street at 12 noon, Monday, April 1, 2013. Rain or shine, the parade will march down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square Park for the climactic selection of the King or Queen of Fools from the costumed marching look-alikes.
The New York April Fools’ Day Parade was created in 1986 to remedy a glaring omission in the long list of New York’s ethnic and holiday parades. These events fail to recognize the importance of April 1st, the day designated to commemorate the folly of mankind. In an attempt to bridge this gap and bring people back in touch with their inherent foolishness, the parade annually crowns a King or Queen of Fools from parading look-alikes. (more…)
From Hermann Josef Hack:
Just back from Paris and Cologne, where the BREAD ARMY conquered the streets with bread tanks in a peaceful invasion. The tanks were airdropped by parachutes made of tents. Passers-by were surprised getting confronted with them in the shopping malls and tourist hot spots. The BREAD ARMY critizises the waste of food by the wealthy nations, also water trading and the monopoly of food management causing millions of lives in the poor regions of our planet.
He’ll talk about the art of the prank and the use of public relations and advertising strategies to rock the status quo. Skaggs, using multi-media examples of his work, will pull back the curtain on techniques he has used for decades to access the mass media, repeatedly throwing a monkey wrench into the propaganda machine.
Phony Bishop: German Imposter Sneaks into Vatican
March 4, 2013
German church officials on Tuesday distanced themselves from the man who infiltrated a meeting of cardinals at the Vatican by masquerading as a bishop, saying he can’t be trusted. This isn’t the first time the self-proclaimed bishop and “Jesus yoga” proponent has caused a kerfuffle.
He called himself “Basilius” and showed up wearing a cassock that was too short, a strange-looking chain with a crucifix and a purple shawl instead of the traditional sash. The man who managed to slip into the Vatican on Monday and mingle with cardinals was not a bishop as he claimed. He was German Ralph Napierski, who is known among German clerics as something of a troublemaker.
The fake bishop snuck into the Vatican along with dozens of cardinals who were there making preparations to elect a new pope later this month, according to Italian news agency ANSA. Though he managed to go unnoticed for a time, even posing for a photo with Cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana, he was “eventually identified and kicked out to the visible amusement of journalists nearby,” ANSA reported. (more…)
Database of creative activism case studies will inform and inspire a new generation of activists
The Yes Lab and the Center for Artistic Activism are announcing the launch of Actipedia.org, an open-access, user-generated database of creative activism case studies designed to inspire activists.
Actipedia is built on an open-source platform and is designed for ease of use, with simple formats for viewing, searching and posting examples. The site draws case studies from original submissions, reprinted news articles, and informal snippets of action reports. Although it is only now launching, Actipedia already hosts over 400 case studies and counting, from countries from all over the world.
Contact: Stephen Duncombe, 212-998-7327, email@example.com
CIA whistleblower Kiriakou gets posh send-off to prison
by David Montgomery
February 21, 2013
John Kiriakou stood in the ninth-floor banquet hall of the Hay-Adams hotel Thursday night and took in the spectacular view of the White House and the Washington Monument. He recalled briefing two presidents during his career with the CIA. “It’s ironic,” he said, spreading his arms as if to embrace the tableau. “This really is the reason I came to Washington 30 years ago in the first place.”
But next Thursday he will check into the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pa., to begin a 30-month sentence for divulging information that prosecutors said could harm his country.
Kiriakou, 48, seemed unbowed and almost content at the prospect of prison as he basked in the well wishes of about 100 supporters, who gathered for a posh send-off at the luxury hotel. The guests wore orange jumpsuits and other mock prison garb and serenaded Kiriakou with a reworked version of the protest anthem “Have You Been to Jail for Justice?”
“I’m proud of my career,” said Kiriakou, who lives in Arlington County. “I still love the CIA — crazy as that may sound. . . . I wear my conviction as a badge of honor.” (more…)
From artist Norm Magnusson: I’m raising funds on Kickstarter for a project to install one of my ‘historical’ markers in each of the 27 travel plazas of the New York State Thruway. I’d love you to join me in this project. The Kickstarter campaign runs through March 20, 2013.
These are sculptures of cast aluminum and acrylic paint. They look just like the historical markers found on country roads, in front of stone houses, or near scenic overlooks all over America, but instead of commemorating the site of a battle or a place where a famous person slept, these markers deal with contemporary social issues such as gender wage disparity, global warming, illegal immigration, taxes, health care and many, many others.
The markers are expensive to make. The cost of materials keeps going up. Fabrication, installation, transportation, assistants, insurance, van rental, rewards and fulfillment… it all adds up and all of a sudden, it’s a pricey project. 7 people at $10,000 each or 7000 people at $10 each or some combination thereof will get me going. But I don’t just need money, I’m also going to need help installing these things, so if you’re interested in digging holes and planting poles, please let me know.
From Fresh Juice Party:
California Group Mails Chocolate Corpses for Valentines
Instead of sending a chocolate heart this Valentine’s, send the entire mutilated body! The limited edition FUBAR comes in both white and milk chocolate and is decorated to depict an American soldier’s corpse returning from war. FUBARs are packaged in refrigerated, flag-wrapped coffins, equipped with hidden sound devices which play the FUBAR Memorial Theme Music when opened. The group has posted this music video that demonstrates these features for those who will not be receiving one of their own.
Who will the lucky recipients be? (more…)
From Weaponry to Symphony: An Artist Makes Music from Confiscated Guns
by Andri Antoniades
December 2, 2012
Mexican artist Pedro Reyes transforms ‘agents of death’ into ‘instruments of life.’
Mexican artist Pedro Reyes transformed 6,700 used weapons into an orchestra of musical instruments as an act of protest against gun violence and a firearms industry he says is killing his people.
As part of a project Reyes calls Imagine, he worked with six musicians over several weeks to reimagine the weapons into objects that could create beautiful sounds. Together, they took the weapons apart and re-welded them into a variety of playable instruments that include wood, strings, and percussion.
Reyes writes on his website that the process of turning these “agents of death into instruments of life” was painful, albeit personally transformative. “It’s important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons; as if a sort of exorcism was taking place the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost.”
‘Santa Claus’ At United Nations: Prankster Joey Skaggs Demands Nuclear Disarmament
by Michael McLaughlin
The Huffington Post
November 14, 2012
Joey Skaggs, dressed as Santa Claus, worries that a nuclear apocalypse is a serious threat overlooked by the mainstream media.
NEW YORK — Doesn’t it seem like the holiday protest season starts earlier and earlier every year?
A protesting Santa on an adult-sized tricycle pedaled up First Avenue Tuesday, dragging an 8-foot missile to the United Nations. His message to world leaders: “Peace on Earth — Or Else.”
Nobody ran for cover. The comically fake bomb was a dud. And this St. Nick was the legendary media prankster Joey Skaggs, accompanied by six performance artists serving as elves.
Given that New York suffered the worst hurricane in its history just two weeks ago, perhaps it’s little surprise that this Santa and his giant toy explosive were overlooked.
Skaggs didn’t care. He just wanted to kick off the holiday season with a not-so-gentile reminder about “the absurdity of nuclear Holocaust and the direction we’re going with North Korea, Iran and Israel.
“Everyone wants a missile,” Skaggs told The Huffington Post.
“If you don’t do it now, when do you do it?,” he said, “after the Holocaust?”
Drone Crashes On UC San Diego Campus, Revealed As ‘New Media Art Project’
by Tyler Kingkade
The Huffington Post
December 7, 2012
Students at the University of California-San Diego were surprised when an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, commonly referred to as a drone, crashed in the middle of campus — or at least they thought that’s what happened.
A photo of a drone crashed in front of the UCSD library was released by the UC Center for Drone Policy and Ethics on Tuesday. The group released the photo along with a statement saying the “origin and manufacturer of the crashed drone remains unclear,” and that the group was going to hold a public town hall to discuss it.
However, NBC San Diego reports the UC Center for Drone Policy and Ethics isn’t real:
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When: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Appear at 12 noon and disappear at 12:15 p.m.
Where: Ecuadorian Embassy, 3 Hans Crescent, London SW1X 0LS
(click here for a Google map of the location)