Creative Activism

Blog Posts

“Children Aren’t Playthings” Campaign

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism

Shared Hope International, whose mission is to eradicate sex trafficking, unveils their “Children Aren’t Playthings” doll box campaign to warn the public of the potential for and dangers of sex trafficking of minors at “mega” sporting events like the upcoming Super Bowl. Young women take turns standing in the box for hours on end to bring attention to this cause.

Anti-sex trafficking stunt at the Super Bowl

From Huffington Post, January 28, 2015:

The 7-foot exhibit debuted on Monday at Arizona State University, which is a hosting a weeklong anti-trafficking campaign, Offenbacher added.

It will also be stationed at Grand Canyon University, Glendale Community College and downtown Phoenix throughout the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, according to a statement released by SHI. Saturday’s event will be held in conjunction with StreetLightUSA, a local Arizona group that rehabilitates sex trafficking survivors between the ages of 11 and 17.

Read more about it here.


Valuable Life Lessons and Limited-Edition Boxes of Poo

by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Parody, Pranksters

Emerson Dameron chats with Cards Against Humanity’s Max Temkin:


bullshitcahLike numerous other small businesspeople, the braintrust behind the controversial party game Cards Against Humanity ran a money-saving special on “Black Friday,” the designated consumer orgy following Thanksgiving.

First, the company pulled its flagship game offline for the day, leaving any prospective buyers with plumper wallets. In case anyone remained dead set on exchanging scratch for CAH merch, it introduced an exclusive new item: the Box of Bullshit. It sold out within hours, despite the fact that it was, as its creators explained repeatedly throughout the day, precisely as advertised.

I checked in with Max Temkin, a Chicago-based designer and the most high-profile member of the Cards Against Humanity team, to see how it went.

How did you hatch the idea for the Box of Bullshit?

We all hate “Black Friday” and the ensuing media frenzy around it, which is a problem for us because holiday sales are pretty important for our company. I’ve always loved the Black Friday culture jamming that happens, like people who run up to a Best Buy moments before it opens and U-lock the doors shut. So it just seemed right for us to parody black friday by taking part in it in completely the wrong way. (more…)

Westboro Baptist Church Pranked with Fake Turkey Recall

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Pranksters

Turkey hoax targets controversial church
by Andy Warren
Chron.com
November 28, 2014

Fred Phelps Sr. of Westboro Baptist in Kansas displays one of his infamous protest signs, Photo by Capital-Journal File Photo/MBO

Fred Phelps Sr. of Westboro Baptist in Kansas displays one of his infamous protest signs, Photo by Capital-Journal File Photo/MBO

National Report, the satirical website that immediately jumped on the Ebola hoax wagon, has done it again for the holidays.

Millions of Thanksgiving turkeys have been recalled because of a mutated form of the avian flu virus.

It seems no form of preparation, whether baked or deep fried, will make them safe for human consumption, the article alerts.

“Consumers should call the Turkey Safety Hotline … for safety updates.”

That’s the hoax part. Then there’s the big finish:

The phone number provided is for Pastor Fred W. Phelps at the Westboro Baptist Church, the anti-gay Kansas-based congregation infamous for picketing at military funerals that recently tried to out-yell Texas A&M students over the school’s inclusion policies.

Projecting Solidarity for Hong Kong Protestors

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Messages Supporting Hong Kong Protesters Stream from Web to the Streets
by Adario Strange
Mashable
September 30, 2014

IMG_3844.JPGMessages supporting Occupy Central sent in to a Hong Kong art collective’s website are turned into a stream real-time, projected graffiti. Read the full article here.

image: Add Oil Machine for OCLP

Hazmat Suited Doctor Brings it Home

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Publicity Stunts

From CNN, October 5, 2014:

Doctor Gilbert Mobley wore a hazmat suit and strolled through the world’s busiest airport to make a point about Ebola.

Watch the video – Doctor: The CDC is lying about Ebola

Protestors Flood Wall Street

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism

Flood Wall Street Protesters Assemble In New York
by Katherine Boehrer
The Huffington Post
September 22, 2014

Flood Wall Street, by ethanvanauken

A day after the People’s Climate March filled the streets of New York, a smaller group of protesters are engaging in non-violent, direct action against climate change. By conducting a sit-in on the steps of the New York Stock Exchange and blocking lower Broadway, organizers say they are confronting “the system that both causes and profits from the crisis that is threatening humanity.”

The protest does not have a permit, and some participants have pledged to risk arrest during the sit-in.

Pictures from the group’s assembly at Battery Park, the march to Wall Street and a blockade of Broadway are already appearing on social media. Follow #FloodWallStreet on Twitter and Instagram for more live updates. Watch a live-stream from StopMotionsolo.

UPDATE — 4:15 p.m.: At least one protestor has been arrested according to Newsweek’s Zoe Schlanger and there are reports that pepper spray has been used by the NYPD. Protesters had moved to the blocked entrance to Wall Street, attempting to remove barriers and get past police.

image: ethanvanauken

See more photos here.


Anti-Koch Light Activists Arrested for “Illegal Advertising”

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism

From Naomi Pitcairn: Another hypocritical farce. Did the NYPD arrest the right “illegal advertisers”?


NYPD Detains Activists for Anti-Koch Light Graffiti at the Met
by Ben Davis
Artnet News
September 11, 2014

On Tuesday, three activists were detained by NYPD officers outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art after disrupting a gala honoring David H. Koch. The controversial billionaire was being fêted for his $65 million contribution to the newly reopened museum plaza, which prominently bears his name (see “Protesters Crash Koch Plaza Opening at the Met“). The three activists, Kyle Depew, Grayson Earle, and Yates McKee, were caught projecting images from a customized art truck onto the museum’s façade that read “The Met: Brought to you by the Tea Party” and “Koch = Climate Chaos”—references to Koch’s well-known role in funding right-wing and climate change denying groups.

Light Brigade at the MET

The incident followed a protest earlier in the day by the tenacious Occupy Wall Street spin-off Occupy Museums, which by all accounts brought a good-spirited group of art activists to the newly opened David H. Koch Plaza to stage anti-Koch performances. Early in the evening, the activists unexpectedly had a chance to confront Koch himself on the steps of the museum, chanting “Shame on climate change denier” as he passed by on the way to his car. (more…)

Performance Artist Explores the Weight of Personal Violation

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism

Emma Sulkowicz says her senior thesis is more performance art than an act of protest. Perhaps it is both.


Columbia Student Will Carry a Mattress Everywhere Until Her Alleged Rapist Is Expelled
By Jessica Roy
New York Magazine
September 2, 2014

columbia-performance-art-rape-student.200Emma Sulkowicz says she was raped in her own dorm bed by a classmate on the first day of her sophomore year of college. Since then, a substantial amount of her time at Columbia University has been spent trying to convince college administrators, police, and even friends that what happened to her really happened, that it was rape, and that her rapist deserves to be punished for what he did.


[Read The Cut’s September 4 interview with Sulkowicz here.]

Sulkowicz is one of 23 students who are part of a federal Title IX complaint filed against Columbia in April for mishandling sexual-assault cases. Though she and two other students reported that the same student had assaulted them, all of their claims were swept under the rug, and the male student was not expelled from campus.

…Now a senior majoring in visual arts, Sulkowicz has devised a senior thesis rooted in performance art that will allow her to protest the fact that her rapist continues to study on campus. She has committed to carrying around a twin-size dorm mattress everywhere she goes on campus, to classes and appointments, “for as long as I attend the same school as my rapist.” Read the rest of this article here.

Watch video of Sulkowicz explaining her thesis project:

A Rough Week for Celebrities: Recap

by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Publicity Stunts

This week, a major Hollywood star faces repercussions for a public stunt, while another remains with us despite a death hoax.

bettywhite

via Flickr

The satirical website EmpireNews.net caused a brief scare with a pun about beloved actress Betty White “dyeing.” In light of the very real passing of comedian Joan Rivers, the goof caused understandable alarm.


from NBC 5 San Diego

from NBC 5 San Diego

Meanwhile, Steve-O, a star of the Jackass franchise, is facing criminal charges for defacing a sign directing Southern California motorists to Sea World. With the horrifying scandals that have lately surrounded the aquatic amusement park, Sea World must be particularly sensitive about its reputation.

Grover Norquist Meets the Wisdom of Burning Man

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Can “radical inclusiveness” ever win out over entrenched political partisanship?


My first Burning Man: confessions of a conservative from Washington
by Grover Norquist
theguardian.com
2 September 2014 16.20 EDT

‘Some day, I want to live 52 weeks a year in a state or city that acts like this. I want to attend a national political convention that advocates the wisdom of Burning Man.’

grover-norquist-burning-man
Illustration: Bart van Leeuwen for Guardian US Opinion (based on photos via Getty)

What is Burning Man?

It is a larger version of … what? Woodstock? That was a bunch of teenagers coming to watch artists perform. At Burning Man, everyone is expected to be a participant. Burners bring their art work, their art cars, their personal dress and/or undress: everyone is on stage. The story of Woodstock was thousands of young people, without the sense to bring their own food and water, being rescued by the state police and sensible bourgeois rural folks. The story of Burning Man is one of radical self-reliance.

It is a more intense than … what? Not quite the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Burning Man is an arts festival in the middle of the Nevada desert. It takes hours to get there, and you must bring what you eat or wear or need: you cannot buy anything there. Burning Man is more like Brigadoon – a western ghost town that springs to life. Dust storms. Cold nights. Black Rock City is completely built and then taken apart and disappeared each year, by 65,000 people.

Burning Man is greater than I had ever imagined. (more…)

Toilet Etiquette 101

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Satire

First in a series of instructional videos for my kids, by Will Reid:

Watch the video:

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Best Fails So Far

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Publicity Stunts

The “Fight ALS (aka Lou Gehrigs Disease) with the Ice Bucket Challenge” campaign has been wildly successful, raising more than $94 Million dollars in just a few months to help raise awareness and find a cure for this debilitating disease. Millions of people all over the world have been videotaped letting someone pour ice water over their heads (or doing it themselves). And in their enthusiasm, there have been some spectacular fails:


Sneak Peek at Burning Man ’14

by
Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism

What’s the fourth most populated city in Nevada?

It depends on when you ask. Number one is Vegas, followed by Reno and Carson City. There’s a long drop to number four, which, for one week each summer, is Black Rock City, home of the famous, infamous, otherworldly festival Burning Man.

The gathering is known for mammoth, eye-catching public artworks. HuffPo provides an exclusive sneak preview of the wonders in store this August 25th.

Hayam Sun Temple by Josh Haywood

Hayam Sun Temple by Josh Haywood

 

Sculpture of two figures embracing by Matt Schultz

Sculpture of two figures embracing by Matt Schultz

 

Squared by Charles Gadeken

Squared by Charles Gadeken

GayVillage Proposal Dupes Media

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks

From Concepta Cassar:


Dutch ‘gay-only village’ hoax fools press
The Guardian
19 June 2014

Dutch and foreign media taken in by gay rights group’s hoax plan for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-only community

Scott Brown, dressed as a native American and Pilo Pilkes, as Henry Hudson, are married in Amsterdam

Dutch media have hit out after the authorities in a southern city took part in an elaborate hoax announcing the construction of a “gay-only” village.

The state broadcaster NOS and the national daily newspaper NRC reacted angrily on Thursday after they fell for the hoax a day earlier by publishing stories about plans for a community outside Tilburg specifically for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents.

The hoax also caught out several international news outlets.

The plan for the “GayVillage”, which had a slick website and promotional videos, was cooked up by the Pink Monday Foundation, which organises a gay festival with the same name during Tilburg’s summer festival.

Endorsed by the city’s mayor and a developer to give it more authenticity, “GayVillage” was supposedly a “protected” community to be built on land north of in Tilburg. Read more here.

Gil Fulbright for Senate!

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks

From Represent.Us: Help the honest politician crash the most expensive Senate race of all time. Get This Guy on TV


Gil Fulbright for Senate

Watch the video

via Huffington Post