Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Pranksters, Satire
From Andrea Marini: Snow Boarding with NYPD
From Andrea Marini: Snow Boarding with NYPD
Banksy, the loved, hated, famous, infamous, politically ambiguous, and seemingly invulnerable Jay-Z of street art, has apparently posted some new work in Calais, France, home of a Syrian refugee camp.
“Syrian Refugees Apparently Have A New Ally: Banksy”
By Ryan Grenoble
December 11, 2015
He’s no terrorist. He’s Steve Jobs.
And he stars in a piece of street art that appeared recently at an informal refugee camp in Calais, France, and has been attributed to the British artist known as Banksy.
The encampment, nicknamed “the Jungle” for its chaotic, squalid living conditions, is home to some 7,000 predominantly Middle Eastern refugees hoping to migrate to Britain.
As the Paris attacks have led to fear-mongering that terrorists may hide among the streams of refugees, Banksy’s work is a reminder not to let fear steer policy. Steve Jobs was himself the son of a Syrian refugee who immigrated to the U.S. from Homs. (more…)
Texas is at the center of the national controversy over mass shootings and gun control. And few cities have the same flair for the theatrical as does Austin.
The warring sides of the gun debate recently staged their own equally ridiculous public events in the state capital.
The Huffington Post reports that “Pro-gun advocates doused fake victims with fake blood outside the University of Texas on Saturday in what they called a theatrical event to show the need for firearms on campus.
“Their ‘mock mass shooting’ was met with a much larger counter-protest and derision by many onlookers in the left-leaning city of Austin who saw the group pushing a position that could increase the danger brought by firearms at the university that saw one of the worst mass school shootings in U.S. history.
“One of the mock mass shooting organizers, the group Come and Take It Texas, said allowing gun-free zones on campuses eliminated a human right to personal protection.
“‘Our goal is to instill the importance of everyone to be able to defend themselves in any way they choose,’ the group said in a statement posted on its website.” Whole thing here.
Meanwhile, as reported in the Austin Chronicle, “Pro-gun demonstrators staging a mock mass shooting near the University of Texas at Austin on Saturday were overwhelmed in number and ferocity by a large group of counter-protesters wielding dildos and machines that generated fart sounds.
“‘This isn’t about guns necessarily. This is about scaring our community. This is about a choice between fear and a little bit of good humor,’ Andrew Dobbs, a UT alumnus who organized the ‘mass farting’ counter-protest, told the crowd. ‘We are in a scary time right now and lots of scary things are happening, and some people want us to be more afraid.’ Whole thing here.
The Hippest Cafe in Providence Was Totally Fake
By Vicky Gan
October 27, 2015
For a few #blessed days, Lura Cafe was the hottest new restaurant in Providence. The bright, cozy farm-to-table joint hid in plain sight next to a downtown parking lot, steps away from the Rhode Island Convention Center. Lura would be a refuge for diners in the know, serving modern takes on cafe classics—all local, all organic, all certified GMO-free. It was upscale and casual, timeless and avant-garde. It had a vaguely Nordic air of refinement.
It announced itself – as all similarly accoutred restaurants must – with a social media blitz, featuring sans serif lettering, sunny high-angle shots of brunch dishes, even a breathless write-up in the New York Times.
It was also totally fake.
When Lura Cafe “opened” on October 18, visitors were greeted not with avocado toast and bruleed carrots but with a manifesto: “‘Lura’ is a statement project targeting the rising phenomenon of the elitist subculture of foodies.” Beside it, a translation of “Lura” – “Swedish for fool, trick, deceive, lure, cheat, befool” – and a call to arms: #stopfoodies2015.
The satire wasn’t exactly subtle. In the days leading up to Lura’s grand opening, the restaurant’s Facebook page taunted followers with a surreal menu of “home-cut potatoes… wrapped in authentic New York Times newspaper,” “cold brew coffee served… over mineralized water rocks,” and “10x washed quinoa salad.” The quote attributed to Pontus Wikner, “POTS SEIDOOF,” is “FOODIES STOP” backwards. Full story here.
From Andrea Natella: The RyanFair media hoax: Shaming the world into being a better place one corporation at a time.
‘RyanFair’ hoax claims airline will carry refugees visa-free
30 Sep, 2015 16:20
A hoax website masquerading as an initiative driven by budget airline Ryanair has offered to transport asylum seekers lacking the proper documentation, as Europe grapples with one of history’s worst refugee crises.
The prank site claims the airline will transport migrants from Greece, Montenegro, Slovakia and Hungary into Western Europe. A spokesperson for Ryanair told RT that the site is “entirely fictitious” and has absolutely no affiliation with the carrier.
The site included a fabricated quote from Ryanair Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs: “We are facing the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, confirming our mission: made [sic] air travel accessible to the masses. We decided to open to refugees our routes from Greece and East Europe, violating a rule that simply dumps government responsibilities on the carriers. We will proudly cover all the costs of this violation.”
From Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere:
Over 4,000 people came out to our annual Mp3 Experiment project in New York. This year’s took place at sunset in Prospect Park’s Long Meadow and featured reflective vests, glow sticks, LEDs, and a special video portion of the experiment with smart phone screens glowing with color.
University at Buffalo student hangs ‘White Only’ signs on campus, sparks outrage
by Melissa Chan
New York Daily News
September 18, 2015
These “White Only” signs were hung near bathrooms at the University at Buffalo this week. Ashley Powell, a graduate art student, admitted to hanging the signs for a class art project. UBSPECTRUM.COM
Ashley Powell, 25, who is black, admitted to plastering the Jim Crow-esque signs near several bathrooms and water fountains in a dorm as an art project to express her struggles with being a minority in the U.S. and to “expose white privilege.”
“I am in pain,” the graduate student wrote in a lengthy explanation posted on Facebook and published by the UB student newspaper. “My art practice is a remnant of my suffering. White privilege and compliance only exacerbate my symptoms.”
Powell said she hung up the signs to see how many white people would see the signs and do something about it, although she claims it was not a “social experiment.”
“Today these signs may no longer exist, but the system that they once reinforced still does,” she wrote. “Any white person who would walk past these signs without ripping them down shows a disturbing compliance with this system.”
The signs, which Powell said were created with support from her professor and colleagues, caused a firestorm of controversy on campus. Students denounced the project as racist and a hate crime, ABC 27 reported. Read the whole story here.
From Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere: Pedestrians in a busy New York city crosswalk suddenly begin ballroom dancing.
For our latest mission, pedestrians in a busy New York crosswalk begin ballroom dancing one by one as they “accidentally” bump into their partners. This project took place on the crosswalk in front of Penn Station on 7th Avenue, one of the busiest spots in the city. We staged the mission several times, with the performance repeating at each change of the light and always finishing before the “Don’t Walk” countdown clock reached zero.
For this project we put out a call to our NYC mailing list looking for ballroom dancers. For the most part participants didn’t know each other before this project, though some participated with their dance partners. We had one loose rehearsal just to walk through the logistics and make sure everyone was comfortable with the idea and their partners.
It was a great spot because there was always a healthy crowd of people coming to and from Penn Station. Each time we staged it, 95% of the people around us were seeing it for the first time. We noticed a few people who stuck around, hoping to see it again. The best reactions came from those in the crosswalk who got caught up in it as it started. Some folks were in a hurry, rushing to catch their train, but most everyone did a double take and smiled. I had a blast watching it from the sideline.
This project was a collaboration with YouTube’s new Field Day channel. Check out our video on the Field Day channel that features parts of this mission as well as our Groundskeeper Acrobats and Unexpected Ballet missions.
Banksy’s Dismaland website is up. Includes full details and schedules.
Channel 4 News reports, August 20, 2016:
Banksy’s “family theme park unsuitable for small children” has opened on the Weston-super-Mare seafront. It features migrant boats, dead princesses and Banksy’s trademark dark humour.
The park features Banksy’s artistry as well as works by 50 other artists including Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer.
Buzzfeed published these photos:
Banksy’s theme? According the BBC he said, “”I guess you’d say it’s a theme park whose big theme is ‘theme parks should have bigger themes’.”
Inside ‘Dismaland’: Banksy’s Sinister Disney-Trolling Theme Park Reportedly Opening This Weekend
The Daily Beast
August 17, 2015
The shadowy street artist has allegedly been constructing a massive pop-up theme park under the guise of filming a Hollywood movie, and it’s rumored to open August 21 in the UK.
This past weekend at their annual D23 Expo, a veritable Comic-Con devoted to all things Mouse House, Disney unveiled plans for Star Wars Land—a pair of elaborate theme parks that will transport visitors to the land(s) of Star Wars, replete with a Millennium Falcon simulator, a plethora of cosplaying characters, and—yes—a full-service Cantina.
But if getting wasted on intergalactic booze, starting static with a costumed Greedo, and throwing your hard-earning money at a corporate giant isn’t your thing, then perhaps Dismaland is the place for you.
Dismaland is the name of Banksy’s gloriously subversive theme park that is heavily rumored to be opening this weekend—that is Friday, August 21—in the UK. Pictures of its mysterious construction in the seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England, began surfacing online late last week.
Read the whole article here.
Here’s a rare glimpse behind the enigma of the legendary Center for Tactical Magic as founder Aaron Gach shares his background, philosophy, and success stories in this interview with Regine Debatty.
“Interview with The Center for Tactical Magic”
by Regine Debatty
We Make Money Not Art
August 14, 2015
…The Center for Tactical Magic uses any craft and scheme available, from the most magical to the most pragmatic, to address issues of power relations and self-empowerment.
At the CTM we are committed to achieving the Great Work of Tactical Magic through community-based projects, daily interdiction, and the activation of latent energies toward positive social transformation.
CTM’s work combines appealing aesthetics, humour and language with actions that invite people to think, question and reclaim their civil rights. Their most famous project is the Tactical Ice Cream Unit, a truck distributing free ice cream along with propaganda developed by local progressive groups. Another of their initiative saw them launch a bank heist contest. And a year before that, they responded to New York’s stop-and-frisk policy by screening Linking & Unlinking on a digital billboard in Manhattan. The billboard showed amateur footage demonstrating how to pick a pair of handcuffs, magicians performing a classic magic trick called “linking rings“, while a text from the American Civil Liberties Union was scrolling down and explaining passersby what their rights were if they were stopped by the police. In 2013, they set up big Witches’ Cradles that evoke the Inquisition and enveloped people into an altered state (of consciousness, or an altered political state). Most recently, Gach directed and performed a radical magic show which drew parallels between magic acts and contemporary issues such as economic manipulation, political deception, vanishing resources, and social transformation.
From Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere:
For our latest mission, professional ballet performers pose as break dancers in New York’s Washington Square Park. The men hype up their tumbling routine to a gathered crowd before realizing they brought the “wrong music.” The crowd is surprised as they slowly realize the performer’s hidden talents.