Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

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Negativeland’s Ian Allen, RIP

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Ian Allen, Former Negativland Member, Dead at 56
by Kory Grow
Rollingstone
January 22, 2015

The musician helped usher in the band’s notion of “culture jamming” and was most active in the group during the Eighties

Ian Allen, Peter Montgomery/Sharon Jue

Ian Allen, Peter Montgomery/Sharon Jue

Onetime Negativland member Ian Allen died on January 17th, a result of infections and complications following heart-valve replacement surgery at a hospital in Sanford, California. He was 56. The band reported the news on its Facebook page.

A member during their 1983 album A Big 10-8 Place, Allen was part of the group on the vanguard of “culture jamming,” the wry use of existing recorded material and tape splicing, joining the eras between John Cage and contemporary hip-hop sampling. He was most active between 1981 and 1987, leaving before the group’s critically acclaimed, confrontational mid-Eighties run on punk label SST. That run included their 1991 U2 EP, which kickstarted a legendary court case over unauthorized samples.

“His impact, inspiration and influence on the group is impossible to overestimate,” the group wrote in its statement. “There would be no group as we know it today, no Over The Edge radio show [on KPFA], no ‘culture jamming’ and no A Big 10-8 Place LP without him.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Improv Everywhere: No Pants Subway Ride 2015

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Practical Jokes and Mischief

From Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere:


No Pants Subway Ride 2015

On Sunday, January 11th, 2015 tens of thousands of people took off their pants on subways in over 60 cities in over 25 countries around the world. In New York, [the] 14th Annual No Pants Subway Ride had over 4,000 participants, spread out over seven meeting points and eleven subway lines.

no pants subway 2015

Watch the video:

More photos and info here.

Valuable Life Lessons and Limited-Edition Boxes of Poo

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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…)

Faking out the Foodies

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Pranksters

Food prank!


“Idiot Foodies Pranked Into Lovin’ McDonalds”
by Tara McGinley
Dangerous Minds
October 22, 2014

mcdonalds-happy-meal-mascotTwo Dutch pranksters from Life Hunters TV decided to hit up the annual culinary food convention in Houten to see if they could deceive foodies and “high-end food experts” with their supposed restaurant’s new “organic” alternatives to fast food. All these two guys did was go to a local McDonald’s to buy some artery cloggin’ fixins, chopped up the Mickey D’s into neat little squares and then stuck some toothpicks into the food. That’s all.

So were the foodies impressed with this duo’s new line of organic fast food? You betcha! One “expert” remarked:

“I feel some warmth releasing in my mouth. There a lot of different tastes!”

Yes and all of those different tastes swirling around your palette have names that sound like something you heard in chemistry class…

You’ll be pleased to know that at least one of the “experts” tasting the McDonald’s fare thinks it:

“Tastes like chicken.”

Several thought it tasted even better than “real” McDonald’s!

Watch the video: Before hitting “play” on this video, please click on “settings” and then select “subtitles.”

Online Video Game Shooter Gets Swatted “Live on Camera”

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

UPDATE: A more indepth look, via Emerson Damerson, at “swatting” in the online gaming sphere — The dark side of livestreaming entertainment, by Richard Lewis, The Kernel, October 12th, 2014.


Live Stream Captures SWAT Team Charging Into Gamer’s Office
by Cate Matthews
The Huffington Post
August 28, 2014

When YouTuber Jordan Mathewson began his live stream Wednesday, playing a first person-shooter video game, he wasn’t expecting to end his session on the floor with real guns trained on him.

Watch the video from local Denver news:

Mathewson and the rest of his gaming collective apparently fell victim to a prank known as “swatting,” where hoaxers force an armed police response by calling in a false report on rival gamers.

Kootra Gets Swatted News Report YouTubeMathewson was about two hours into a game of “Counter-Strike” at the collective’s office in Littleton, Colorado, when he heard a commotion outside his door. A SWAT team was searching the place, and they were about to charge into his office. As seen in the video, he quickly picked up on what was happening. (more…)

Projecting Solidarity for Hong Kong Protestors

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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

The Art of Human Hacking

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Fraud and Deception

Patrick Howell O’Neill reports from Def Con 2014 in Las Vegas, where he witnesses an odd sort of game: Social Engineering Capture the Flag.


Inside the Super Bowl of Lying
by Patrick Howell O’Neill
The Daily Dot
September 2, 2014

Nobody can find a seat, the room is so packed. The boisterous audience, undeterred, crowds against the walls and lies down on the floor at every edge of the room to catch the action. A line of people stretches out the front door.

Social engineering capture the flag

via social-engineer.org

This is the 2014 Def Con hacker conference at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. The people are in one of the tiniest rooms in the casino to see the Super Bowl of lying.

The Social Engineering Capture The Flag contest was launched by Christopher Hadnagy in 2009. This year, nine teams of two players each are given a long list of goals that can only be accomplished through skillful lying and manipulation. The contest has been going on for five years, but most of the crowd, listening in rapt attention, is experiencing it for the very first time.

Hadnagy has another name for social engineering: “The art of human hacking.” While almost all of Def Con is dedicated to the art of computer hacking, this event targeted the mind. (more…)

Grover Norquist Meets the Wisdom of Burning Man

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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…)

Jonathan Kluth: Auto Music

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Songwriter Jonathan Kluth performs not only in, but with his car.


Watch the video:

Hear more of his music on Soundcloud

via Digg


Improv Everywhere: Black Tie Beach 2014

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Pranksters

From Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere:


Black Tie Beach 2014   Improv Everywhere-425

For the Fifth Annual Black Tie Beach, hundreds of participants spent a day at the beach in black tie attire. We covered Coney Island with a diverse group of people of all ages laying out, playing games, and swimming in the ocean in formal wear. Agents were instructed to find cheap tuxedos and ball gowns at thrift stores for the occasion. The event also happened on the same day in several other cities around the world, including Boston and Jacksonville.

Watch the video:

See more photos and info here.

UPCOMING: The Mp3 Experiment Eleven will take place on Saturday, September 20 at a location to be announced in Brooklyn, NY. Once again we are staging the Mp3 Experiment TWICE this year. It will take place at 2 PM and 6 PM. Save the date! This event, as always, is free and open to all.


Art Car: Collaboration in Chalk

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Philip Romano invites bystanders to create art on his car:


“The Artmobile”
by Dan Lewis
Now I Know
August 18, 2014

“The license plate tells 90% of the story. It reads ‘DRAWONME.’ The other 10%? That’s alluded to by the three or four pieces of sidewalk chalk left on the roof of the car — by no means a coincidence.

From draw-on-me.tumblr.com/

“The car is owned by a 20-something Westchester resident named Philip Romano. He coated his 2004 Hyundai Elantra with chalkboard paint and then drove it around to strategic locations, making sure to provide the utensils of not-quite-graffiti. In the summer of 2013, for example, he parked it in front of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to see if true art enthusiasts would take the license plate literally. It proved popular – one report claimed that the line went ‘around the block.'” Read more here.

image: DRAWONME Tumblr


Statue Selfies: If Marble Could Tweet

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Reddit user Jazus ur lookin well starts new selfie trend:


o-SELFIE-425

slide_362799_4083615_free-425

(more…)

Improv Everywhere: The Subway Spa

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Satire

From Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere: For our latest mission, we turned a New York City subway platform into an unauthorized luxury spa.


improv-everywhere-spa-425

Watch the video:

Google Street View Murder?

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Media Pranks

Pranking Google Is Fun, Until Cops Investigate You For Murder
by Sara Gates
The Huffington Post
June 3, 2014

Check this “murder” off as solved.

After a Google Street View user stumbled upon what looked like a murder scene last year, the user reported the sight to police, BBC News reports. Local authorities in Scotland, where the apparent axe murder was pictured, launched an investigation into the case to see if a crime had actually taken place.

As it turns out, the Google Street View “murder scene” from August 2012 was just a prank — and a pretty simple one, at that. Read more here.

o-STREET-VIEW-425

A Little “Lovin” for McDonald’s

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

15 Captivating Works Of Art That Challenge The McDonaldization Of Society
by Kevin Short
The Huffington Post
April 24, 2014

…In protest of this overwhelming “McDonaldization” of society, a term first coined in 1993 by sociologist George Ritzer, artists around the world have created some highly vivid pieces that assail the symbols of McDonald’s omnipresence.

UNEXPECTED-CLARITY-425
Artist:Zoltron
Year:2011
Location:San Francisco, California

SHALL-I-DO-IT-425
Artist: Banksy
Year: 2009
Location: Bristol, UK

POTATOES-1-425
Artist:Peter Pink
Year:2012
Location:Berlin, Germany

(more…)