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Nazi Petting Zoo

Filed under: Political Pranks, Satire

Submitted by Johannes Grenzfurthner of monochrom, an art-technology-philosophy group having its seat in Vienna and Zeta Draconis. monochrom is an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism. Our mission is conducted everywhere, but first and foremost in culture-archeological digs into the seats (and pockets) of ideology and entertainment. monochrom has existed in this (and almost every other) form since 1993.

The Nazi Petting Zoo:

Also, here’s a link to a talk Johannes gave about guerrilla communication as a versatile practice of cultural resistance last year at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Campfire at Will: Hacking the Urban Context

Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Submitted by Monochrom:

Here’s how to hack the urban context with campfires, sausages, beer, and an elderly Austrian gentleman who speaks LOL. The trick: construct fake campfires, complete with beer bottles and half-cooked sausages, right in the middle of the cityscape. And maybe even in an airport.

The Kanzlermacher’s New Clothes [English and German]

Filed under: Media Pranks, Political Pranks, Pranksters

From monochrom:

Hans DichandHans Dichand, born in 1921, founded the Austrian “Kronenzeitung” (“Crown newspaper”) in 1959 and still acts as its editor in chief to this day. With over 40% market share, this right-wing populist paper has a unique position of power, and Dichand used this to influence Austrian politics to a great extent. This media-political practice earned him the nickname of “Kanzlermacher” (“He who makes the chancellor”).

Shortly after Mr. Dichand started blogging in November 2007, another weblog under his name appeared, where an unknown writer spoofs the newsmaker by using his rather unique tabloid writing style to express views and ideas contrary to those of the original, and to poke fun at the mighty newsmaker.

This fake blog has gathered quite a bit of media attention over the last weeks, especially since the original Dichand saw it necessary to write about “The Forger,” as the fake blogger has been called on numerous occasions.

MOBUTOBE: The Citizens’ Initiative for the Accomplishment of Total Population

Filed under: Satire

erde2200.jpgMonochrom has submitted this call to action and would like to hear reactions from people from around the world:

“Spead the word. Or better yet… the leaflets. Anyone is welcome to print the PDF and use it.” Monochrom.


Filed under: Art Pranks, Pranksters

Submitted by

monochrom"™s ARAD-IIThe Story of Günther Friesinger

Günther Friesinger was an art rep who contracted the ARAD-II virus, a rare, deadly and highly contagious illness which he unknowingly brought to Art Basel in Miami Beach, Florida in 2005. For a full pictorial presentation of monochrom’s efforts to find and manage the crisis caused by Günther’s illness, visit the ARAD-II Web site.

While art frequently imitates reality, sometimes reality imitates art, as with this deadly strain of TB which set of world-wide alarms. Read or listen to the story: Man Eluded Attempts to Control Deadly TB Strain on NPR.

Editor’s Note: In 1998, another potentially disasterous medical crisis was averted thanks to a conscientious whistle-blower. A multi-national corporation seeking to profit by addicting consumers to their commercial products had created a virus that could be embedded in their food and drink items and imbibed by their customers. A scientist defected and provided information to the world media at after the U.S. Government and several of its allies commandeered the research for military purposes, i.e., to create a new genetic weapon capable of eliminating targeted ethnic groups.

How false information creates true events

Filed under: Political Pranks, Pranksters, The History of Pranks

From monochrom: An article by Klaus Schoenberger — who is doing pop-culture research at the University of Hamburg, Germany — featuring the Yes Men and their Union Carbide/Bhopal hoax in 2004.

Activists use fakes and hoaxes to communicate information by speaking in the name of someone else – persons or institutions invested with power. With the spreading of Internet communication, this pattern of action and communicating has acquired additional power as a means of political and social protest. Within the framework of Guerrilla Communication, with its specific understanding of politics, faking develops into an efficient form of political articulation.

Read the entire article here.

Editor’s note: See also April Media Fools, March 30, 2005, by Rory O’Connor for

monochrom’s Georg Paul Thomann

Filed under: Art Pranks, Pranksters

Self Portrait, Georg Paul ThomannIn 2002, the art group monochrom was invited to represent the Republic of Austria at the Sao Paulo Art Biennial in Sà£o Paulo, Brazil, one of the three biggest international art exhibitions in the world. The group, citing political reasons, did not wish to represent Austria directly and decided instead to send the 57 year old avant-garde artist Georg Paul Thomann.

Some doubt that Georg Paul Thomann actually existed. Some say he was an art avatar, pure fiction; that it was a political, tactical approach of monochrom to solve the philosophical and bureaucratic dilemma caused by the art world’s system of representation.

But those people have to consider that the official catalogue included the biography of Georg Paul Thomann; that journalists interviewed him, although most of the time he was sitting in his hotel room and watching the porn channel; that Georg Paul Thomann saved the country of Taiwan and caused diplomatic troubles with China; and, that after all that, he died, was buried and you can still visit his tombstone. A person who exists cannot not exist.

Read the full story here; here; and here.