Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

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Trump’s Military Parade Extravaganza Set for April 1, 2018

Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire

Event Alert!
New York City’s 33rd Annual April Fools’ Day Parade &
2nd Annual Trumpathon!

If you’re in New York City on Sunday, April 1, 2018, join the April Fools’ Day Trump Military Parade and show the world how grandiose and out of touch America’s leader really is.

Bring your artillery! All military toys, tanks, planes, helicopters and GI Joe soldiers are needed. Help us amass the largest assembly of military might the world has ever seen for President Donald Trump’s tremendous and amazing Military Parade.

All marching personnel will have Donald Trump look-like masks and will march from 5th Ave. and 59th St. to Trump Tower to take a knee. Download and print a Trump mask here. If you can’t print a mask, we’ll have one for you.

Please spread the word! @artoftheprank

New York’s irreverent April Fools’ Day Parade returns, poking fun once again at the past year’s displays of hype, hypocrisy, deceit, bigotry, and downright foolishness. Nothing is sacred. Our satire knows no bounds. The parade this year will be a massive “TRUMP MILIARY PARADE” celebrating our president’s greatest fixation — himself.

The public is encouraged to participate, in or out of costume, with or without floats, and may join the procession at any point along the parade route. Floats can be no wider than 10’ and no longer than 30’. They can be self-propelled, towed, pushed or pulled. Customized bicycles, tricycles, baby carriages and aerial balloons are welcome. The parade will start at 59th St. and Fifth Ave. at 12 noon, and will pass by Trump Tower at 12:15 pm where everyone will take a knee. The Parade Committee assumes no liability for damages caused by satire.

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.

Sunday, April 1, from 12 noon – 3 pm

  • Parade begins at 5th Avenue & 59th Street and marches down 5th Avenue to Washington Square Park
  • There will be one stop at Trump Tower at 5th Avenue between 57th and 56th Street where the entire parade will take a knee

    FACEBOOK EVENT: Please share on Facebook

    TWITTER: @artoftheprank

    Joey Skaggs, April Fools’ Day Parade Committee Chair
    Phone: 212-254-7878

    Banksy Immortalizes Painting That Caused Artist Zehra Dogan’s Arrest & Imprisonment in Turkey

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    Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters

    Banksy’s new mural in collaboration with Borf, aka John Tsombikos, brings jailed Turkish artist Zehra Dogan’s work to New York.

    New Banksy NYC mural supports jailed Turkish artist
    by Janon Fisher
    New York Daily News
    March 17, 2018

    The mysterious British graffiti artist Banksy created a 70-foot mural on the Houston Bowery Graffiti Wall showing Turkish artist Zehra Dogan trapped behind hashmarks. (FRANK FRANKLIN II/AP)

    Mysterious British graffiti artist Banksy can’t stay away from the Big Apple.

    After tagging the clock face on a West Village bank, he moved east Thursday, with a sidewalk to rooftop display drawing attention to the plight of a jailed artist.

    The 70-foot mural on the Houston Bowery Graffiti Wall shows Turkish artist Zehra Dogan trapped behind a set of hashmarks meant to symbolize her prison bars.

    Dogan was sentenced to nearly three years in jail for painting a the town of Nasybin laid waste by the Turkish after a battle with Kurdish forces.

    She copied the photo from a newspaper then painted it in watercolor, adding Turkish flags to the scene, according to her publicist.

    Dogan was arrested after she posted the image on social media.

    The timing of the mural marks the one year anniversary of her incarceration.

    Her watercolor stretches out across the top of the building where Banksy has painted his mural.

    “I really feel for her. I’ve painted things much more worthy of a custodial sentence,” Banksy told The New York Times in a statement.

    Aviv Ovadya and the Coming “Infocalypse”

    Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Fraud and Deception, Legal Issues, Media Literacy, Political Challenges, Propaganda and Disinformation, The Future of Pranks

    In a far-ranging, frightening, and fascinating interview, Buzzfeed News catches up with engineer and tech prognosticator Aviv Ovadya, who anticipated the current scourge of “fake news” and says we haven’t seen anything yet.

    “He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He’s Worried About An Information Apocalypse.”
    By Charlie Warzel
    February 11, 2018

    In mid-2016, Aviv Ovadya realized there was something fundamentally wrong with the internet — so wrong that he abandoned his work and sounded an alarm. A few weeks before the 2016 election, he presented his concerns to technologists in San Francisco’s Bay Area and warned of an impending crisis of misinformation in a presentation he titled “Infocalypse.”

    The web and the information ecosystem that had developed around it was wildly unhealthy, Ovadya argued. The incentives that governed its biggest platforms were calibrated to reward information that was often misleading and polarizing, or both. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google prioritized clicks, shares, ads, and money over quality of information, and Ovadya couldn’t shake the feeling that it was all building toward something bad — a kind of critical threshold of addictive and toxic misinformation. The presentation was largely ignored by employees from the Big Tech platforms — including a few from Facebook who would later go on to drive the company’s NewsFeed integrity effort.

    “At the time, it felt like we were in a car careening out of control and it wasn’t just that everyone was saying, ‘we’ll be fine’ — it’s that they didn’t even see the car,” he said.

    Ovadya saw early what many — including lawmakers, journalists, and Big Tech CEOs — wouldn’t grasp until months later: Our platformed and algorithmically optimized world is vulnerable — to propaganda, to misinformation, to dark targeted advertising from foreign governments — so much so that it threatens to undermine a cornerstone of human discourse: the credibility of fact.

    But it’s what he sees coming next that will really scare the shit out of you. Read more.

    Harvey’s Casting Couch Immortalized

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    Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Prank News, Pranksters

    Artists Plastic Jesus and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe bring the Hollywood casting couch out of the shadows, just in time for the Oscars.

    Gold Harvey Weinstein Casting Couch Appears Near Oscars Venue
    by Emmet McDermott
    Hollywood Reporter
    March 1, 2018

    The piece is the work of Plastic Jesus and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe, the artist behind the infamous naked Donald Trump statues.

    A robe-swaddled Harvey Weinstein statue, sitting arms spread on a golden chaise lounge urging pedestrians to sit beside him, appeared in Hollywood on Thursday days before the 90th Academy Awards ceremony.

    The sculpture, located on Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, is a collaboration between street artists Plastic Jesus, best known for his annual Oscar season installations that take aim at the dark side of show business, and Joshua “Ginger” Monroe, the artist behind the infamous naked Donald Trump statues.

    The piece was intentionally crafted to allow passersby to sit beside Weinstein and take photos with him. Clenched in Weinstein’s right hand is an Oscar statue, strategically placed near his groin.

    “For many years the exploitation of many hopefuls and established names in the industry was brushed under the carpet with their complaints of harassment and sexual abuse being ignored or worse,” Plastic Jesus tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Hopefully, now in the light of recent allegations against many leading figures in Hollywood the industry will clean up its act.”

    Plastic Jesus does not give his name but has said that he is a former London photojournalist who moved to L.A. many years ago to explore installation art as a way to tackle sociopolitical issues. His works include last year’s Kanye West crucifixion sculpture, on which he also collaborated with Ginger, and 2015’s coke-snorting Oscar statue. Ginger is a Las Vegas-based artist. His naked Donald Trump statues were installed across multiple cities in 2016.

    According to the artists, the life-size Weinstein sculpture took two months to produce. A casting was initially taken from a friend of the artists, and Ginger subsequently molded the face to match Weinstein’s. (more…)

    Announcing NYC’s 33rd Annual April Fools’ Day Parade

    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Prank News

    Come one, come all and help make this the largest military parade ever!

    The New York April Fools’ Committee Is Proud to Announce:


    “TAKE A KNEE!”

    New York’s irreverent April Fools’ Day Parade poking fun at the past year’s displays of hype, hypocrisy, deceit, bigotry, and downright foolishness, returns! For the 33rd year, participants will bring outrageous floats and dress up in colorful costumes to mirror the folly of the nuttiest politicians, corporate leaders, celebrities and whoever else has proved to be a total fool in the past year. If it rains, marchers are encouraged to decorate umbrellas with slogans or images so their messages can be seen by people looking out their windows from above. Nothing is sacred. Our satire knows no bounds.

    The theme for this year’s parade is “TAKE A KNEE!” The parade will begin at 5th Avenue and 59th Street at 12 noon, Sunday, April 1, 2018. The procession will march down 5th Avenue, pause at Trump Tower at 56th Street and 5th where participants will, in spirit with Colin Kaepernick, “take a knee” in solidarity against police abuse. It will then proceed downtown to Washington Square Park for the climactic crowning of the King of Fools.

    Last year’s April Fools’ Day Parade “Trumpathon”—the world’s largest gathering of masked Donald Trump look-alikes was so successful that organizers vowed to repeat it. Get your Donald Trump look-alike mask here. Print it, cut it out and wear it to the parade: The parade committee will have hundreds of extra masks on hand in case you need one. We’re going for a new world record for the largest assembly of Donald Trump look-alikes. Please tweet @artoftheprank and invite all your friends to this Second Annual Trumpathon! (more…)

    Speaking of Artificial Intelligence…

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Challenges, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters

    Friendly foes seek world peace at the Olympics but are shown the door instead.

    ‘Trump’ And ‘Kim’ Thrown Out Of Opening Ceremony
    February 10, 2018

    “We wanted to surprise everyone and bring world peace and then we’re being escorted out by security guards, which I think is really unfair.”

    PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 09: Impersonators of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un pose during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

    PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) – People dressed up as U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un caused a commotion when they appeared in the stands at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on Friday before swiftly being shown out by security staff.

    “We’re getting along great,” said the Kim lookalike, who declined to give his name.

    “We wanted to surprise everyone and bring world peace and then we’re being escorted out by security guards, which I think is really unfair,” he added. “Doesn’t everyone want peace?”

    The ceremony was marked by a show of unity between North and South Korea.

    Athletes from both countries entered the arena under a flag depicting a unified Korea as American Vice President Mike Pence and Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, watched on from a VIP box.

    “Is my sister getting the same treatment?,” the Kim lookalike said as he was escorted out of the stadium.

    Pothole Gardening

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Prank News, Pranksters

    A new spin on urban gardening…

    Prankster plants trees in NYC potholes
    by Danielle Furfaro
    New York Post
    February 2, 2018

    New York City’s potholes are getting filled.

    Professional prankster Coby Persin took to New York streets earlier this week to do what he claims the city Department of Transportation won’t – fill potholes. But he’s filling them with flowers, plants, and trees as a clear warning for drivers.

    “Two days ago, when I was driving around New York City, I hit a pothole with my car and my tire popped and I had to buy a new one,” Persin, who has more than 3.7 million subscribers on his channel, said on the video. “The city doesn’t clean them up until the summer. So I was thinking that had a seen a plant inside the pothole, I would have driven around the plant and not hit the pothole.” Read the rest here.

    Bicyclist (aka the FCC) Throttles the Streets in Front of the FCC (aka the Internet) to Create Priority Access

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire

    An allegory for our times. Rob Bliss “throttled” the road in front of the FCC so he could charge $5/month for priority access to protest Agit Pai and the FCC’s recent repeal of net neutrality.

    Hero bicyclist narrows streets near FCC and offers drivers $5 “Priority Access” so drivers can “choose the plan that best suits their needs”
    by Cory Doctorow
    February 2, 2018

    An act of heroic trolling from Net Neutrality advocate Rob Bliss, who “throttled” access to DC’s 12th Street by traffic-coning all but one lane, then cycled slowly up and down the remaining lane with a sign offering drivers “priority access” to his “fast lane” for $5/month.

    Watch the video by Rob Bliss

    Bliss was making a pointed statement about Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who insisted that he alone could see the looming problem of network management that could only be fixed by allowing ISPs to use their publicly subsidized infrastructure to limit who could get to the network services they wanted to visit.

    The 2017 April Fools’ Day Parade “Trumpathon” hits Japanese TV News [Japanese]

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire, The History of Pranks, The Prank as Art

    A couple of weeks ago, The New York City 2017 April Fools’ Day Parade “Trumpathon”, the world’s largest gathering of Donald Trump look-alikes, was included in a TBS NEWS report about Donald Trump’s “Fake News Awards”. Watch to the end. Story is in Japanese and the link will only be available for a limited time.

    She Asked God for a Job. God Said “No”

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Challenges

    Ask and ye shall receive. Michele Bachmann gets her answer.

    Michele Bachmann Just Got An Actual Sign From God, And It’s Absolutely Priceless
    by Ed Mazza
    Huffington Post
    February 2, 2018

    This is probably not the answer she was looking for.


    Michele Bachmann, the former Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, indicated last year that she was looking for a sign from God about whether she should run for the U.S. Senate.

    God ― or rather a prankster claiming to be the deity ― answered with an actual sign:

    Bachmann, one of Trump’s evangelical advisors, told doomsday food salesman Jim Bakker in December that people have been urging her to run in November’s special election for the seat Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) vacated after a sexual harassment scandal. Bachmann said she trusts “in a big God” and that she was supposed to run for president, referring to her failed 2012 bid, which she called “wildly successful.”

    “I fulfilled the calling God gave me,” Bachmann said. “So the question is: Am I being called to do this now? I don’t know.”

    If she’s looking for a sign, she might want to check out the billboard in St. Paul, Minnesota, which appeared to be the result of a crowdfunding project from the satirical website

    Forget About Getting a Table Here

    Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Fact or Fiction?, Fraud and Deception, How to Pull Off a Prank, Instructionals, Media Literacy, Media Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, The World of the Prank

    Update January 25, 2018: Vice Video: How to Become TripAdvisor’s #1 Fake Restaurant. Thanks Frank.

    The London restaurant so exclusive that no one could ever get a reservation. H/t Bob O’Keefe.

    Bonus: Oobah Butler’s Vice play book on how he pulled it off.

    ‘The Shed at Dulwich’ was London’s top-rated restaurant. Just one problem: It didn’t exist.
    By Eli Rosenberg
    The Washington Post
    December 8, 2017

    It was a unique restaurant in London and certainly the hardest to get into. And it beat out thousands of upscale restaurants in the city to earn the top ranking on the popular review site TripAdvisor for a time, drawing a flood of interest.

    There was just one small problem: It didn’t exist.

    The restaurant was just a listing created this year by a freelance writer, Oobah Butler, who used his home — a shed in the Dulwich area in South London — as the inspiration for a high-concept new restaurant that he posted on TripAdvisor: “The Shed at Dulwich.”

    With hardly more than some fake reviews — “Best shed based experience in London!” a particularly cheeky one read — and a website, it had gamed the site’s ratings in London, a highly sought after designation that could bring a surge of business to any restaurant, let alone one in major global capital.

    The story has by now traveled around the globe and back, after Butler wrote a piece that exposed the ruse on Vice. It has been hailed as an incredible feat. But in an era increasingly influenced by disinformation online, it also has served as another reminder of the ease with which pranksters and other dishonest actors are able to manipulate online platforms to sometimes unthinkable results. Read more.

    Here’s Truth in Advertising

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    Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Media Pranks, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

    Oscar nominated movie poster alteration in service of the truth… h/t Miss Cellania

    If The Posters For This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Movies Were Honest
    by Caleb Reading
    January 24, 2018

    This year’s Oscar nominations are in, and there have been some surprises, like a Wolverine sequel becoming the first superhero movie to garner a screenplay nomination. It seems The Academy seeks to reshape its image, and you know what would really reshape everyone’s attitude toward this business of show? If movie posters were brutally, hilariously honest.

    As we have in previous years, we’ve collected our favorite honest posters for the films with at least one nomination in any category for the 90th Academy Awards (full nominees list here). Many of these come courtesy of The Shiznit and this College Humor post, along with several other posts. Read more

    honest-movie-posters-2018-The-Post_college-humor ... The Post poster made by College Humor. ... (more posters at the link)

    Indecline’s “Grave New World”

    Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters

    The activist art collective Indecline, which previously goosed U.S. President Donald Trump with controversial naked statues and other photogenic stunts, has created a new piece of fake real estate for him to own.

    “Artists Create a Cemetery for the Things Donald Trump Killed in 2017”
    By Elena Goukassian
    January 23, 2018

    Late last Friday night at a golf course in rural New Jersey, a group of people wearing ski masks pulled up in a white van disguised as a Time Warner Cable vehicle and proceeded to plant six gravestones, complete with votive candles, miniature American flags, and roses. When the sun came up, they returned to the scene of the crime, documenting their deed.

    Commemorating the anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration, guerrilla street art collective Indecline — who installed naked Trump statues in public parks throughout the country in 2016 and strung “Ku Klux Klowns” in Richmond’s Bryan Park last fall — decided to create a kind of “political report card, in essence, a year in review,” an anonymous representative of the group told Hyperallergic in a phone interview.

    Titled “Grave New World,” the project’s gravestones mark the end of concepts like “Decency,” which died with Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017 (as the stone crudely says, “We ‘moved on her like a bitch’”) and “The Last Snowman,” which died the day Trump decided to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement (“Rest assured he was giving a scientist the finger as he went”). The remaining four stones mark the death of the American Dream with the immigration ban; of “Our Future” with the end of DACA; of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the arrival of Mick Mulvaney; and of “Those Bootstraps They Keep Talking About” with the latest tax bill. The anonymous representative noted that they really had to narrow down the gravestones from “a diverse selection of things Trump fucked up” in the last year. “We would have needed a much larger budget to cover everything.” Read more.

    Meet the Right-Wing Street Artists of Hollywood

    Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Media Literacy, Media Pranks, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, Sociology and Psychology of Pranks

    From Breitbart on down, well-compensated conservative media trolls ramp up their presence in the entertainment capital of the world.

    “How Hollywood’s Conservative ‘Street Artists’ Troll the Industry”
    By Paul Bond
    The Hollywood Reporter
    December 22, 2018

    In a booth on the Westside of Los Angeles sit a trio of conservative provocateurs plotting their next “street art” prank on a liberal celebrity destined to be thrust into the limelight for reasons beyond the person’s control. The restaurant has become a watering hole for conservatives who work in Hollywood and don’t usually share their political opinions with their liberal colleagues for fear of retribution.

    Friends of Abe, the private group of Hollywood conservatives, used to meet at the same place. The three artists, in fact were often spotted at FOA gatherings, where actors like Tom Selleck, Gary Sinise, Robert Duvall, Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton generously hobnobbed with others in the entertainment industry who lacked their fame and fortune.

    One of the street artists usually works independent of the others, but recently they’ve banded together to focus their efforts on Harvey Weinstein and all those who, they claim, allegedly enabled his predatory behavior for decades. Their aim is to call out Hollywood for its “hypocrisy,” they say. Two of them have careers in the industry to protect so they remain anonymous, and their anonymity is fodder for detractors who take to social media to call them out for cowardice and slander.

    One justifies his secrecy by noting he’d surely be fired for his very public artwork — which sometimes amounts to attacks on actors, movies and TV shows he is associated with through his full-time job. Another is a freelancer in the industry who used to design interactive media for Steven Spielberg. Read more.

    The Angriest Man on the Internet?

    Filed under: Conspiracy Theories, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Fact or Fiction?, Media Literacy, Media Pranks, The History of Pranks

    As long as computers have been part of mainstream life, people have been mad at them. This history of one of the first viral videos tells the tale of how information spreads across the digital landscape. Interestingly… having nothing to do with its enormous popularity… it wasn’t at all what it was purported to be.

    “The Strange History of One of the Internet’s First Viral Videos”
    By Joe Veix
    January 12, 2018

    You’ve seen the video. Everyone on the internet has. A man sits in a cubicle and pounds his keyboard in frustration. A few seconds later, the Angry Man picks up the keyboard and swings it like a baseball bat at his screen—it’s an old PC from the ’90s, with a big CRT monitor—whacking it off the desk. A frightened coworker’s head pops up over the cubicle wall, just in time to watch the Angry Man get up and kick the monitor across the floor. Cut to black.

    The clip began to circulate online, mostly via email, in 1997. Dubbed “badday.mpg,” it’s likely one of the first internet videos ever to go viral. Sometimes GIFs of it still float across Twitter and Facebook feeds. (Most memes barely have a shelf life of 20 minutes, let alone 20 years.)

    Beyond its impressive resilience, it’s also unexpectedly significant as the prime mover of viral videos. In one clip, you can find everything that’s now standard in the genre, like a Lumière brothers film for the internet age: the surveillance footage aesthetic, the sub-30-second runtime, the angry freakout in a typically staid setting, the unhinged destruction of property.

    The clip also serves up prime conspiracy fodder. Freeze and enhance: The computer is unplugged. The supposed Angry Man, on closer inspection, is smiling. Was one of the first viral videos—and perhaps the most popular viral video of all time—also one of the first internet hoaxes? Read more.