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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.

    7,000 Pairs of Shoes is 7,000 Too Many

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    Filed under: Creative Activism, First Amendment Issues, Political Challenges, Prank News

    A powerful display of empty shoes on Capitol Lawn remembers the thousands of children killed by gun violence in America in recent years. #NotOneMore

    7,000 Pairs Of Shoes On Capitol Lawn Are Powerful Nod To Gun Violence
    by Willa Frej
    Huffington Post
    March 14, 2018

    They are meant to represent the number of children killed in shootings since Sandy Hook.

    With the epicenter of policymaking looming large in the background, activists on Tuesday placed 7,000 pairs of empty shoes across the Capitol lawn, an impossible-to-ignore symbol of the children lost to gun violence since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

    Families who have lost children to shootings were invited to contribute their kids’ shoes, said global advocacy group Avaaz, which organized the event.

    “I’ll be traveling to D.C. literally wearing my son Daniel’s shoes, the ones he wore the day he died at Columbine,” said Tom Mauser, whose son was killed in the Columbine mass shooting. “I think this kind of event with shoes offers a very powerful metaphor both for how we miss the victims who once filled those shoes, and also for how we see ourselves wanting to walk in their place, seeking change, so that others don’t have to walk this painful journey.”

    People across the country, including celebrities, donated shoes to the display, which Avaaz said covered more than 10,000 square feet of grounds outside the Capitol. Several Democratic lawmakers visited the site, taking the opportunity to call out congressional inaction on gun reform.

    According to CNN, Avaaz took the 7,000 figure from a 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics report, which found that almost 1,300 children die from gunshot wounds in the U.S. every year.

    Tom Mauser lost his son Daniel at Columbine. He’s at the Capitol today to say #NotOneMore. 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…)

    The Art of Getting Even

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    Filed under: Art Pranks, art pranks, Parody, Prank News

    Don’t get mad get even. Interlochen Center for the Arts prankees prank back… with a flourish.

    Art Prank At Museum Fundraiser Goes Viral
    by Beth Milligan
    Traverse Ticker
    Feb. 27, 2018

    Instructors in the Visual Arts department at Interlochen Center for the Arts stole the spotlight at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum A-Ha! Fundraiser this weekend with a prank on one of their colleagues – a stunt that went viral on the Internet.

    Mindy Ronayne and Megan Hildebrandt, both Interlochen instructors and members of the Great Lakes Children’s Museum board, snuck a last-minute addition into the fundraiser’s silent auction Saturday. The duo submitted a parody painting inspired by a famous portrait of Gerard Andriesz Bicker, painted by the Dutch artist Bartholomeus Van Der Helst in the 17th century and exhibited at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The head on the parody painting was of Andy Schmitt, director of information technology at Interlochen. The bid card for the painting read:

    Portrait of Andrea D. Schmitty: First President of the Grand Traverse Feline Association and sister-in-law of Ann, the wife of lumber baron and Father of Traverse City, Perry Hannah. Andrea was also a successful game hunter and lifelong advocate in the fight to stop the cat skinning trade. Widely known as a tinkering enthusiast.


    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…)

    Terror Pranking, a Brief History

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    Filed under: Hoax Etiquette, Prank News, Pranksters, The History of Pranks, What Makes a Good Prank?

    There’s a huge difference between socially revealing satirical commentary and scaring the shit out of everyone…

    Inside the world of extreme ‘terror pranking’
    February 11, 2018

    Fake bombs, staged murders, stunts that resemble acid attacks – as competition for eyeballs on YouTube gets fiercer every day, popular vloggers are resorting to extreme pranks to get clicks.

    Arya Mosallah’s video channel had more than 650,000 subscribers. But his YouTube career came skidding to a halt with a video titled “Throwing Water On Peoples Faces PT. 2”. In it, he approaches several people, and after a brief conversation, throws a cup of water in their faces.

    Many viewers thought the prank in the video looked like an attempt by the British social media star to mimic an acid attack – amid a recent increase in such crimes in London and across the UK.

    YouTube deleted Mosallah’s channel – and then a second channel he set up. He told the BBC he had not meant to reference acid attacks – but that he would continue to produce prank videos.

    But Arya Mosallah is certainly not the first YouTuber to get into trouble for prank videos. His story, along with the controversy over hugely popular Youtuber Logan Paul joking about a suicide victim to his young audience, have put a spotlight on extreme content on YouTube.

    But although it appears to be on the rise – and is getting more attention from news outlets – extreme pranking is not an entirely new phenomenon. For some time, vloggers have been faking bomb attacks and murders, tricking and frightening friends and members of the public in an attempt to up their view counts. Read the rest of this article here.

    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.

    Deepfake: AI-Assisted Porn

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    Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Media Pranks, Prank News, The Future of Pranks

    Hey! What’s my face doing on a porn star’s body?

    Everything You Need To Know About The Face-Swap Technology That’s Sweeping The Internet (And Getting Banned Everywhere)
    February 8, 2018

    Gal Gadot’s face on someone else’s body. Image: Screenshot from SendVids

    In the past couple of months, “deepfake” has gone from a nonsense word to a widely-used synonym for videos in which one person’s face is digitally grafted onto another person’s body. The most popular — and troubling — type of deepfake is artificially produced porn appearing to star famous actresses like Gal Gadot, Daisy Ridley and Scarlett Johansson. Sites like Reddit and Pornhub have made moves to ban pornographic deepfakes in recent days, but it’s never been easier for anyone with an internet connection to make disturbingly real-looking porn by mapping almost anyone’s face over those of porn performers. Here’s what you need to know.

    ‘Deepfake’ Celebrity Porn First Emerged In December

    In an only somewhat hyperbolically titled article called “AI-Assisted Fake Porn Is Here and We’re All Fucked,” Motherboard’s Samantha Cole interviewed the first Redditor to post convincing face-swapped videos, who called himself “deepfakes.” (“Deepfake” which has since become a term used the doctored videos produced by the technology.) “Deepfakes” explained how he created a porn video appearing to star Gal Gadot. Read the rest here.

    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.

    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.

    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.