Pranksters

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If Your Medical Bills Make You Sick, Sell Them.

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Media Pranks, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, The Prank as Art

Here’s a creative prescription for managing your medical bills.


Oversized hospital bill paintings sold to pay off medical debts, by Oscar Holland, CNN, October 5, 2020

An art collective has come up with a novel way of paying off three people’s medical debt: turning their hospital bills into huge paintings and selling them to collectors for thousands of dollars.

The paintings were sold for the same amount owed on each bill, with the money used to pay off the applicants’ medical debts. Credit: MSCHF

New York-based MSCHF, which is known for its irreverent art projects, identified Americans with sizable medical debt, including one with a bill for over $47,000. The group then hand-painted the invoices on 6-foot-tall canvases and sold them on the art market for precisely the amount owed.

Beyond settling these individuals’ debts with the money generated, the artists aim to make a wider commentary about the US health care system. Over 137 million people in the United States reported medical financial hardship, a 2019 study found.

Read more here.

The Art of Protest, a New Film by Indecline

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

Check out Indecline’s new film in Rolling Stone. h/t Dino


From: Indecline Debuts ‘The Art of Protest’ Documentary, Rolling Stone

In activist-artist collective Indecline’s new documentary, protest art is shown as not only relevant, but necessary for change

When Indecline started work on their documentary The Art of Protest in late 2018, they wanted to tell the history of resistance art. Over the previous two years — since they broke onto the national consciousness with their naked-Trump, guerilla-art instillation The Emperor Has No Balls, the activist-artist collective has staged numerous pieces of public art in protest of the Trump presidency. To tell the story, they reached out to Colin Day (director of Saving Banksy) and started shopping around the idea to streaming services. But as the pandemic unfolded, and the Black Lives Matter movement reignited across the streets of the nation, their mission changed. As a representative for Indecline puts it: “What was once set up to be a deep dive into the history of resistance art, soon became a ‘call to action.’”

Now, the 45-minute film — executive produced and distributed by Zero Cool films and premiering here on Rolling Stone — traces the history of protest art, from the Civil Rights movement through the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. It does so in a way that is equal parts gut-wrenching and exhilarating, illustrating how despite the passage of time, little has changed. To this end, they were careful in their curation of who to talk to: not only did they bring in the heavy hitters most associated with the modern protest-art movement — like Shephard Fairey, Nadya Tolokonnikova, Tom Morello, and Dave Navarro (who also helped to finance the film) — they were careful to incorporate a wider range of voices. Leaders from youth-run 501(c) The Sunrise Movement talk about uniting movements, while the Yes Men discuss bringing absurdity to Capitol Hill. Atlanta’s Ash Nash remembers organizing the “Kaeperbowl” in Atlanta in 2019, spurring artists across the city to paint images of Colin Kaepernick in public places as the Super Bowl rolled into town. Damien Echols, one of the West Memphis Three, speaks to being literally saved from death row by protest art.

At the heart of the film is Indecline’s work over the past four years. Read the rest of this article here.

As Bugs Bunny would say: Comment Ca Va, Doc?

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Political Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News, Pranksters

Whether you’re raising awareness about food waste or trying to keep people from smoking, tons of carrots seem to be the way to do it…


32 tons of carrots dumped on London street for art installation, by Ben Hooper, September 30, 2020

Angry French tobacconists dump tons of carrots on Paris streets, by Robert Myles, July 24 2015

Political Activism as Publicity Stunt

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks, Pranksters, Publicity Stunts, Satire

Sacha Baron Cohen congratulates Donald Trump on the occasion of his massive, very great victory over Joe Biden in the first presidential debate of 2020.


Sacha Baron Cohen capitalizes on debate with fake ‘Borat’ Trump endorsement, by Ian Mohr, Page Six, September 29, 2020

Sacha Baron Cohen used the debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on Tuesday night to seemingly drum up buzz for his expected “Borat” sequel by releasing a fake Trump endorsement from Kazakhstan.

It was reported earlier in the day that Amazon had bought the new “Borat” film.

Baron Cohen has in the past stolen the spotlight at events from the Cannes Film Festival to the MTV Movie Awards to promote his films in character. This time, he released a video on a Twitter feed purporting to be the Republic of Kazakhstan. The clip also included a logo for the fictional group, Kazakhs Against Foreign Meddling.

The trailer posted to Twitter proclaims, “Vote for Trump or you will be crushed.” It also calls Trump the “strongest premier in history,” and makes fun of the president’s stands on the coronavirus pandemic, Black Live Matter, #MeToo and other hot-button topics.

But the clip says as a disclaimer, “This ad may contain false information.” Baron Cohen has been a vocal Trump opponent in Hollywood.

Read the whole story here.

Shining a Light on Worker Protests at the Guggenheim

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Media Pranks, Political Challenges, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters

Guerrilla projections highlight workers concerns.


“Open for Exploitation”: Artists Project Messages on Guggenheim Museum Ahead of Reopening, by Hakim Bishara, Hyperallergic.com, September 29, 2020

The artist-activist groups Artists for Workers and the Illuminator organized the projections in solidarity with the Guggenheim’s unionized workers and workers of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

A guerrilla projection on the Guggenheim Museum’s facade, reading “Seeking New Management” (all images from Illuminator)

Yesterday, September 28, the artist-activist groups Artists for Workers (AFW) and the Illuminator descended on the Guggenheim Museum in New York for a series of guerrilla projections on its facade. The action was held in solidarity with the Guggenheim’s unionized workers and workers of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi ahead of the museum’s New York reopening this week (September 30 for members and October 3rd for the general public).

Traffic was scarce on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue when an old white van parked in front of the Guggenheim at 7:40pm last night. The vehicle, retrofitted to raise a large projector through an opening in its roof, belonged to the Illuminator. This is the third time that the group directed its projector at the Guggenheim’s spiral structure: It did it with the group Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.) in 2016 and 2014, and with Visual AIDS in 2015.

Members of the Illuminator setting up their projector in front of the Guggenheim

Read more here.

Internet Reflections: The World Helps Wife Prank Husband

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Filed under: Media Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire

Wife’s prank on sleeping husband goes viral. Read the whole story on CNN here.

The Mouse That Roared Reboot

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Filed under: Media Pranks, Parody, Prank News, Pranksters

Meet the man, His Excellency President Kevin Baugh, who runs his own country, the Republic of Molossia, inside the U.S.
h/t Eli Gesner

Click to watch a video on Instagram from @cnn

Alternative animated video about The Republic of Molossia

Throwing Money Around Can Lead to Jail Time

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News, Pranksters

Bank Robber Prank yields fun for some and felony charge for others. Pretending to rob a bank is a YouTube prank “genre”. These guys had fun…

Bank Robber Prank, September 20, 2019 (Over 10M views on YouTube)

These guys, not so much. Stokes twins BANK ROBBER PRANK (gone wrong), March 30, 2020

And, then…

Twin YouTube Stars Alan and Alex Stokes Charged with Felonies After Staging Bank Robbery Pranks, by Ashley Boucher, People, August 5, 2020

Twin YouTubers have been charged with felony counts after they pretended to be bank robbers for prank videos filmed in California last year.

Alan and Alex Stokes, 23, are each facing a felony count of false imprisonment effected by violence, menace, fraud, or deceit and one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting an emergency, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced in a press release Wednesday.

The twins are accused of dressing in all black and wearing ski masks while carrying around duffel bags of cash last October.

According to the DA’s office, Alan and Alex ordered an Uber driver while posing as bank robbers on October 15, beginning the caper around 2:30 p.m. The driver refused to drive them, and a bystander believed they were trying to carjack the Uber driver.

When police arrived, they ordered the Uber driver out of the car at gunpoint, releasing him when they realized he was not involved. Read the whole story here.

Statues That Should Be Torn Down

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

“There shall be no golden idols…”


Golden ‘Statues’ Memorializing Donald Trump’s Most Divisive Moments Have Popped Up Around Washington, DC, Courtesy of an Ad Guru, Sarah Cascone, ArtNet News, July 21, 2020

Bryan Buckley hopes to remind voters of just how poorly Trump has handled the challenges of 2020.

Bryan Buckley, Now Go Back to School. Photo courtesy of the Trump Statue Initiative.

Big, shiny, gold statues of Donald Trump sound like they would be right up the president’s alley—but a new art project, titled the “Trump Statue Initiative,” uses the figures to instead memorialize his worst moments of 2020.

Street performers painted head-to-toe in metallic gold paint posed as still as stone atop massive plinths that hailed Trump as the “destroyer of civil rights and liberties.” The trio of “statues” appeared over the weekend in sites across Washington, DC.

Filmmaker Bryan Buckley decided to stage the project in part because of the way public statues have made headlines all summer, with activists outraging Trump with their efforts to remove memorials to Confederate leaders and other problematic historical figures. In response, the president has not only beefed up the law against vandalizing statues, but also issued an executive order to create a “National Garden of American Heroes.”

Bryan Buckley, The Bunker. Photo courtesy of the Trump Statue Initiative.

“I noticed that Trump was obsessed with statues,” Buckley told AdAge. “I felt like the best thing we could do was to create these very honest statues of the legacy he’s living right now, that let the world see exactly who he is.” Read the whole article here.

We Are The Worst!

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Filed under: Parody, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire

Founders Sing says, “The worst among us have come together to record a charity single to benefit… themselves!”

Watch the video:

John Lewis, RIP

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

From @rebecca.solnit: “John Lewis, bigger than Robert E. Lee, Richmond, VA, last night.”

Bully Baiting

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

It doesn’t take much to provoke knee jerk reactions…
h/t Eli


The Troll: A fake flag burning at Gettyburg was only his latest hoax, by Shawn Boburg and Dalton Bennett, Washington Post, July 17, 2020

A Berner Sanders supporter has provoked the far right for years using online aliases, sometimes with dangerous results.

Watch the video

Adam Rahuba, a former concert promoter, works part-time as a food-delivery driver and a DJ. At 38, he spent most of the past year staying on a friend’s couch in a small town north of Pittsburgh.

A Washington Post investigation found that Rahuba is also the anonymous figure behind a number of social media hoaxes — the most recent played out in Gettysburg on Independence Day — that have riled far-right extremists in recent years and repeatedly duped partisan media outlets.

Rahuba once claimed that activists were planning to desecrate a Confederate cemetery in Georgia, The Post found. He seeded rumors of an organized effort to report Trump supporters for supposed child abuse. And he promoted a purported grass-roots campaign to confiscate Americans’ guns.

These false claims circulated widely on social media and on Internet message boards. They were often amplified by right-wing commentators and covered as real news by media outlets such as Breitbart News and the Gateway Pundit.

The hoaxes, outlandish in their details, have spurred fringe groups of conspiracy-minded Americans to action by playing on partisan fears. They have led to highly combustible situations — attracting heavily armed militia members and far-right activists eager to protect values they think are under siege — as well as large mobilizations of police. Read the rest of the article here.

Trolled by the Trump Campaign

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Filed under: Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire

TikTok’s @fishie.fish tells the hilarious story of what happened after she signed up to attend Trump’s fatefully under-attended rally in Tulsa…

Watch the video retweated by The Lincoln Project

Mr Baby Trump in His Own Words

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Filed under: Media Pranks, Political Pranks, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire

Jimmy Kimmel presents “Mr Baby Trump” who never ever ever does anything wrong…
h/t Andrea & Linda

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Satirical Ode to Racism

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

In an attempt to piss gas on a fire, Sacha Baron Cohen’s fake redneck band croons disturbingly racist lyrics to a receptive crowd.


Sacha Baron Cohen Led a Far-Right Militia Group in a Deeply Racist Singalong, by Gabrielle Bruney, Esquire, June 29, 2020

Disguised in padded overalls and a hat, the prankster infiltrated the Washington Three Percent rally this weekend.

Back in 2018, Sacha Baron Cohen slapped down suggestions that his Showtime political prank series Who Is America? would return for a second season. The show, which found him adopting a variety of disguises in order to attempt to dupe Americans, particularly right wing political figures, into doing horrifyingly offensive and just plain ridiculous stuff—naturally hinged on the element of surprise. “We relied on the fact that no one was expecting me,” he told Deadline in 2018. “I hadn’t done anything undercover for over a decade and so nobody thought, ‘Oh wait a minute, is this a Sacha Baron Cohen character?’” With everyone aware that Baron Cohen is back in the wigs and prosthetic noses business, it didn’t seem likely that he’d be trying anything soon.

But that’s exactly what he would say, right, if he wanted to throw people off his trail. Because Baron Cohen may be back to his old stunts, as Variety confirmed that he was behind Saturday’s high-effort trolling of a right-wing event.

On Saturday, Olympia, Washington hosted a rally for militia group the Washington Three Percent. The organization’s leader, Matt Marshall, told NPR that a week before the event, a mysterious organization called Back to Work USA contacted the Three Percent and offered to pay for the rally and book country star Larry Gatlin to perform. It all seemed to be going as planned, until a late-comer bluegrass band took the stage. The unusually accented lead singer, wearing what appeared to be suspiciously padded overalls and a cowboy hat, lead the thin crowd in a sing-a-long whose lyrics included, “Journalists, what we gonna do? Chop them up like the Saudis do.” Read the whole story here.