“Hippie Bus Tour to Queens” Remembered 50 Years Later

posted by
Filed under: All About Pranks, Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Media Pranks, Pranksters, Satire

Fifty years ago, artist/activist Joey Skaggs took sixty hippies on a sight-seeing bus tour to suburban Queens. He called this satirical performance his “cultural exchange tour”.

Read his story here on Artsy.net

Here’s a preview…


When Pranks Become Works of Art
Artsy.net
September 19, 2018

Fifty years ago, on a beautiful Sunday morning—September 22, 1968—I stood welcoming my guests onto a rented Greyhound sightseeing bus on the corner of St. Mark’s and 2nd Avenue in New York City. While the rock band the Group Image loaded their equipment into the luggage area on the side of the bus, writer Paul Krassner quipped hilariously about our upcoming odyssey. The 60-seat Greyhound bus was soon to be completely filled with long-haired, beaded, camera-toting hippies—some friends, some total strangers. The plan was to visit the borough of Queens in an ironic reversal, mocking the tour buses that relentlessly came to Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side to gawk at the hippies. It was my cultural exchange tour. We were excited. We felt like pirates on a galleon. After Howard Smith wrote up my plan in his weekly Village Voice column, artist Yayoi Kusama asked if she could come paint polka dots on a troupe of naked dancers when we stopped at a local head shop on Queens Boulevard, where the Group Image would play.

I was young, but already known for my provocative art. In 1966, on Easter Sunday, I had dragged a decayed skeleton of Jesus Christ on a 10-foot-tall cross to Tompkins Square Park on the Lower East Side, to protest man’s inhumanity to man. I took the sculpture out again on Easter in 1967, this time to a Central Park “Be In.” This notoriety may have led to a visit by a neatly dressed, middle-aged black man who rang the buzzer of my loft on East 2nd Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue. He said he had come to buy a ticket for his daughter to ride on my bus to Queens. It seemed highly unlikely, so I told him I wasn’t charging for the sightseeing tour. It was completely free.

He reached in his pocket, pulled out a $5 bill, and insisted that I take it. I told him I didn’t want it, but he literally forced it on me. He then pulled out a badge and said I was busted for illegally operating a tour guide business without a license.

Read the rest of this article here.

Whaling with the Captain Boomer Collective

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

Belgium based, Captain Boomer Collective, builds installations that border reality with fictional constructs. Their latest stunt is a beached 15-metre sperm whale looks to have managed to swim up the Manzanares River before coming to an abrupt halt by the arches of the Madrid’s oldest bridge. According to The Guardian the Collective says “The beached whale is a gigantic metaphor for the disruption of our ecological system. People feel their bond with nature is disturbed. The game between fiction and reality reinforces this feeling of disturbance.” As part of the installation, “scientists” from the fictional organization, the North Sea Whale Association, take samples of skin, make autopsies and dissections in front of the public and interact with crowds while remaining in character.

The statue was previously showcased in other European locations such as Paris, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.


‘A riddle from the deep’: hyper-real whale found beached in Madrid
by Sam Jones
The Guardian
September 14, 2018

After sightings in London and Paris, whale is now making waves in Spanish capital

Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

Call me Ishmael. Or, better still, Spanish whale.

Madrid awoke on Friday morning to find that a 15-metre sperm whale had managed to swim up the Manzanares River before coming to an abrupt halt by the arches of the city’s oldest bridge.

The intrepid mammal turned out to be the hyper-real model – previously sighted as far afield as London, Paris and Antwerp – that a Belgian art collective is using to shock people into thinking about the environment.

The installation, by the Segovia Bridge, comes complete with a team of actors dressed as rescuers, who hose down the beached creature.

Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

Madrid’s city council said the whale, which will remain stranded until Sunday, was intended to act as a catalyst. “It’s meant to get people thinking, through art, about the kind of city they want to live in and what sort of part they can play in looking after the environment,” it said in a statement.

Captain Boomer, the collective behind the work, said it was aiming for something a little more primordial: “A dumb question from the sea to man. A riddle from the deep … The beached whale is a gigantic metaphor for the disruption of our ecological system. People feel their bond with nature is disturbed. The game between fiction and reality reinforces this feeling of disturbance.”

Madrileños appeared to be taking the cetacean incursion as a badge of honour. One tongue-in-cheek Twitter user regarded its arrival as further proof of the capital’s excellent water. “A sperm whale has come to die in the Manzanares,” they wrote. “WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?”

Alan Abel, RIP

by
Filed under: Media Pranks, Political Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News, Pranksters, The History of Pranks

Better check the coffin!


Alan Abel, Hoaxer Extraordinaire, Is (on Good Authority) Dead at 94
by Margalit Fox
The New York Times
Sept. 17, 2018

Credit Larry Stoddard/Associated Press

Alan Abel, a professional hoaxer who for more than half a century gleefully hoodwinked the American public — not least of all by making himself the subject of an earnest news obituary in The New York Times in 1980 — apparently actually did die, on Friday, at his home in Southbury, Conn. He was 94.

His daughter, Jenny Abel, said the cause was complications of cancer and heart failure.

Mr. Abel’s putative 1980 death, orchestrated with his characteristic military precision and involving a dozen accomplices, had been confirmed to The Times by several rigorously rehearsed confederates. One masqueraded as the grieving widow. Another posed as an undertaker, answering fact-checking calls from the newspaper on a dedicated phone line that Mr. Abel had installed, complete with its own directory-information business listing.

After the obituary was published, Mr. Abel, symbolically rising from the grave, held a gleeful news conference, and a much-abashed Times ran a retraction.

This time around, Mr. Abel’s death was additionally confirmed by the Regional Hospice and Palliative Care in Connecticut, which said it had tended to him in his last days, and Carpino Funeral Home in Southbury, which said it was overseeing the arrangements.

Read the rest of this article here.

Back-to-School Bulletproof Vests

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

LA based street artist Plastic Jesus shop-drops back-to-school bullet proof vests.


Artist Infiltrates Back-to-School Shopping Displays with Bulletproof Vests
Zachary Small
Hyperallergic.com
September 4, 2018

Plastic Jesus has replaced a handful of shopping displays with child-sized bulletproof vests as a satirization of Trump’s America.

image courtesy Plastic Jesus

If you’ve strolled through the clothing sections of a Los Angeles superstore in the past week, then it’s possible that you’ve seen a strange new item on sale. Across the city, the street artist known as Plastic Jesus has planted child-sized bulletproof vests in the displays of popular back-to-school shopping destinations like Target and Macy’s.

“WAKE THE FUCK UP,” remarked the artist in an email correspondence with Hyperallergic. “We all have the power in us to change society and make the world a better place. It’s no one else’s responsibility, only yours.”

image courtesy Plastic Jesus

Plastic Jesus is probably best-known for his exceptional trolling of President Donald Trump in Hollywood back in July 2016. It was then that Plastic Jesus constructed a tiny concrete wall around Trump’s star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, which quickly became a site of public defacement after the reality television host’s win in the presidential election. Just two weeks ago, the city of West Hollywood unanimously voted to remove Trump’s star from the Walk of Fame. (The decision ultimately lies in the hands of the Los Angeles City Council and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, who reportedly have no plans to remove it anytime soon.)

Porn Hub Caption Writer

posted by
Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Not for Kids, Satire
This post may not be suitable for all. Please proceed at your own risk!

“Deaf people love porn too and it’s my job to make sure they enjoy it on every level.”


Watch the video:
PornHub Caption Writer – Mini-Mocks from Comedy Central

h/t Digg

John Wilcock, RIP

by
Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Media Literacy

Lost another friend from long ago…

Update: Nice link from Rich Gedney of an article by Michael O’Connell in It’s All Journalism about John Wilcock (includes a 2017 audio interview):
It’s All Journalism: Underground Press Pioneer John Wilcock, 91, Dies


John Wilcock, Pioneer of the Underground Press, Dies at 91
by Robert D. McFadden
The New York Times
September 13, 2018

John Wilcock, a British journalist and travel writer who played a major role in the emergence of the alternative press at The Village Voice, The East Village Other and the Underground Press Syndicate, died on Thursday at a care facility in Ojai, Calif. He was 91.

He died after several strokes, said his biographer, Ethan Persoff.

In the 1960s and early ’70s, a freewheeling age of psychedelic drugs and antiwar protests, Mr. Wilcock led two lives. He was both the author of many “$5 a day” travel books and a driving force behind underground publications that, spurning traditional journalism, attacked political, social and cultural norms with bawdy language and comic-book imagery, all of it financed by sexually explicit advertising.

In a 1973 profile, The New York Times called Mr. Wilcock “an influential man nobody knows,” an “oracle of the nitty-gritty of inexpensive, traditional tourism” and “an apostle and chronicler of the radical underground” — although, the article noted, he looked “a bit too scruffy for a best-selling travel writer and far too straight for an underground celebrity.”

Mr. Wilcock had worked for news organizations in Britain, Canada and the United States, including The Times, and was the first news editor of The Village Voice before he helped found The East Village Other in 1965. The paper was named for Carl Jung’s definition of “the other” as “one who is outside society.”

The Other, known as EVO to its devotees, was one of the nation’s first underground newspapers. Published biweekly in New York until it folded in 1972, it had a circulation of 60,000 at its peak.

Read the rest of the article here.

Trump’s Military Parade Revisited

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks, Pranksters, Satire

Don’t postpone it, just cancel Trump’s Military Parade. It’s already been done!

Saving U.S. taxpayers at least $92 million and a lot of embarrassment, artist Joey Skaggs’ 33rd Annual April Fools’ Day Parade featured Donald Trump’s Military Extravaganza, with the world’s largest display of American military might ever! Trump pedaled a 9 foot nuclear missile craddled in a sling shot mounted on a tricycle. Masked Donald Trump look-alikes followed with a HUGE arsenal of toy weapons. They were joined by North Korean “Rocket Man” Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin look-alikes as they marched down Fifth Avenue and took a knee in front of Trump Tower.

Parade coverage on WNBC (Watch the video):

NeSpoon’s Doilies

posted by
Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Doilies writ large.


Street art with a difference: Artist creates spectacular wall-art doilies
by Paulina Alexandra
TheFirstNews.com
August 16, 2018

A Polish woman is taking the street art world by storm with her astonishing murals of doilies.

NeSpoon in Pont-l’Abbe, France, 2016. NeSpoon.

NeSpoon is nine years-old and paints murals. Actually, NeSpoon is in her thirties and has a teenage daughter but after a decade in the corporate world she wanted a clean state.

She changed her hair, took a name from The Matrix (‘there is no spoon’) and embarked on an international career as a fully-fledged street artist.

The Warsaw native is known all over the world now for her intricate doily designs which she renders in ceramic, material and painted form.

Her enormous murals of the delicate lace-work designs have seen her travel to Georgia, Hong Kong and as far away as the remote Western Australian desert.

Portugal, 2014. NeSpoon.

Berlin, 2017. NeSpoon.

Read the rest of this article here.

“Indecline” Ups the Ante with Naked Trump on a Billboard

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

Activists Indecline hoist up naked Trump. Let’s hope this clown doesn’t get away with murder.


Billboard pairs naked Trump clown statue with John Wayne Gacy quote
by Emily Van de Riet
CBS46.com
August 17, 2018

LOS ANGELES, California (Meredith) — A billboard in Los Angeles is stirring up controversy after displaying a statue of President Donald Trump as a naked clown.

The billboard reads, “A clown can get away with murder” in all capital letters. This quote is attributed to serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who infamously dressed up as a clown when he killed his victims.

The American activist group Indecline is responsible for creating the billboard. In a statement to CNN, Indecline said the message of the billboard is that American core values are being lost in the current political climate.

The group also said the use of the John Wayne Gacy quote was inspired by Trump’s own statement at a campaign rally in January 2016. At the Iowa rally, the then-presidential candidate said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

Indecline said Trump was correct about the loyalty of his base, and that such unconditional support is part of the problem.

Read the rest of this article here.

Tom Bob’s Street Art

posted by
Filed under: Creative Activism, Illusion and Magic

Artist Tom Bob takes everyday functional urban pipes, meters and hardware and turns them into creative and amusing works of art. Thanks Don.


Early Hoax?

posted by
Filed under: Art Pranks, Fact or Fiction?, The History of Pranks, The Prank as Art

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane. It’s…


The Painting “Madonna of the UFO”
FlorenceInferno.com
June 9, 2014

The “Madonna of the UFO” or “Madonna of the flying saucer” is a painting located in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence in the Hall of Hercules. Also called “Madonna and Child with the Infant St John”, the painting has been the topic of much debate between art experts and ufologists. While the painting depicts the Nativity with the infant St. John in the foreground, in the background one can see a man curiously watching an unidentified flying object (UFO).

THE AUTHOR OF THE MADONNA OF THE UFO
The painting is of unknown origin, but it probably dates from as early as the sixteenth century. The caption under the picture attributes authorship to either Sebastiano Mainardi or Jacopo del Sellaio; conversely, some scholars attribute it to Filippo Lippi, also known as “Maestro del Tondo Miller,” after the title of one of his last works.

Moreover, we only know that the work comes from the forgotten convent of Sant’Orsola in the district of San Lorenzo in Florence.

THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PAINTING
The painting is round, is one meter in diameter, and is adorned with a precious golden frame; it is located in the Hall of Hercules on the second floor of the Palazzo Vecchio, which takes its name from the coffered ceiling depicting the Twelve Labours of Hercules.

The circular painting bears the usual iconographic motif of the Renaissance: in the foreground the Virgin is seen kneeling with folded hands and leaning toward the baby, who is lying on a hem of her garment.

While the baby Jesus is reaching his hand toward his mother, St. John is attempting to support him. Behind the head of the Madonna, an ellipsoidal object can be seen in the sky, one that is very similar to modern depictions of UFOs. There is also a man painted in the background, a shepherd, with his hand on his forehead and his head turned toward the sky. Next to him is a dog that is also looking in the direction of the flying object.

Read the rest of this article here

Read more about this at Historic Mysteries.

Better Than Breaking Your Ankle in a Pothole

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

Chicago Artist Jim Bachor has a solution for road maintenance.


Artist Who Filled New York Pothole with Trump’s Face Sees Artwork Removed by City
by Zachary Small
hyperallergic.com
August 8, 2018

Some people have a face for movies. Others have a face for potholes.

In Chicago, Jim Bachor is known for beautifying the city’s dilapidated streets by filling its concrete craters with beautifully crafted mosaics of flower bouquets. There, passersby are so enthusiastic about Bachor’s street art that he has all but gained official approval from authorities to continue his work. In 2014, the city’s Transportation Department even told the Chicago Tribune that “Mr. Bachor and his art are proof that even the coldest, harshest winter can not darken the spirits of Chicagoans.”

images by Jim Bachor

But Chicago is not New York. Our streets are danker. Our potholes are bigger. And our Department of Transportation is crueler. (Shout out to the MTA!) Appropriately, then, Bachor decided to debut a new series of mosaics for this concrete bunghole where dreams are made up called “Vermin of New York.” The compilation includes dead rats, cockroaches, and pigeons — oh! — and President Donald Trump’s face.

image by Jim Bachor

“I assume most New Yorkers hate him,” Bachor replied to Hyperallergic’s request for comment.

Some people have a face for movies. Some people have a face for television. some people have a face for radio. Others, apparently, have a face for potholes.

Speaking with the New York Post, Bachor added that “it could be seen in both ways — one that you’re honoring our president or that you get to drive over Trump.”

Read the rest of the article here.

An Ass by Any Other Name is Still an Ass

posted by
Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction, Why Do a Prank?

Egyptian zoo shows its stripes.


Egypt zoo accused of painting donkey to look like a zebra
BBC News
July 26, 2018

A zoo in Egypt has denied painting black stripes on a donkey to make it look like a zebra after a photo of the animal appeared online.

Student Mahmoud Sarhan put the images on Facebook after visiting Cairo’s International Garden municipal park.

Aside from its small size and pointy ears, there were also black smudges on its face.

The pictures quickly went viral, with experts weighing in on the species of the animal.

A vet contacted by local news group Extranews.tv said that a zebra’s snout is black, while its stripes are more consistent and parallel.

Mr Sarhan told Extranews that the enclosure contained two animals and that both had been painted.

This is not the first time that a zoo has been accused of trying to fool its audience.

Unable to find a way around the Israeli blockade, a zoo in Gaza painted two donkeys to look like zebras in 2009.

Another Gaza zoo put stuffed animals on display in 2012 because of the shortages of animals.

In 2013, a Chinese zoo in Henan province tried to pass off a Tibetan mastiff dog as an African lion, and in 2017 a zoo in Guangxi province disappointed visitors by exhibiting blow-up plastic penguins.

Weeks later, another Guangxi zoo drew condemnation for displaying plastic butterflies.

Trump’s National Guard

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

Russia sends it’s finest to guard Trump’s Hollywood star. Thanks Linda and Harold.


‘Russian’ soldiers stand guard at Trump’s Walk of Fame star
by Melkorka Licea
NY Post
July 28, 2018

Two ‘Russian’ guards have been standing careful watch over President Trump’s shattered star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The satirical Soviets were first spotted Wednesday, after the star was shattered by Austin Clay, who turned himself in and is facing felony vandalism charges.

9gag.com

“Well played, California,” @thepaperword chimed in.

Funnyman Jimmy Kimmel aired footage of the stone-faced duo on his Thursday show.

“That’s what comrades do for other comrades,” he quipped.

Trump has been dogged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and most recently, criticized by his deferential treatment of strongman Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit.

“I wonder if trump actually ‘gets’ the satire here, or the irony,” wondered @dennisp101155.

Clay is the second person to wreck the star since Trump became president. Cops busted a man who took a pickax and a sledgehammer to the star last October.

The most recent vandalism sparked a series of protests and demonstrations, and even a knock-down brawl Thursday night.

Anonymous Art Donor at Colorado Capitol

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

Seems no one wants to pay for a Trump portrait. Thanks Jim.


Prankster puts Putin’s portrait in Trump’s place in Colorado
AP
July 28, 2018

The Colorado Capitol’s wall of presidential portraits is missing one — President Donald Trump.

KUSA-TV reports the group that collects private donations for the portraits hasn’t received a single dollar needed to hang Trump’s picture.

But on Thursday, a prankster placed a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin on an easel below the blank space on the wall where Trump’s portrait would go.

Putin’s portrait was removed by a tour guide, but not before state Sen. Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, tweeted a picture.

The presidential portraits cost about $10,000 and are paid for through donations.

Jay Seller of the Colorado Citizens for Culture, the group that collects the donations, says it took about four months to collect the money for the portraits of former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.