Blog Posts

Criticizing Dirty Money

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

Protestors target opioid drug money that funds major museums.

Nan Goldin Leads a Protest at the Guggenheim Against the Sackler Family
by Masha Gessen
New Yorker
February 10, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum is crowded after five on a Saturday, when the price of admission is “pay what you wish.” Even in below-freezing weather this weekend, the ticket line snaked around the corner. People came in groups, couples, and alone. As happens in large crowds, at times the noise level rose spontaneously, as though something or someone were demanding attention, but immediately subsided. At any given time, there were people milling around in the lobby, looking at the door as though waiting for someone and up at the galleries as though planning something. Some of them were.

A bit after six, a group went up to one of the galleries. They were people of different ages, from their late teens to their sixties. They could have been New Yorkers or visitors; some of them looked like they might be artists, and some looked like they were probably students. They were all of those things. If one looked closely, similar groups of between a half-dozen and a dozen people were coalescing on all levels of the museum.

A few minutes after six-thirty, the photographer Nan Goldin appeared in the lobby. There was a flurry of hugs and hellos, and several people snapped photos. It could have been a celebrity sighting—Goldin, whose work is in the museum’s collection, is a Guggenheim type of celebrity. She stood in the middle of the lobby, visible from almost any point of the great round building. Then the noise level rose and did not subside.

Small flyers started falling, as though from the glass dome, swirling like snow as they descended the six stories. Within minutes the floor was coated in white. The sheets of paper were prescriptions, made out by a “Robert Sackler, MD,” to a Solomon R. Guggenheim, for eighty-milligram pills of OxyContin, to be taken twenty-four times a day. Each script contained a quotation: “If OxyContin is uncontrolled, it is highly likely that it will eventually be abused. . . . How substantially would it improve our sales?”

Read the rest of this story here.

Muppets Revenge

Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

At 11:00 a.m., April 23, 2012, artist Joey Skaggs will lead a band of outraged costumed muppets down to the Goldman Sachs offices at 200 West Street in NYC. Skaggs will be peddling his Mobile Homeless Homes prototype — a low cost alternative living space for the millions of upside-down, underwater or foreclosed homeowners who have lost their houses due to the banking crisis that caused the real estate collapse.


Outraged Homeless Muppets to Converge on Goldman Sachs

“Homelessness is a great American tragedy. Our financial system and government have let us down and we, together, must take a stand to change the way the system works. With over 11 million homes underwater and millions in foreclosure, people are frightened, distressed and angry,” says Joey Skaggs.

Although not a cure, Mobile Homeless Homes (MHH) offers a temporary solution — low cost alternative living spaces for the millions of upside-down, underwater or foreclosed homeowners who have lost their houses due to the banking crisis that caused the real estate collapse. The MHH centerpiece is a camouflage, stealth, mobile home made from a series of connected plastic garbage cans, propelled by a tricycle, that will be undetectable by authorities. It blends into any urban environment. (more…)

Announcing Mobile Homeless Homes

Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

From Joey Skaggs:

Mobile Homeless Homes

Stephen Colbert Explores Presidential Run

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Satire

Stephen Colbert readies for presidential run
by Kim Geiger
LA Times
January 13, 2012

After hinting that he might jump into the South Carolina presidential primary race, satirist Stephen Colbert on Thursday moved one step closer to becoming a presidential candidate, declaring the formation of an “exploratory committee” and turning over his super-PAC to fellow Comedy Central host Jon Stewart.

The move is largely symbolic – Colbert missed the Nov. 1 deadline to join the GOP primary ballot and has not qualified for the ballot in any other states. It’s unclear how he plans to win votes in South Carolina, where write-in votes “are not allowed in political party primaries or for president and vice-president,” according to the South Carolina State Election Commission.

But it allows Colbert to press forward with what has become a running skit mocking federal campaign laws.


Author Budd Schulberg (1914-2009), RIP

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Filed under: First Amendment Issues

Moral of the Story, An Ethicist’s take on the news:
Can You Hate the Artist but Love the Art?
by Randy Cohen
August 12, 2009


The Issue

Last Wednesday Budd Schulberg died at 95. He was a journalist (particularly astute about boxing), a novelist (“˜”˜What Makes Sammy Run“™”™) and above all a screenwriter: “˜”˜On the Waterfront“™”™ is a glorious accomplishment. He was also a man who named names to the House Un-American Activities Committee. It is not easy to reconcile Schulberg”™s disheartening testimony with his splendid work. Does rejecting the artist mean rejecting the art? (more…)