The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'culture jamming'
Some prankster has been stickering the Barclays branding on London's rental bicycles (a.k.a. the Boris Bikes), prefixing the imperative "fuck" to the sponsor's name:
Some culture-jammers in New York have affixed official-looking "Spoiler Alert" signs to LED train attival signs in the subway.
Their rationale is that the recently installed signs erode faith in the system, create false hopes, erase the "mystery and magic" of the Subway and "threaten historical social behaviors, rendering obsolete the time-honored New York tradition of leaning over the platform edge with the hope of glimpsing headlights from an approaching train".
Some anonymous culture jammer visited Bristol Zoo and affixed to the outside of a visitors' café a plaque framing it as the "Human" enclosure, drily writing up the behaviours and characteristics of H. sapiens:
Of course, given the location of this prank, one does wonder whether or not it's the work of a certain local artist.
The human diet is very adaptable to regional crop varieties and personal taste, with some groups able to live almost exclusively on chipped potatoes and sugary drinks.
Groups of humans are often fed by unrelated individuals in exchange for tokens made of paper, metal and plastic -- behaviour which can frequently be seen inside this enclosure.
(via Boing Boing)
Some unidentified pranksters in Nottingham have put up official-looking signs advising that it is legal to urinate in certain areas.
They feature a toilet sign and include the words: "Public Urination Permitted After 7.30pm".
The prank also featured a laminated note, headed with the logo of Nottingham City Council, which said the scheme was aimed at reducing the mess faced by residents outside their homes.
The notice reads: "In an attempt to reduce late night public nuisance, during the holiday period, Nottingham City Council has designated several public urination areas across the city. This urination area will be cleaned daily between the hours of 5am and 6am."The council is advising people not to follow the advice on the signs, and sending staff around to remove them as quickly as it can. So far, no photos of the signs seem to have made it to Flickr.
The shadowy phenomenon of product placement in pop music was thrust into the spotlight when culture jammers the Anti-Advertising Agency, who were running a virtual jeans-making sweatshop in Second Life as an art project, received a proposal from a product placement agency, offering to put his brand of jeans in a Pussycat Dolls song, which they published online
In the e-mail, Kluger (who has represented Mariah Carey, New Kids on the Blog, Ne-Yo, Fall Out Boy, Method Man, Lady GaGa and Ludacris) explained via e-mail that for the right price, Double Happiness Jeans could find its way into the lyrics in an upcoming Pussycat Dolls song. Crouse posted the e-mail on his blog at the Anti-Advertising Agency, an art project of sorts that's basically the philosophical mirror image of a traditional ad agency.
The Anti-Advertising Agency declined and has already drawn some attention to the practice of selling space in lyrics to advertisers through its blog. "Maybe Ludacris wants to rap about a luxury SUV, and is just looking for the right one," said Lambert. "We'll never know (everything about) how it works, because that takes the mystique out of it, and the mystique is one of the things that they can sell." But thanks to this e-mail, we at least have proof that the phenomenon is real.Meanwhile, the agency, Kluger PR (who have emailed WIRED and disowned responsibility for the actual email) has asserted that when they place products in songs, they take every care to ensure that artistic integrity is not affected:
"We are just financially taking care of the people that should be taken care of," he told us via e-mail. "If an artist like Sheryl Crow has the same target audience as XZY brand, we feel it's nothing but a strong and strategic way to pinpoint a market.
"Now, we don't want an artist to write a song specifically to promote a brand, we just feel that if it's a product that's admired by the artist and fits his/her image, we now have the capability of leveling out the playing field and making things financially beneficial for all parties involved. 'Brand-Dropping' is the term that the Kluger Agency coined to describe discreetly advertising by product mentioning in song, and we feel we can make this the way of the future without jeopardizing any artists creative outlet or typical style."I wonder how much it takes to arrange that your (virtual) brand of jeans is sufficiently admired by the Pussycat Dolls for them to (quite sincerely, of course) sing its praises. Which sounds like the artistic equivalent of the question of how much money it takes to win the amorous affections of a lady (or, indeed, gentleman) of negotiable virtue. In which case, would that make Kluger PR a pimp?
The culture jammer calling himself The Decapitator has released a video of his latest stunt—hijacking a consignment of copies of free commuter tabloid TheLondonPaper, modifying them by gruesomely beheading David Beckham in a mobile phone ad, and then droplifting the doctored copies near Old Street, all in the space of 3 hours.
(via Wired News)
Some anonymous guerilla artist has been hacking the heads off models in advertising posters in London. Dubbed the "East London Decapitator", he or she creates meticulously photoshopped overlays, with the figures' heads replaced with gory stumps and the surroundings splattered with blood, and pastes them over the advertisements. Nobody — not squeaky-clean Disney stars, not pop singers, not even computer-animated characters — is safe.here. It's pretty entertaining, as long as he/she doesn't escalate into beheading actual live models or something.
(via Wired News)
Anti-corporate culture jammers The Yes Men recently infiltrated the Gas And Oil Exposition in Calgary, Canada, posing as oil company representatives and putting forward a modest proposal to turn the bodies of all those who die in the oil crash into fuel:
As security guards led Bonanno from the room, Bichlbaum told reporters that "Without oil we could no longer produce or transport food, and most of humanity would starve. That would be a tragedy, but at least all those bodies could be turned into fuel for the rest of us."
Noting that "150,000 people already die from climate-change related effects every year," he added, "That's only going to go up - maybe way, way up. Will it all go to waste? That would be cruel."
(via Boing Boing)
After Oxfam started selling Oyster card wallets to the sorts of Independent-reading Londoners who wear their consciences on their sleeves, two malcontents have launched their own range, in the fine Londinian tradition of grumbling about the Tube:
The latest innovation in the guerilla insurgency against advertising: printable cold sores:
Printable cold sores allow us to take action! Bring these people back down to our level, and tell advertisers that you don't agree with their message. How can you help? It's easy...
- Download the printable cold sore sheet. This is optimized for use with 1" x 2 5/8" Avery Easy Peel Clear Mailing Labels, #18660.
- Print it out on a transparency sticker sheet.
- Tag an subway poster that seems appropriate.
(via Charlie Stross)
Bravo! Anti-global-warming campaigners culture-jam Poems on the Underground, the long-running art project on the Tube in London, replacing poems with anti-Esso and anti-Bush screeds:
Sing a song of Esso
A packet full of lies
and oily greasy dollars
to help the climate fry
When the wallet opened
George Bush began to sing
"The planet may be burning
but I don't see a thing"