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Bomb Magazine Cover

The Spring 2009 (#107) issue of Bomb Magazine includes an interview I did with Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonano of the Yes Men.  You can read the whole interview on Bomb Magazine’s website, but it looks nicer in the magazine.

Here’s an excerpt:

SL So, when you two are doing these speaking gigs, do you basically play the same character each time? I know for each one you have to use different names, but as “actors” do you imagine them to be the same people? What goes into creating these businessmen characters?

MB If you look at someone like Jack Nicholson, he always seems like he is sort of the same even when he is playing different characters. I think we must be something like that.

AB Except that we can’t act.

MB Right. What I meant was that if we were actors, it might be like that. The fact is that we have no clue what we are doing when we are up there. Luckily, the audiences think we really are who we say we are, so there is no need to act at all. And our character development has no particular method. It’s there in some intuitive way, but we don’t think too much about it.

SL Are the projects that have been big in the media—Dow Chemical and New Orleans, most obviously—are those working against a secondary message you are trying to communicate to activists? Which is that this strategy might be worth considering, and that it’s totally within reach? Neither of you have any real formal training as “imposters” and from what I have gathered hanging around y’all for the past year is that this is very much a seat-of-the-pants operation.

MB Yeah, we barely have pants at all, really. Anyone could do stuff like this, and in our movies that comes through, I think.

AB Which encourages a lot of activists, not necessarily because they want to use the same methods, but because they see how the world of big business is not a fortress . . . it’s a house of cards.

Anyone who has followed this blog obviously knows that I am still working at Eyebeam, which means I was awarded a Senior Fellowship.  It started some time ago, but Eyebeam is making a celebration out of it for the Senior Fellows and the incoming Residents.

Eyebeam awards more than $175,000 in stipends to 10 artists working at the intersection of art and technology. The artists will be honored during an invitation-only reception and presentation.

6:00PM, March 26, 2009
RSVP here
Eyebeam, 540 W. 21st St. (btw 10th and 11th Aves.)

New York City, March 11, 2009-Eyebeam is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2009 Senior Fellowships and Winter/Spring Residencies, who will be honored during a reception at 6:00PM, March 26. Stipends totaling nearly $175,000, as well as 24/7 access to Eyebeam’s state-of-the-art new media design, digital research, and fabrication studios have been awarded to 10 artists to support performance, experimental film, wearable technologies, open culture, and sustainable art.

“Eyebeam is really periscopic in terms of spotting interdisciplinary talent,” said Martin Duus, Eyebeam’s director of strategy and development. “The program is unmatched in the degree of support it provides to artists and creative thinkers exploring the impact of technology on contemporary culture,” he continued. “The 200 or so alumni are ample evidence that the program continues to be a launching pad for many successful careers in the art world and beyond.”

The unique, invitation-only reception will offer an entry point into Eyebeam’s unparalleled, highly competitive residency and fellowship programs, as well as a chance to tour the labs, meet and speak with the artists, and learn more about their work and areas of focus.

The event will take the form of short presentations complemented by viewing stations displaying elements of the artists’ past and current projects. Speakers will include Executive Director Amanda McDonald Crowley and Alexander Galloway, Eyebeam alum.

I’m honored and tickled that a group in Germany has used our utopic future newspaper concept! I believe Andy and I talked briefly with some people in Germany who were planning something…

From Deutche Welle

Anti-Globalization Group Circulates Faked German Newspaper from 2010

What will the world be like a year from now? Left-wing activist group Attac publicized their ideas by printing realistic-looking copies of a prominent German newspaper — dated May 1, 2010.

Attac activists distributed 150,000 copies of their faked, eight-page version of the German weekly Die Zeit in over 90 cities across the country.

With the top headline “At the end of the tunnel,” the paper presented reports the group said it thinks can become reality within 13 months.

Today’s news about the global finance crisis, world hunger and climate change leave a lot of people feeling helpless, said Attac member Jutta Sundermann.

“We fast forwarded time and wrote about the news we want to read about tomorrow — not about some distant paradise, but about concrete changes that are conceivable and attainable,” she added.

Articles describe the beginning of a “new era,” where banks have been nationalized, the Group of 20 industrialized and emerging countries see eye to eye, and polluters are taken to task.

Detailed print and online imitations

Attac mimicked the weekly newspaper’s format down to the last detail, though the final version was a bit smaller. They also recreated an equally detailed online version.

Die Zeit said it would not take legal action against the group.

“Naturally, we can never endorse an imitation of Die Zeit in print or online, particularly not in quality as good as this,” said the paper’s editor-in-chief, Giovanni di Lorenzo. “But it’s not surprising that Attac chose Die Zeit for this campaign, as it’s the largest national newspaper of quality.”

The paper has a circulation of over half a million.

In a similar campaign, the American activist group Yes-Men published a false version of The New York Times.
The Attac version’s website is die-zeit.net.

I just realized that I am going to be spending roughly 40 of the next 60 days on the road.  If you are in any of these places, please get in touch!

  1. March 20th-23rd Washington DC - visit the ‘rents
  2. March 29th - April 4th Chicago - Chiacgo Roadshow
  3. April 8th - 14th Liverpool - FACT Climate for Change
    1. Denmark - quick trip while in Liverpool for EnterAction conference
  4. April 23rd-26th Austin - visit my brother
  5. April 29 - May 1st New Mexico - visiting the IFDM program at UNM
  6. July 10-22 (ish) Gijón, Spain - Invisible Threads will be a part of the upcoming exhibition called FEEDFORWARD - The Angel of History curated by Steve Dietz, Christiane Paul. The show will run from July 17th through January 11th, 2010 at LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón, Spain with an opening reception and symposium during the opening weekend.

Chicago Roadshow Poster

Michael Mandiberg on the Staten Island Ferry Michael Mandiberg on the Staten Island Ferry

(Ferry photos by Cynthia Chris)

Michael Mandiberg on the Staten Island Ferry

I’m not sure whether to be honored or totally embarrassed, but the College of Staten Island marketing department decided I was photogenic enough to put my picture on an ad that is on the Staten Island Ferry

The Postmasters Show on

Alarm
ArtSlant

Bright Bike on:

Trends Update
Rocketboom
DVICE
Gizmodo
Gizmodo.br
Engadget.es
Hilavitkutin
Core 77

Cycleroad
BikeCommuters
Dooby Brain

Digital Foundations on:

blographos
Soulsoup
The Current Buzz

I FFFound out that one of the cover designs ended up on FFFound

Can we get any more degrading

We have to dump all of our water, in some cases women are being forced to remove their undergarments, and of course we all have to take off our shoes, now we are forced to look at ads in the process. Not that the security check point was a particularly sacred or peaceful place anyway, but man, seeing those really bright ads at that moment is not the kind of branding they want. I’m thinking: “damnit, I hate shoes right now.” And then I have to stare into a box that is telling me “you love shoes. you need shoes. buy more shoes.”

art slant

Yaelle Amir writes about “the future is not what it used to be” on ArtSlant:

Several of the artists have elected to shed light on the internet’s negative affects by way of nostalgia, as they highlight what it has ultimately replaced. This approach is most clearly exemplified by Kristin Lucas’ colorful wax sculptures of obsolete technologies, as well as Michael Mandiberg’s laser-cut paper dictionary and daily newspapers, which have been rendered unreadable as a metaphor for their online alternatives.