Slovenian premiere screening of a documentary film accompanied by a lecture Back in the Sixties, people belonging to the American countercultures realized that elaborate media pranks could be an effective form of social activism. What they have done in the last decades has been of great importance for the new generations of artists and activists
Slovenian premiere screening of a documentary film accompanied by a lecture
Back in the Sixties, people belonging to the American countercultures realized that elaborate media pranks could be an effective form of social activism. What they have done in the last decades has been of great importance for the new generations of artists and activists that learned from these pioneers how to challenge the system by using the disruptive potential of jokes: a practice that, as the design collective Metahaven argues in the book Can Jokes Bring Down Governments?, is especially effective in times of austerity.
Artist, social activist, educator and prankster Joey Skaggs was one of these people. For decades, mass media have been the main stage for his performances. His work incorporates guerrilla tactics and traditional advertising and public relations techniques to promote his staged performances. Throughout his career, Skaggs has used several aliases such as Kim Yung Soo, Joe Bones, Joseph Bonuso, Giuseppe Scaggioli, Dr. Joseph Gregor, and the Rev. Anthony Joseph. He has been a doctor, a lawyer, an Indian chief. He ran a bordello for dogs, directed a celebrity sperm bank, and was the capo de capo of the Fat Squad, a paramilitary organization dedicated to wiping out obesity. His cockroach extract vitamin was invented to cure the world’s ailments, and he was the only man ever to windsurf from Hawaii to California.
These and many other performances have been diligently reported as fact by domestic and international news media for over fifty years. Yet every one of these so-called news stories was the creation of conceptual artist and performer Joey Skaggs. His elaborately staged media hoaxes, which brilliantly satirize socio-political and cultural issues, have two overriding goals: to expose hypocrisy and effect social change.
In Slovenia, he is most notorious for the Stop BioPEEP hoax and the one related to Matjaž Rogelj, a young law student who back in 2001 announced that he, representing all of Europe, had won the first prize in a world competition in computer programming in Rio de Janeiro.
Tuesday, 10 Maj 2016, 8 pm, Katedrala
Art of the Prank film screening
Art of the Prank (directed by: Andrea Marini, 95 min) is an emotional journey following the evolution of artist Joey Skaggs, a fierce proponent of independent thinking and the man who has turned the media hoax into an art form. With unprecedented access to the man and his archives, the 95-minute documentary interweaves a current unfolding hoax with a look behind-the-scenes at some classic performance pieces (all reported as fact by a wide range of prestigious journalists) plus commentary from co-conspirators and others. The resulting twists and turns provide unprecedented insight into Joey’s work as an artist, activist and social satirist. Additional information>
Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, in collaboration with the Center for urban culture – Kino Šiška
Tuesday, 10 Maj 2016, 11 am–6 pm, Katedrala
Social Activism Through Media Manipulation worshop
The workshop is based on the Culture Jamming and Media Activism course that Joey Skaggs developed and taught for the Media Communications Department of New York’s School of Visual Arts. With the advent of online social networks and Twitter, new opportunities abound for social activism. Skaggs explores the field of new technologies to communicate ideas and grab attention, and also shows how performance art, video, theatre, graphic design, advertising and public relations can be used to manipulate media in order to advance a cause.
Participants in the workshop will identify the social issues that concern them, analyze their target audience, and conceive and/or initiate a plan for social action by manipulating the media.
Organised by Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana in collaboration with Kino Šiška.
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