|Billboard liberation in action|
The lies and excesses of advertising have been known for a long time. Today, a small group of activists are fighting back in a direct and highly visible manner. Advertising's toxicity is being revealed by culture jammers such as guerrilla artists, monkey wrenchers, and billboard liberators.
Mark Dery, who writes about the visual landscape and 'unpopular culture', describes the group of whacktivists that are hitting back:
"Billboard bandits, pirate TV and radio broadcasters, media hoaxers, and other vernacular media wrenchers who intrude on the intruders, investing ads, newscasts, and other media artifacts with subversive meanings are all culture-jammers."
|Move along, or not. Either way, nothing to buy here.|
As Jack Napier, of the Billboard Liberation Front says, "Your brain is the ultimate editing device. Use it. The corporations, the government, the religions, your Mom, none of them can occupy and control your mind unless you invite them in…"
|Monkey wrenchers put the environment (and people) before profits|
We can all engage in a little culture jamming wherever we are. We can spread the word by being happiness hackers, people unafraid of deploying a healthy dose of subversive silliness in order to awaken the slumbering consumer class.
The Barbie Liberation Front (BLO) is a group of culture jammers that gained notoriety by changing the voice boxes of talking Barbie and GI Joe dolls. After performing 'surgery' on the dolls, the BLO returned them to store shelves in what they call reverse shoplifting, or shopgiving.
Teen Talk Barbies were programmed to say things like, "Vengeance is mine!" instead of "math class is tough". The hacked GI Joe dolls proclaimed, "The beach is the place for summer", and "Let's go shopping". The BLO said they wanted to reveal the Stone-Age thinking behind the cultural stereotypes that the dolls represent.
|Rocket scientist Barbie had no problem with numbers, but|
getting pay equity was another thing...
Happy culture jamming! Be creative. Spread the message. Change the world.