CULTURE JAMMING: the act of using existing mass media to comment on those very media themselves, using the original medium’s communication method. It is based on the idea that advertising is little more than propaganda for established interests, and that there is little escape from this propaganda in industrialized nations. Culture jamming differs from artistic appropriation (which is done for art’s sake), and from vandalism where destruction or defacement is the primary goal.
Culture jamming is funny.
It is most definitely trickery at its best. Take The Yes Men. They pose as the WTO on their website www.gatt.org and are occasionally mistaken as the real WTO and invited to speak at conferences, on satellite television news programs, and the like, as representatives of the WTO. And they do their very best to show up and speak about very absurd and ridiculous ideas, in an attempt to be questioned or booed by their audiences, and very often find themselves subject to an audience who politely claps at the end of a presentation where the presenter rips off his 3-piece suit to reveal a skin-tight golden one-piece with an enormous blow-up penis/television monitor, and suggests that this suit be worn by managers everywhere.
To quote Matt Soar… “We are living in strange times.”
There is something oddly appealing about culture jamming … the satirical humour that makes you feel like you’re in on some good joke …
The idea that maybe someone out there is making some small difference.
The Yes Men have received international news coverage of their WTO talks. They are creating a stir and getting the attention of the media … they have put out a film with United Artists (which was previewed last Thursday at Cinema Politica), they have a book deal. And they think it’s funny.
For a comprehensive list of links, as well as a detailed explanation of the term ‘hacktivism’, click here.