Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men is the first major exhibition by the largely faceless group of international impostors and I couldn’t be more pleased that it’s happening in Portland and in conjunction with TBA. The Yes Men set up dummy web-sites for corporations and when contacted by media sources and conference organizers, they respond by impersonating the corporation or organization in the most absurd manner possible. The exhibition features artifacts and film from some of their best and most stunning examples and is highly recommended for anyone with a keen interest in culture jamming or satire in general.
My personal favorite is the Survivaball, ostensibly a product of the Halliburton corporation and designed and presented at an insurance conference as a survival suit for corporate executives. The result is an orbital suit with 6 appendages which can be used to drain the life energy out of any living creature. The entire left wall (upon entrance) of the main exhibition space is devoted to a mural depicting it’s uses and the installation of an actual Survivaball, which is as silly as it sounds.
Other examples are even more ridiculous; the Yes Men’s WTO impersonation suggesting that slavery be re-instituted in Africa. This proposal, positioned as “full private stewardry of labor” met with shockingly little resistance when presented at a Wharton School of Business conference. If pointed satire is your thing you have to check this out; not only is it amazing, it’s FREE through October 26.