Friday, October 30, 2009
Art Activism's Greatest Hits
On October 19, 2009, performance artists, The Yes Men, held a fake US Chamber of Commerce press conference at The National Press Club. A small assembly of journalists listened attentively as "Hingo Sembra," posing as a Chamber official, announced that the behemoth business federation had revised its stance on Climate Change, and would discontinue lobbying against the Kerry-Boxer bill (which calls for significant reductions in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions). Moments later the real Chamber Spokesperson, Eric Wohlschlegel, burst through the doors of the conference room, breathlessly proclaiming the speaker to be a fraud! After a few dramatic seconds of Will the Real Chamber of Commerce Official Please Stand Up Game, Mr. Wohlschlegel made a strategic error by suggesting that the press direct questions to him, not the imposter. "Is the position of The Chamber of Commerce that Climate Change does not exist?" one journalist demanded. Mr. Wohlschlegel opted to ignore the question. He realized too late that any reaction would draw even more attention to the ne'er-do-well policies being exposed, and therein lies the brilliant quandary, which has become a winning tactic of The Yes Men. Read the rest of my top ten list on Glasstire.org.
Image: The Yes Men, Chamber of Commerce Press Conference Hoax