The YES! Men

Since we are beginning a new section on tactical media, I thought I would examine on of the more famous artist duos that take on this approach. The YES! Men essentially exploit problematic social issues by impersonating famous politicians, big corporations, etc.

Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, the YES! Men, originally created a fake website to spoof the World Trade Organization. Since then, they have gone on to create 2 movies that take a satirical and shocking approach as they impersonate powerful entities.

Many people have heard of the YES! Men, as the work has become so famous, but I had not until recently. I think their work is very interesting and powerful. It raises the question how important it is for art to be in the public sphere.

I personally think it is very important and that tactical media raises attention to social issues that people may otherwise try to ignore in everyday life. This kind of intervention places the issues directly in the the public’s “face” and doesn’t allow them to ignore it.

I like that the YES! Men create very similar websites to ones created by other politicians, so that people may accidentally stumble upon them while searching for the right one. It’s a brilliant move and it’s this kind of art that will truly force the public to reevaluate their stances.

What do you think?


About kbless

From the 410, but spending the next 3 years in a lovely little town called Chapel Hill. Love a mix of the fun and the intellectually stimulating.
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One Response to The YES! Men

  1. brittthomas says:

    I enjoyed their work as well. I also like how when you were discussing the function of their “art”, I was tempted to question that statement. I was on the line of calling it definite tactical media versus actual art, and then I remembered their aesthetic experience aspect in the visual thing that they do (golden skeleton.inflatable penis). I was also wondering if their rebellious action as a whole could be considered art as well? Or is the visual component very necessary for that label? me:inquisitive

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