Can pranks, mischief and creativity change the course of history? Activist, multimedia artist and “culture jammer” Mike Bonanno will answer that question and more in a lively talk that examines a history of tricksters and progress, including the lessons Bonanno himself has learned during his decades of comic creative direct action with the notorious Yes Men.
Bonanno joins the Fisher Center’s spring lecture series with a lecture, “Making Meaningful Mischief,” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22 in the Fisher Center, Demarest Hall 212.
Also known as Igor Vamos — an associate professor of media arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — Bonanno is one half of the progressive prankster duo known as The Yes Men, whose outrageous satirical interventions at business events, on the internet and television, and in the streets form the basis of three award-winning feature documentary films, The Yes Men, The Yes Men Fix the World and The Yes Men are Revolting. They are the founders of a nonprofit training program for creative direct action called the Yes Lab.
The recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship, Bonanno uses the tools of satire to raise consciousness about pressing social and environmental issues. He is a co-founder of the anti-consumerist activist collective, RTMark, and has been involved with the Center For Land Use Interpretation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the increase and dissemination of knowledge about the nature of human interaction with the Earth.
Examining the theme “No Place Like Home,” the 2016-17 Fisher Center lecture series explores the diverse productions of and investments in the concept of “home” in the context of capitalism and technology, refugee crises and ecological catastrophe, policing and colonialism.
Founded in 1998, the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men brings together faculty, students and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society.