‘Keep it real is a euphemism to maintain the status quo and buy more stuff’
– A fictional quote by Kailum Graves
The presentation will focus on the work (and absurdities) of American Internet-based activist group The Yes Men, Russian collective Voina, and international hacktivist group Anonymous as a way into discussing the wider practice of culture jamming and to question the efficacy of political art. In light of this, culture jamming will be examined as a form of aesthetic resistance to the hegemonic cultural logic of multinational corporate capitalism (which is basically just a wanky way to say I will talk about amusing artworks with titles such as ‘Dick Captured By the FSB’). Culture jammers appropriate the resources of the advertising industry and the digital technologies of the mass media to take advantage of and utilise them for their own goals, such as countering media oligopoly and the messages of governments, multinational corporations, and advertisers. Furthermore, in an era where everything, including art and resistance, has been commodified, culture jamming attempts to resist the commodification of culture by creating anti-commodity art, by working outside of the art industry, and by attempting to reclaim space controlled by capitalism. Nonetheless, I will contend that culture jamming offers no real alternative to corporate capitalism’s dominant culture of consumerism, just a different brand.