Monday, March 16, 2009

Damn, it's Parody

DAM! aka Dyke Action Machine! is a public art project founded in 1991 by painter, designer and writer Carrie Moyer and photographer Sue Schaffner. Both Carrie and Sue are working artists who successfully use parody in the political art they create for DAM! From 1991 they postered New York City with culture jammer projects that combined Madison Avenue savvy with Situationist tactics. Their campaigns dissected mainstream media by inserting lesbian images into recognizably commercial contexts.

While questioning, through art, basic assumptions that one cannot be “present” in a capitalist society unless one exists as a consumer group, DAM! subverted the role of the advertiser to change existing mindsets. A typical DAM! campaign was comprised of 5,000 posters wheatpasted over the course of one month. Then as corporations and activists battled for dwindling public outdoor space, DAM! turned to other modes of propaganda (lightboxes, catalogs, matchbooks, buttons and stickers to name but a few) and other distribution channels.

Recent news, Paddy Johnson has given DAM! space for an advertising campaign at Art Fag City, which is one of the best art blogs here in NYC. Check out the "Steal This" part of the DAM! site, they have some great posters to download—and yes, it's legal and it's parody.

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