Ben Parry & Peter McCaughey (UK)
Peter McCaughey (1964 N. Ireland) is an artist based in Glasgow. He is director of WAVEparticle, an artist-led art organisation that produces events, processes and objects focused on re-thinking the relation of art to urbanism. He is founder of the International Peripatetic Sculptors Society and co-organiser of Cultural Hijack at the AA in London (2013). He lecturers part-time at Glasgow School of Art. He regularly intervenes in his own life; exploring the belief that it is important that artists intervene in the world they live in and don’t just pass comment at a distance.
Ben Parry (1976 UK) is an artist working in London and Liverpool. In 2000, he established artist-led arts organisation Jump Ship Rat and has initiated numerous projects in abandoned urban structures and creates large-scale mobile interactive artworks. His actions and research projects explore tactical urbanism; cultural hijack, interim uses of the unclaimed and overlooked; self-build tactics and self-organised systems of the informal city.
Bill Posters (UK)
Bill Posters is best known for his heavy critiques of consumer culture via numerous billboard interventions. Bill is also founder of the infamous Brandalism project. By combining the arts, social and politics in art practice and process and by engaging in guerilla warfare with consumerism and the dominance of private corporations within public space, Bill Posters is not just making political art, but making art politically. Influenced by Dada and the Situationist International’s tactics of detournement and simulation, Bill Posters’ art works are always Installed anonymously within the public realm as gifts to society.
Brandalism is a revolt against corporate control of the visual realm. It is the biggest anti-advertising campaign in world history and it’s getting bigger. Starting in July 2012 with a small team in a van, Brandalism has grown tenfold to include teams in 10 UK cities skilled up in taking back space. The most recent Brandalism Takeover in May 2014 saw the reclamation of over 360 corporate advertising spaces with hand made original art works submitted by 40 international artists.
Following on in the guerilla art traditions of the 20th Century, the Brandalism project sees artists from around the world collaborate to challenge the authority and legitimacy of commercial images / messages within public space and within our culture.
The Brandalism movement interacts and collaborates with individuals and organisations in arts, activist, community, academic, and public policy fields. Recently they have collaborated with the United Nations for a landmark upcoming report into the effects of advertising and marketing on universal cultural rights, due for publication in September 2014.
Artist collective formed in 2005 in Tokyo with Ushiro Ryuta, Hayashi Yasutaka, Ellie, Okada Masataka, Inaoka Motomu and Mizuno Toshinori and all in their twenties at the time. Responding instinctively to the “real” of their times, Chim↑Pom has continuously released works that fully intervene in contemporary society with strong social messages.
Using video as a primary discipline, their expressions freely cross over a range of media from installation to performance. While based in Tokyo, they develop their activities globally in exhibitions and projects in various countries.
More recently, they have expanded their activities further to include the direction of art magazines, and exhibition curation.
Ed Hall (UK)
Architect-turned-banner-designer Ed Hall is best known for his decade-long collaboration with artist Jeremy Deller, but he has been making protest art for union groups for over 30 years. Contemporary banner maker Ed Hall creates striking, richly coloured banners for trade unions, campaign groups and other organisations. Hall is the leading designer of protest banners in the UK, and as well as producing designs for Deller’s exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the English pavilion in Venice, he has worked recently on commissions for the Ian Tomlinson campaign, the post office strike and to commemorate the victims of the 1999 Brixton nail bomb.
Ever since his emergence, Epos257’s art has been closely linked to our urbanistic surroundings.
He’s been a graffiti artist from an early age but his shadow outgrew this a long time ago and he is now fully engaged with creating art in public space. He nevertheless remains faithful to his origins and takes advantage of unscrupulous principles in ‘don’t ask, just do it’ style. However, freedom and a certain form of humility are very important in his approach to the reformed. Some of his most significant works deal with allusions to the universally shared reality.
1996– arrested by the police for the first time, based on §257 law no. 140/19961 of the criminal code, dealt with as underage (5 hours at a police station)
1999– interrogated on the basis of an anonymous report in the neighbourhood. The subject of the interrogation: graffiti (1 hour at a police station)
2001– arrested (3 hours at a police station) and subsequently tried for the first time for malicious mischief on the property of another, based on §257, section b)
2001– arrested and charged based on §257, section b), unsubstantiatiated (held at a police station from midnight until early morning hours)
2005– arrested (whole night at a police station) subsequently sentenced and fined, based on §257, section b)
Franck Allais (FR)
Franck Allais is a photographer. Originally from France he moved to Ireland, then London 15 years ago. He likes disrupting the habitual way of seeing and questioning everyday visual references. His commercial work has appeared in the Independent on Sunday, the Guardian, Glamour and FT magazines.
John Beieler (US)
John Beieler is a PhD student in the Department of political Science at Pennsylvania State University and a trainee at the NDF Big Data Social Science IGERT programme for 2013-2015. Beieler’s research focuses on international conflict and instances of violence such as terrorism and substate violence. He’s also interested in big data, machine learning, event forecasting and social network analysis. Much of John Beieler’s work revolves arround issues in ‘data science’.
Lea Redmond (US)
Full bio coming soon…
Leah Borromeo (UK)
With over a decade’s experience in television news at an editorial level, journalist and filmmaker Leah Borromeo bridges a parallel arts practice with documentary to extract new angles and emotions around factual narratives.
Currently directing and presenting The Cotton Film: Dirty White Gold, a feature film on Indian cotton farmer suicides and fashion – connecting the clothing supply chain from seed to shop, she writes a monthly column on sustainability and ethics for the Guardian. She’s also made a series of short films on arts activism for Channel 4′s “Random Acts” and hosted Resonance FM’s “The Left Bank Show”. She has desk-jockeyed as Deputy Foreign Editor at Sky News, fawned over Jon Snow’s socks at Channel 4 News, and stood around a satellite truck looking important for APTN.
Having a knack of being in the wrong place at the right time, she sometimes gets into trouble. It’s usually on film, and only once has it been on a tank.
‘Papas Fritas’ (Francisco Tapia) (CHI)
Born in Santiago, Chile in 1983, Francisco Tapas (artist name Papas Fritas) is a self taught visual artist and social psychologist. He has exhibited at the Contemporary Museum of Art & Design in San José, Costa Rica; La Mancha de Tomate in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; the Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile; La Sapienza Laboratory Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Rome, Italy; Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in New York, USA; and the Beijing 798 International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Beijing, China, amongst others.
His latest project achieved global attention as he burned $500 million of student debt, leaving students of the private Univeristy of the Sea without debt to the insititution. The university had swindled thousands of students and went bust in 2012, leaving students desperate to finish their studies. Neither the creditors nor the state have been investigated over the issue, and the crimes of the university creditors go unpunished.
Peter Kennard (UK)
Peter Kennard pioneered new forms of expression to bring art and politics together for wider audiences. This search has resulted in making photomontage and installation work over many years covering major political events.
Peter Kennard was born in London in 1949. His work is in many major collections, including Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Imperial War Museum. His work has been published in numerous publications including The Guardian, The Observer, The Sunday TImes, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Scotsman, New Statesman and Time Magazine.
Robin Hood Minor Asset Management (FI)
“Robin Hood is potentially dangerous to our reputation” - Tuula Teeri, President of Aalto University
Robin Hood Minor Asset Management is an asset management cooperative, based in Finland and owned by its members, which is changing the asset management business. It’s operation is based on something quite radical in this business: a genuine taking care of member assets, fundamental street credibility, focused attention to social impact, total transparency, and unmatchable cost leadership and scalability. We bend the financialization of economy into the benefit of those who have so far only being bearing it’s costs.
Robin Hood’s business is minor asset management. It means sharing and democratizing the power of finance, but also building on its basis a possibility of micro investing for basic income, for radical project funding, no interest loans for financing one’s studies or life, in a form of an investment cooperative. We call it minor asset management, a possibility of political operation of building from our minor assets financial autonomy via cooperation.
Shift//Delete are committed to exploring non-commercial public realm interventions and installations that question our collective relationships with the built environment. As insurgent art activists they adopt the methodologies of guerilla warfare and their work intersects the boundaries of urban intervention, detournement and brandalism. All works installed within the public realm are installed anonymously, as gifts to society.
Shift//Delete believe that via situated practices and public realm interventions, art retains the energy of agency within lived experience. They hope their interventions create discursive spaces within the public sphere, to aid self-constitution as a public whose opinions bear on the organisation of society. Recently their practice has evolved to explore ways of not just making political art but making art politically, with a focus on ‘community as a work of art’, to aid the cooperative reshaping of society.
Steve Lambert (US)
Steve Lambert made international news after the 2008 US election with The New York Times “Special Edition,”; a replica of the “paper of record” announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. In the Summer of 2011 he began a national tour of ‘Capitalism Works For Me! True/False’ – a 9 x 20ft sign allowing people to vote on whether capitalism works for them . Lambert has collaborated with groups from the Yes Men to the Graffiti Research Lab and Greenpeace. He is also the founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, the Anti-Advertising Agency, Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and SelfControl (which blocks grownups from distracting websites so they can get work done).
The Vacuum Cleaner (UK)
The vacuum cleaner is an art and activism collective of one.
“Dangerous” Metropolitan Police
“His work is bemusing, amusing and occasional disgusting” The Big Issue
From one man shows to large scale participatory actions, the vacuum cleaner’s approach is both subtle and extreme, but always candid, provocative and playful. His work has been exhibited throughout the UK, including commissions from Tate Modern, ICA and the Liverpool Biennial as well as for BBC4, Channel 4 and Arte. He regularly present work internationally both on the streets and in art spaces.
Tracey Moberly (UK)
Tracey Moberly‘s artwork has been selected to profile a number of topical but difficult to approach activist campaigns. Whilst in some of these her work has been used indirectly to publicise issues, in others she has used her work to fight directly on behalf of an issue, using art as activism. In the past the Club 18-30 Billboard ‘Beaver Espana & Summer of 69’ advertising campaign was successfully stopped as Moberly organised a graffiti campaign to add the safe sex slogans that she thought were missing from the advertisements.
With comedian Mark Thomas, Moberly has set up McDemos, a ‘protest solutions company’ for those whose modern lives are too busy to protest themselves. McDemos has been closely involved in the campaign to abolish the British SOCPA law (Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005), turning protest into an art form inside the SOCPA zone around the Houses of Parliament. Moberly has organised workshops at Tate Britain on the theme of Art as Protest and she has lectured on the subject at Sheffield Hallam and Manchester Metropolitan Universities.
Voina (Russian: “War”) is a Russian street-art group known for their provocative and politically charged works of performance art. The group has had more than sixty members, including former and current students of the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography, Moscow State University, and University of Tartu. However, the group does not cooperate with state or private institutions, and is not supported by any Russian curators or gallerists.
The activities of Voina have ranged from street protest, symbolic pranks in public places, and performance-art happenings, to vandalism and destruction of public property. More than a dozen criminal cases have been brought against the group. On 7 April 2011 the group was awarded the “Innovation” prize in the category “Work of Visual Art”, established by the Russian Ministry of Culture.
Since 1993 the artist group WochenKlausur develops concrete proposals aimed at effective improvements to socio-political deficiencies. Proceeding even further and invariably translating these proposals into action, artistic creativity is no longer seen as a formal act but as an intervention into society.
The prerequisite for every intervention is the invitation of an art institution, which provides WochenKlausur with an infrastructural framework and cultural capital. The exhibition space itself serves as a studio from which the intervention is conducted. The name WochenKlausur could be translated as “weeks of closure”. The German word “Klausur” is related to the English words enclosure, seclusion and cloister. The group’s projects are collective efforts that take place in the concentrated atmosphere of a closed-session working situation. A strictly limited timeframe gives rise to an unusual concentration of the participants’ energies, allowing the planned interventions to be realized very quickly. The issue to be addressed is usually established before the project begins. It is up to the group to inform themselves about local political circumstances and propose corresponding interventions before the project’s start. After extensive research, the group makes a final decision concerning what is in fact to be accomplished.
In 2007, members of Ztohoven narrowly avoided prison for their intervention ‘ Media Reality’, which saw the hijack and subversion of a live television camera to display the apparent explosion of a nuclear bomb in the most famous valley in the Czech Republic. Internationally notorious, they were spared prison as they were chosen as winners of the Czech National Gallery NG333 prize for the project. Now they are revered as folk heros, and their projects continue to unsettle, inspire and challenge in equal measure.
‘We are no terrorist or political group, our purpose is not to intimidate or manipulate the society in the very same way as we are witnessing in everyday real life or via the media. No matter the intentions – whether political or those of the market, companies and global corporations which secretly manipulate and exert pressure on their products and ideas through every channel possible into the human unconsciousness.
On June 17th 2007 our group invaded media and television territory, intruded and impeached its trueness as well as its credibility. We pointed out the possible confusion of media representation, a picture of our world for the real one. Is everything that our media such as newspapers, television, internet offer on daily basis really truth or reality? It is the basis for our project to introduce tohis to the general public, as a sort of reminder to everyone. We truly believe that independent territory of television governed by public law is that kind of media which can handle such things even at the cost of self impeachment. Let it be this kind of appeal for our future and reminder to any media that the truth must be presented at any cost. We are grateful for independent media and independent territories within society.’