SFAI Visiting Artist Lecture: Andy Bichlbaum

San Francisco, CA

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VAS SOCIAL HOUR: SFAI Café » 6:30–7:30 pm
Join SFAI for a reception in the café before the lectures. The Walter and McBean Galleries are open until 7:30 pm on lecture nights.

Andy Bichlbaum is co-founder of The Yes Men—a quasi-organization that sheds light on institutional cover-ups and exposes high-level corruption by hijacking the media and infiltrating corporate communication streams. The Yes Men publically reveal the misdeeds, abusive policies, and generally bad behavior of their targets, which have included corporations, government agencies, lobbying groups, and news outlets.

The Yes Men impersonate the rich and powerful of the world with well-crafted parody websites, press releases on fake letterhead, and thrift store business suits, combined with elements of absurdity and social engineering to engage the sensationalist nature of journalists and news institutions who seek a good story and will sacrifice discernment to get it. Recent projects include targeting Dow Chemical, whose stock price tumbled after The Yes Men made a well-timed announcement on the BBC that Dow would accept responsibility for negligently causing the worst industrial disaster in history in Bhopal, India; and an intervention in which a gilded phallus exploded from a World Trade Organization representative’s pants as he demonstrated a management leisure suit designed to spy on sweatshop workers. Today, in addition to Bichlbaum’s many jobs with The Yes Men, he teaches at New York University.