Activist Art Takes Aim At Superstar Waxmasters By Tamara Palmer
Vol 11, No. 89, Nov/Dec 2001
It took only a few years for San Diego, CA artist Shepard Faiery to turn his stickers and hand-bills declaring “Andre the Giant has a posse” into a nationwide movement. No other street art/sticker campaign in recent memory has had as much impact as Fairey’s, yet he has empowered many to create their own takes on the art form.
UnAmerican Activities, the voice behind the ever-popular “Fuck Work” sticker and a host of related, clever slogans, may have led the pack of anti-rave stickers when they introduced their smashing “I Don’t Do Techno” slogan a few years back. And two years ago, there were rumblings of anti-trance stickers spreading throughout the Baltimore area that took aim at that scene’s largest cheerleaders.
Now comes a vitriolic sticker campaign to announce the formation of DJs on Strike!. Poking fun at some of the scene’s more visible ambassadors (from experimental advocate Squarepusher, immortalized with a thermometer in his mouth with the slogan “Ditchpuller” to the more straightforward “BT Sucks” and “Steamin’ Poo Oakenfold”). Whether the national sticker campaign’s motives will go beyond just dissing remains to be seen, but it does seem the product of something more meaningful to come.
“The DJs on Strike! movement came to fruition upon our visit to the northern tip of Antarctica circa 1996” explains one of its minions via e-mail. “Upon hiking on our sixth day, we started to hear remnants of Mariah Carey, Alanis Morissette, Bush and Fugees echoing between the icy glaciers. Following these sounds, we ended up at an igloo with a man standing on a top channeling in mainstream media from around the world. Four hours later, we were sitting in a circle talking to our new friend Johnny Kawasaki, the founder of the DJs on Strike! movement.” Kawasaki could not be reached for comment, though his musical terrorist efforts, somewhat akin to the early-90’s sampleadelic outfit Plunderphonics, can be found on the DJs on Strike! Web site (www.djsonstrike.com) alongside the latest sticker designs. -TP