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“Should be required reading in every classroom.”

Judith Malina, founder of Living Theater

Andy Bichlbaum

Andy Bichlbaum (AKA Jacques Servin) got his start as an activist when, as a computer programmer, he inserted a swarm of kissing boys in a shoot-'em-up video game just before it shipped to store shelves, and found himself fired, famous, and hugely amused. Now, Andy helps run the Yes Lab for Creative Activism as part of his job as professor of subversion at New York University. Bichlbaum once flew down the Nile in a two-seater airplane, bringing a live goat to a remote Sudanese village as a hostess gift for a homecoming party. (The party was fun and the goat was insanely delicious.)

Contributed Modules

Tactic: Identity correction

Contributed by
June 11, 2012

To embarrass your target; to correct the public record; to expose corporate malfeasance; to reframe an issue.

Principle: Use the law, don’t be afraid of it

Contributed by
June 5, 2012

Talk to more than one lawyer and pick the one whose advice you want to follow.

Principle: Play to the audience that isn’t there

Contributed by and
June 1, 2012

In a hyper-mediated world, often the audience you care about is not the one in the room with you, but the one you’ll reach through mass and social media. Design your action with them in mind.

Principle: Everyone has balls/ovaries of steel

Contributed by
May 30, 2012

Courage is in the eye of the beholder.

Principle: Don’t mistake your group for society

Contributed by
May 30, 2012

Don’t get too caught up in trying to make your little activist group “inclusive,” “democratic,” or other qualities that we all want for society. Why? Because your group isn’t society.

Principle: Do the media’s work for them

Contributed by
May 30, 2012

Often journalists want to cover an important issue, but can’t for editorial reasons. The right creative action (that you photograph or film yourself) can give them the excuse or materials they need.

Case Study: Bidder 70 (Tim DeChristopher)

Contributed by and
May 28, 2012

In December 2008, word got out about an illegal Bureau of Land Management auction of oil and gas leases for drilling near beautiful Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. The auction was Bush’s parting gift to his good friends in industry. Student Tim DeChristopher set out with the intention of physically disrupting the event, but   …Continue Reading

Principle: Anyone can act

Contributed by
May 20, 2012

Don’t worry about being a lousy actor — you’re a great one.

Tactic: Infiltration

Contributed by
May 17, 2012

To learn from, expose, or disrupt the meetings of the powerful.