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RTMark «The Yes Men impersonate the WTO» | video cover
RTMark, «The Yes Men impersonate the WTO», 2000
video cover | © RTMark

«The Yes Men impersonate the WTO»

Initiating subversive activities is one of the main objectives of the US artists’ and activists’ group RTMark (as in «arty mark,» a word game played with «trademark» and «arty»). Repeatedly, the group irritates, for example, Internet user with ‹fake› web sites that perfectly duplicate the official pages used by politicians and concerns. The goal of such fakes were, among other things, to remind George W. Bush (found at the address of his supposed experiences with cocaine. Before TV cameras at a press conference, Bush reacted by insisting «the boundaries of freedom» be respected, thus embarrassing himself even more.
Additional fake web sites were those of the international organization GATT (Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), and the World Trade Organization (both 2001). Regarding inquiries about other trade organizations the targets of the fake WTO web site, RTMark made contact with interested parties on behalf of the WTO. In their action piece «The Yes Man» (2001-2002), the group sent a certain «Andy Bichelbaum,» as an official representative of the WTO, to international conferences (in Salzburg and other locations), where he reported eye-opening facts on the state of the world economy, condemned the «laziness of Italians,» and announced the end of the WTO (see: docu-video on the web site).
(Source: Inke Arns, «Soziale Technologien», in: Die Offene Stadt - Anwendungsmodelle. Jahresprogramm der Kokerei Zollverein, Essen, 2003.)