Awardee: Igor Vamos

Emerging Fields, 2000

Vamos is an internationally known media artist and co-founder of the Yes Men and the Yes Lab. He is Associate Professor of Art and Technology at Renssellaer Polytechnic Institute. As Mike Bonanno, he has starred in the documentary hit The Yes Men, and wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the award-winning feature documentary The Yes Men Fix the World, official selection at Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, and dozens of other international film festivals, as well as theatrically distributed and broadcast on television worldwide. A third film, The Yes Men are Revolting, is currently in post-production and due for release in 2014. In addition to the films, Vamos has been published widely and created numerous international performances and activist interventions. With longtime collaborator Jacques Servin, he co-founded the Yes Lab, an institute aimed at facilitating creative activist projects and the development of creative activism worldwide.

Project: The Yes Men

Directed by Dan Olman, Sarah Price, and Chris Smith, _The Yes Men_, a feature documentary, follows “Yes Men” Andy and Mike from their beginnings with to their parody of the World Trade Organization’s website. When someone mistakes the site for the real thing, the pranksters are sent speaking invitations to address a convening of the real WTO. Mike and Andy play along with the ruse and soon find themselves attending important functions as WTO representatives. Delighted to speak for the organization they oppose, Andy and Mike don thrift-store suits and set out to shock their unwitting audiences with darkly comic satires on global free trade. To their surprise, their audiences don’t notice the joke and in fact seem to agree with every terrible idea the two suggest. Exhausted by their failed attempts to shock, Mike and Andy take a whole new approach for one final lecture.

Collab: The Yes Men

The Yes Men have been called "the Jonathan Swift of the Jackass generation" by author Naomi Klein. They infiltrate the world of big business and smuggle out strange and beautiful stories that criticize abuses of power. Their work, including The Yes Men documentary, has received numerous festival awards and was distributed theatrically around the globe. In addition to making the occasional movie, they write, perform, and have art shows. They still have their day jobs.