Urban media hack action (Ljubljana, October-November 2003), part of the Billboart project (Bratislava, Budapest, Vienna, Iasi, Prague, Warsaw, January 2004), digital prints, 2003.
Fake up is a multidisciplinary project related to the sphere of visual communications, urban action, public space art, media terrorism and pseudo-documentary photography. The project deals with an imaginary ‘catastrophe’ - the media construction of an unpredictable reality and fear in the face of the ‘unknown’.
A group of media experts and artists founded a fictive international organisation AVBIA (Association of Victims of Biochemical Attacks) and constructed a story about the victims of biological and chemical weapons. Combining the UN logo with the symbol for biohazard, we created a logotype for the organisation that makes it appear legitimate and believable. We then selected the president of AVBIA Slovenia and hired a student worker to carry out the petition. Most websites concerned with biochemical agents and warfare tend to focus on a single aspect or detail of the problem. In contrast, the AVBIA website included information gathered from many different sources and gave and offered a wider and more informative view of the subject. Moreover, anyone could phone the AVBIA headquarters in New York, where we also set up a fake president, and request additional information on AVBIA. The organisation was advertised with city light posters. We organised a petition signing on the main square and the media response to the fake media release was overwhelming. After a month we revealed the media hack and thus the huge influence of media to our perception of truth.
The audience believed everything that they were served through mass media. Although much progress has been made in the activities of opposing (non-mainstream) media, proven well by the actions of the anti-globalist movement, the influence of commercial media is bigger than ever and still growing.
Idea and concept: Martin Bricelj Billboard posters: Design: Martin Bricelj Photography: Jure Breceljnik Make Up: Nika Veger Texts: Igor Medjugorac Models: Megumi, Peter, cousin Ana, brother Maks, Jure's Grandfather, Miha's aunt, Polona, ..., Photoshop re-edit: Petra Bric Microbiologist adviser: Barbara Piškur Public relations: Mika Cimolini
Avbia website: Editor: Maša Cvetko Web design: Ozren Škondrić Web realisation and mailing lists: Simo Annala Texts: Igor Medjugorac Translations: Davor Petrović
AVBIA actors: AVBIA president: Jean-Christophe Couet Fake president of AVBIA Slovenia: Jure Plešec Fake student worker: Petra Bric Sponsors: Metropolis Media, Protechnik, NordPrint, Mat Format Thanks to the models, all participants and to: Katarina Valentinčič, Dejan Turk, Filip Vilc, Bojana Piškur, Primož Puntar, Mika Ajdovec, Jurij Krpan, Metka Česnik, Dunja Kukovec, Matej Pangerc, Tomo Glažar, Jure Medvedšček, Parsek, Sonce.