The Buzz


Dyke Action Machine!

1996 Public Art Project

OUR NEW PROJECT:

And you thought Dyke Action Machine! was a slick, sophisticated public art outfit. Well this year DAM! goes slumming with D.A.M. S.C.U.M., a lo-tech incendiary device sure to offend just about everyone. Our multi-faceted project, consisting of matchbooks, wallet-cards and a magazine page all promoting an interactive phone-line, envisions a lesbian militia that Valerie Solanas would have been proud of. Male callers are offered the chance to listen to the S.C.U.M. Manifesto and female callers, a description of DAM!'s self-defense products for the separatist-on-the-go.

The magazine portion of D.A.M. S.C.U.M. will debut in Art Journal (Winter 1996); over the summer, 10,000 wallet cards and matchbooks appeared in ATMs, bars, even the foyers of apartment buildings around New York City. To partake of D.A.M. S.C.U.M. yourself, contact us at the address below.

Part homage to Valerie Solanas, part feminist foray into the Waco phenomenon, part loving tribute to low-budget marketing, D.A.M. S.C.U.M. is a hybrid which makes Soldier of Fortune finally take that dive.

OUR RECENT PAST:

Last summer, Dyke Action Machine! joined the ranks of millions of other Web crawlers and created a site for a fantasy lesbian television station: The Girlie Network. Our prime-time line-up features such Sapphic classics as "Leave Us The Beaver" and "The Snip Squad" as well as promotional teasers for four additional shows.

In 1994, DAM!'s public art project was to poster the streets of Manhattan with ads for a faux film: Straight To Hell. In a twist on the gays in the military issue, a lesbian is expelled from the army and returns for blood, with her stone-butch posse in tow. Following our graphic hit, DAM! was inundated with inquiries as to when our "film" would be coming out...lesbians the world over aren't waiting for Independence Day or Mission Impossible, they want Revenge.

OUR HISTORICAL PAST:

DAM!'s first three campaigns were direct interventions of existing mainstream advertising, inserting images of lesbians into the vast sea of street representation. In 1991 we appropriated the celebrity GAP ads, implicitly howing how lesbians are never recognized as either "celebrities" or as general consumers in advertising imagery. Our second campaign, "Lesbian Family Values" (1992), critiqued the crass revisionist marketing of the nuclear family used by Family Circle Magazine as a means of attracting a "hipper" audience. In 1993, we went for a direct-hit on the Calvin Klein Marky-Mark underwear ads with a visual sucker-punch to the homogenous, white gym body so adored by both heterosexual and gay male cultures. These three projects provided lesbians on the street with the pleasure of seeing themselves in well-designed public art-all this at at time when straight advertising had not yet "discovered" the queer niche market.

WHAT IS DYKE ACTION MACHINE:

Dyke Action Machine! evolved from the activist organization Queer Nation and was founded by Carrie Moyer and Sue Schaffner in 1991. For six years we have been creating public art campaigns which spoof mainstream advertising by inserting lesbian images into a recognizably commercial context. DAM!'s public art projects have been part of exhibitions all over the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands. Our work can currently be seen in "Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture" at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City during fall 1996.

WHO IS DYKE ACTION MACHINE:

Carrie Moyer is a painter and graphic designer. Her paintings and DAM!'s posters were recently seen in "Gender, fucked," at the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle. Her other agitprop efforts include campaigns for the Lesbian Avengers, the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, and the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. Carrie will participate in the 1996-1997 National Studio Program at The Clocktower/Institute for Contemporary Art in New York.

Sue Schaffner is a commercial photographer who specializes in portraits of personalities, mostly from the music and film industry. Her work has appeared in various magazines including Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Spin, Men's Health, Out, and Guitar World. Sue has directed and produced feature segments for Dyke TV. Most recently, her photos have been commissioned for use on the America Online Channel, "About Work."

TO REACH DYKE ACTION MACHINE!:

DAM!
P.O. Box 1598
Peter Stuyvesant Station
New York, NY 10009
dam@echonyc.com

STAY TUNED FOR THE D.A.M. S.C.U.M. WEBSITE:

Even the bottom-feeders of crass commercialism need to have their own Website! And so, in the spirit of Tom's, Ben-'n-Jerry, and Calvin-'n-Luther, keep your wallets ready for the debut of the D.A.M. S.C.U.M. Home Shopping Network. The first website devoted to cybershopping for all those hard-to-find separartist self-defense items! (Don't miss our wide assortment of traditional castration implements.)

Or visit our 1995 Website THE GIRLIE NETWORK:
http://www.echonyc.com/~dam/

D.A.M.! IS OUT. ARE YOU?


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