The 2011 Summer Institute in Film features the ‘Yes Men’

“Yes Man” Andy Bichlbaum is the keynote presenter for Digital Activism and the Environment, the 2011 Summer Institute in Film to be held May 11 to 17 by York’s University’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Bichlbaum will present “The Yes Men Fix Canada”, a public how-to-hoax clinic, on May 11 at 8pm at 8pm at the Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCADU) Auditorium, 100 McCaul St., Toronto. The event is presented under the auspices of the Norman Jewison Series in York’s Department of Film, in collaboration with OCADU’s Faculty of Art. Tickets are available

The Yes Men are a collective of digital artists and activists, determined to culturejam the global forces of environmental evil. Brilliantly blending hilarity, surrealism and outrage, their hoaxes, pranks and “tactical media interventions” have resulted in international headlines, award-winning exhibitions and features (including The Yes Men Fix the World Audience Choice Award at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival), and genuine social change.

Bichlbaum’s illustrated presentation will explore the tactical strategies behind some of the Yes Men’s greatest triumphs, from their high-profile “identity corrections” of Dow, Enbridge, HUD, Exxon and WTO, to their punking of Environment Minister Jim Prentice in Copenhagen and their hijinks during the current federal election campaign.

The 2011 Summer Institute in Film: Digital Activism and the Environment focuses on the theory and practice of digital activism in relation to issues of environmental sustainability. Through lectures, seminars, hands-on workshops and collective projects, the institute will investigate contemporary practices of environmental media activism within a broader historical and critical context of social-change cinema.

The "Yes Men" Andy Bichlbaum (right) and Mike Bonanno Right: The “Yes Men” Andy Bichlbaum (right) and Mike Bonanno 

In addition to Bichlbaum’s public clinic downtown, a highlight of the Summer Institute will be an intensive Yes Lab session – the first in Canada. The lab, presented in partnership with Greenpeace, will be held on campus with students registered in the summer institute.

Complementing the Yes Men events will be free public lectures at York’s Keele campus by two other guest presenters:

Patricia Zimmerman, a professor in the Department of Cinema, Photography & Media Arts at Ithaca College, NY will present “Open Space Documentary 2.0” on May 16 at 2pm in the Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Building, (#28 on the York University map).  Zimmerman is the co-editor of Mining the Home Movie: Evacuations in History and Memory (2007) and States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies (2000).

On May 17, Megan Boler, affiliate faculty in the Knowledge Media Design Institute, Department of Theory & Policy Studies at the OISE, University of Toronto, will present a talk titled, “Networking Dissent: Digital Publics Taking the Streets”. The lecture will take place at 2pm in the Nat Taylor Cinema. Boler is editor of Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times (2008) and author of Democratic Dialogue in Education: Troubling Speech, Disturbing Silences (2004).

For more information, visit the Faculty of Fine Arts website.