Meet Joey Skaggs

Multimedia artist Joey Skaggs has been called everything from the World’s Greatest Hoaxer to a royal pain in the ass. He’s been threatened, assaulted, summonsed, subpoenaed, arrested, deposed, dismissed, trivialized, maligned, even thanked and praised. In fact, Skaggs is America’s most notorious socio-political satirist, media activist, culture jammer, hoaxer, and dedicated proponent of independent thinking and media literacy.

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what others have said over the years:

“Skaggs sees his role as that of the archetypal trickster, a character found in the literature and mythology of most cultures, whose role is to jar his fellows out of the workaday rut of their routines that includes accepting “news” as gospel. He speaks seriously about his pranks, describing their function, at best, as serving to raise the consciousness of those who are “sleepwalking on automatic pilot.”

Barbara Mikkelson,

“The American godfather of pranks on the media is Joey Skaggs, who has been implementing his imaginative assault on media deceptiveness, political deceptiveness, and casual complacency/received wisdom for over three decades”

V. Vale, ReSearch Pranks 2

“He’s been organising and playing pranks on the media for such a long time that he’s become an archetypal figure, a character of alternative folklore, a piece of countercultural mythology”

Wu Ming

“Meet the ultimate media critic”

Rob Walker, Boston Phoenix

“The anarchic daddy of all media hoaxers, however, is undeniably Joey Skaggs, who first turned the public prank into a high art form.”

Rory O’Connor, MediaChannel

“What does this have to do with art? Enter Joey Skaggs. He is a man who is an artist who is a social activist who is a hoaxster who is a protester who is a prankster who is a media star who is….He is a thorn in our side, always pressing our buttons. He is the comic relief; he is the figure offstage in Greek drama, giving the audience details too upsetting to be presented on stage. He is Sisyphus, continually rolling that boulder back up the hill. He is the sidekick in the comics, trying to make the superhero see the nuances involved in the battle between good and evil to maintain the status quo. No, he is the superhero, the new, multifaceted model for our complex and confused times.”

Vicky A. Clark, Independent Curator/Critic

“Hoaxster Joey Skaggs calls them ‘performance art’; editors call them pranks. Whatever they are termed, Skaggs’ little tricks have earned high marks on the scoreboard of irony for unstuffing media shirts.”

John Elvin, Insight

“He’s the fine Swiss watch-maker of media pranksters…”

Robert Hough, Saturday Night

“Skaggs is the scourge of careless journalists…”

Mike Fleming, New York Daily News

“Media hoaxing, the fine art of hoodwinking journalists into covering exhaustively researched, elaborately staged deceptions, is culture jamming in its purest form. Conceptual con artists like Joey Skaggs dramatize the dangers inherent in a press that seems to have forgotten the difference between the public good and the bottom line, between the responsibility to enlighten and the desire to entertain.”

Mark Dery, Culture Jamming: Hacking, Slashing, and Sniping in the Empire of Signs

“Joey Skaggs, The Ultimate Hoax Meister”

Alex Santoso, Neatorama