Igor Vamos, born April 15, 1968, is an internationally known multimedia artist, leading member of The Yes Men (using the alias Michael "Mike" Bonanno), and a lowly associate professor of media arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is also a co-founder of RTmark and the recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship, granted for a project that used Global Positioning System (GPS) and other wireless technology to create a new medium with which to "view" his documentary Grounded, about an abandoned military base in Wendover, Utah.
In 1990, Vamos earned an undergraduate degree in Studio Art from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He later earned an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. While at Reed, Vamos organized a student group called Guerrilla Theater of the Absurd. They performed and documented "culture jamming" acts of protest, including Reverse Peristalsis Painters, where 24 people in suits stood outside the downtown venue of Dan Quayle's fundraiser for Oregon senator Bob Packwood and drank ipecac, forcing themselves to vomit the red, white and blue remains of the mashed potatoes and food coloring they had consumed earlier; and a middle of the night contribution to the debate over renaming Portland's Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, wherein the city awoke to find that all of the street signs and freeway exits for another major boulevard had been changed to read "Malcolm X Street."
Another successful early project was the "Barbie Liberation Organization," where Vamos and his cohorts purchased three hundred Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls, exchanged their electronic voice boxes, and then returned them to the stores; the soldiers ended up saying things like "Let's go shopping!", while the Barbies exclaimed "Vengeance is mine!". It was a small-scale project and few people actually found themselves in possession of the switched dolls, but the stunt nevertheless attracted national media attention.
Vamos presented the Reed College Commencement Speech on May 19, 2014 where he announced that the college had decided to divest from fossil fuels, a decision the college has in fact not yet made.
- "Igor Vamos Wins Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship". Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Campus News. May 5, 2003. Archived from the original on 2008-09-081. Retrieved 2008-07-03. Check date values in:
- Video Data Bank page for Vamos film "Undeniable Evidence."
- Le petomane: Fin de siècle fartiste at the Internet Movie Database
- Bonin, Vincent (2002). "Igor Vamos (biography)". Daniel Langlois Foundation. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Hackett, Regina (2004-04-24). "Cool irony is hot with a new generation of artists". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- "Reed College Commencement Speech 2014". Yes Lab. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- "Igor Vamos of 'Yes Men' pranks Reed College during commencement speech," The Oregonian, May 20, 2014
- "Yes Men prankster fools media with hoax about Reed divestment," Portland Tribune, May 19, 2014