FAKED OUT @ RECESS / by melinda shopsin

On March 10, 2017 Andrew Lampert and Public Opinion Laboratory will unveil the project Faked/Out, a multi-platform response to the world’s current information crises. Now that fake news is an all too real concern, it would seem that the only way to fight fire is with gasoline. Or, stated another way, the best way to understand fake news is to report it. With this in mind, Public Opinion Laboratory and Lampert will convert Recess into an office and operational hub for Fake Out News Incorporated (FONI), a news service very much concocted for the present moment.

Fake Out News Inc. (FONI) is a global, all-media information agency dedicated to the creation and distribution of unvetted news for an unreal world. As the premiere source of artificial journalism in the post-truth society, FONI is the leading supplier of tailored misinformation about today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Founded in 1898 at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, FONI manufactures words, pictures, and moving images to fabricate stories that have yet to be reported. With a wide range of multimedia divisions that cover headline, world, technology, business, finance, and entertainment news, FONI supplies dozens of millions of readers with fanciful, real-time coverage 20 hours a week.

While FONI is committed to falsifying the world as events unfold, the various activities offered under the umbrella of Faked/Out will attempt to scrutinize our general conception of what it means to be fake. Rather than go on the attack and decry the fake as a malice, this project operates from the premise that fakeness and fake news can provide an optimistic space for wish fulfillment and self-actualization. Facts must always be interpreted, and they beg to be questioned. Alternative facts and alternative fictions are possible daydream spaces that might serve as portals to hopeful futures and unobtainable realities.

Throughout the month-long Session, FONI staff, reporters, and guest contributors will be onsite and working from afar to investigate, write, film, and disseminate breaking news stories. A series of writing workshops, guest speakers, and film screenings will contextualize fake news within a significant, cross-disciplinary tradition of fakeness and will create opportunities for visitors to alternately interrogate and experiment with the practice of faking it in their own lives.

At the core of this Session rests an impulse to spark public consideration of a series of topical questions: Is it possible to find renewed faith and positivity in fake news? Is this what half of America and much of the world are already doing? Why subscribe to false agendas when we can make our own? And finally: Does accepting fake news as a given rather than a problem provide us with the impetus we need create the world we want?

FONI staff and contributors will include: Brian Belovorac, Sean Berman, Dawn Cerny, Howie Chen, Whitney Claflin, Caroline Golum, Rin Johnson, Owen Kline, Carolyn Lazard, JoJo Li, Dave Miko, Nour Mourbak, Steve Paladinsky, Scott Ponik, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Jordan Rathus, Edward Steck, and Angie Waller.