Pranks! The Re/Search Video Guide To Mischief And Misbehaviour

A counter-culture guide to deception, provocation and mockery with Boyd Rice, Karen Finley, Joe Coleman and others.

In 1988, Re/Search released the latest in a series of increasingly essential books covering what were then relatively unexplored subcultures – volumes in the collection include Incredibly Strange Films, Modern Primitives, Angry Women and Incredibly Strange Music. Pranks!, at first glance, seemed more throwaway – it was, essentially, a look at mischief and deception that featured many Re/Search regulars – Monte Cazazza, Joe Coleman, Karen Finley, Jello Biafra, Boyd Rice and others discussing elements of subversion and misdirection that was fun – but perhaps not as immediately provocative or as revolutionary as previous books. Nevertheless, Pranks! has stood the test of time, spawned a second volume and is still available – not for nothing has it been called “a handbook to live by”.

Tying in with the book was a VHS release of the same name, which was a tad pricey for a half-hour documentary and so was bought by far fewer people than the book and has not survived beyond the videotape age. Luckily for everyone, it has emerged online – and here it is. be aware that this is 1980s VHS quality so settle in for blurry vision and bleeding colours.

You can buy the book directly from Re/Search:

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One comment

  1. Love that video bleed. Someone should release this on bluray and not upgrade the image at all, for the ultimate in boutique-label conceptualism. Pranks! is one of my favourites in my treasured Re/Search library, in fact my copy is close to falling apart from being read such was it’s bible-like/hilarious quality for me at one time.

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