Crowds on Demand, as the name suggests, is a company that will organize a crowd for you, on demand.
The main two times this service is required are: A) you’re an aspiring celebrity who wants to make it seem like people give a shit about you, so you hire some fake fans, or B) you believe in a cause and want to make it seem like people give a shit about it, so you hire some fake protesters.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t go along to see one of the company’s fake fan events (as they’re super secret,) so I went along to a fake protest they organized in Los Angeles, instead. While there, I sat down for a chat with their founder and CEO, Adam Swart.
Fake protesters raising tourists’ awareness on Hollywood Blvd.
VICE: So, what’s this event that’s happening now? Adam Swart, Crowds on Demand: It’s an event we’re doing in coordination with a charity. We’re trying to raise awareness about mental health issues. They want to raise a lot more awareness about mental health, which is an often overlooked issue when it comes to, uh, to policy.
OK. Are they paying you for this? They get a discount. We give charities discounts.
How many people are protesting here? About 20.
Are any of these guys real protesters or are they all provided by you? They’re all provided by me.
Can I ask how much they’re getting paid for this? They get $15 an hour.
A while back I was looking for a series of things to vandalize and post online for laughs. I started with photos from magazines and wrestling cards, and they were OK, but I wanted something a bit more unique. Then I discovered a few Chick tracts stored away in my drawer. For those of you who don’t know, a Chick tract is a tiny religious comic made by Jack Chick designed to scare you into becoming Christian. Jack has been cranking these things out since the early 70s, and you can find them in bus terminals and public bathrooms across the country.
The design of these tracts is pretty uniform, and perfect for fucking with. The first one I used was titled Who Killed the Dinosaurs? I posted it on my Tumblr and it got a pretty good response, so I kept going. I just used a little white acrylic paint pen, and sometimes markers, and voilá! I’d have a new and improved tract.
For a good two months I was posting a few every day. People were asking me what I was going to do with all of them, and I had no idea. My buddy Greg has a clothing store called Mishka in LA (and NYC) and was opening a small gallery in the back. He asked me if I’d be up for doing an art show, and I told him I didn’t really have time to do anything new since I was in the middle of working on my book, Prison Pit V, but I did have about 80 of these Jack Chick tracts that I had ruined. Surprisingly, he thought it was a cool idea for a show, so that’s how the world’s fucking stupidest art show was born. Oh, and there’s also going to be a book collecting all the tracts coming out soon from Monster Worship.