BB pal RU Sirius is teaching an online course titled "Pranks, Pranksters, Trickster & Tricks" next month at the Maybe Logic Academy. Negativland's Mark Hosler and legendary prankster Joey Skaggs will also be participating. Leading up to the seminar, The Art of the Prank interviewed RU about why tricks are a treat. From the interview:
Your course covers Pranksters and Tricksters. Is there a difference between them?
RU Sirius: There’s a lot of crossover, but yeah, they’re different. For starters, obviously the trickster is a mythological concept – or a series of mythological figures – and a prankster is a real flesh and blood mortal. Trickster activities generally take place among the gods. Tricksters prank powerful, otherworldly beings while pranksters prank schmucks who think they’re in control.
Also the figure of the trickster, as it’s been characterized by Lewis Hyde (author of the seminal book, Trickster Makes The World), might be described as amoral or even immoral. Tricksters tend to appear in cultures and mythological systems where the boundaries and values and taboos are very well defined. And in these legends, you have your morally straight characters and you have your basic grim and serious “bad guys.” And then you have these tricksters who are playful and unpredictable criminals… thiefs mostly – and they’re generally imaginative and sneaky and able to play with ambiguity in otherwise rather diagrammatic narratives. And while they might commit theft or even murder, they also might unexpectedly leave behind gifts, or do things that confound or illuminate their victims, but there’s always some strategy, some sort of selfish motivation. Also, while the Trickster is clever, he (almost all are male) is also a fuck-up. Tricksters tend to get snared in their own tricks.
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