We can't make this stuff up.
On Tuesday, members from the music collective Talibam! attempted to levitate Vice Media's Brooklyn headquarters into the East River using the powers of collective psychokinesis.
While the group cites the 1967 "exorcism" of the Pentagon in protest of the Vietnam War as inspiration, the event's Facebook page hints at Vice's plans to further colonize Williamsburg as a motivating factor for the demonstration. Vice's base of operations has been located in the area for years -- since the media company moved from Canada in 1999 -- but roughly eight months ago news broke that the media company would be moving into a larger warehouse complex on the Williamsburg waterfront, forcing DIY music venues Glasslands Gallery and Death By Audio out of their spaces.
"Sprits of the Displaced and dormant creative energies underneath the foundation of Vice Media's HQ will be unleashed, once the building levitates into the East River & a creative re-flowering of the Williamsburg Waterfront Communities will regenerate," the group writes. "Inspired by the FUGS levitation of the Pentagon in 1967, A diversity of Communities that has been poached, glamorized against their will, forcibly removed and appropriated responds with an action to rid negative spirits from their point of origin."
According to a program posted to the event's Facebook page, the demonstration began with a prayer of sorts -- originally delivered by The Fugs' co-founder Ed Sanders during the Pentagon protests -- followed by several minutes of group improvisation cued by the raising of a stuffed owl. The event culminated in the group gathering around a broken guitar and some Guinness cans arranged in the center of a "Triangle of Truth" made out of old Vice magazine issues.
Despite the protesters' efforts, however, a Vice spokesperson confirmed with The Huffington Post that the media company's headquarters had not, in fact, been levitated into the East River.
In a Facebook post Monday, Matt Mottel of Talibam! elaborated on his grievances with the media company. Beginning in 2007, Mottel worked as a distribution employee for Vice, delivering the company's magazines in his van until he was let go in 2010. In the years since, Mottel says Vice Media has uprooted members of the arts community with its expansion, and that New York City is complicit in the displacement of Brooklyn residents by giving the company a $6.5 million tax break to stay in Williamsburg.
"Flash forward to 2014," Mottel wrote. "Friends, artistic conspirators and others lose their homes, work spaces, rehearsal space, performance space to Vice Media's takeover of the block of Kent Ave between South 1st and 2nd in Williamsburg."
Disclosure: The author of this post has worked previously as a freelance writer for Vice's website.
H/T Brooklyn Vegan