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Home > Projects > Art & Photography > Clinton Fein’s

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd called it obscene and illegal, corporate trademark attorneys bristle over it, and renowned artist Lynda Benglis has dubbed it “Press Art.” In April 1999, the United States Supreme Court weighed in, issuing an affirmation that upheld the basic premise of indecent communications intended to annoy are protected by the First Amendment of America’s constitution. Clinton Fein insists that the fundamental right to annoy, even if indecently, is one of the most effective tools we have to counter apathy and challenge complacency, and proved the ultimate test.

Originally spawned in a digital realm at the dawn of Internet commercialization, brazenly trashed the distinction between content and conduct by challenging the constitutionality of an insidious provision of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that criminalized any “indecent” computer communications intended to “annoy” another person. The provision in question made criminal, constitutionally protected communications among adults, including public officials.

In 1997, the launch of mocked the oppressive attempts to limit electronic expression by linking provocative imagery to a suite of proprietary web tools designed to inspire and facilitate a dialogue that continues to test the limits and definitions of “decency” and “annoyance” today. With freedom of expression in one of the most exciting and promising mediums since the turn of the century at stake, Clinton Fein challenged Bill Clinton and his administration that ratified the Communications Decency Act by filing a lawsuit against Attorney General Janet Reno, which would wind itself all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

The images in this exhibition are the direct manifestation of that challenge, extracted from their interactive context, adjusted and translated into a static medium using a Color Cruse Camera process to create archival quality, state-of-the art color photographic Type C Prints. The images selected for the exhibition represent a snapshot of the events, people and brands that are rooted in’s already formidable history.

Contemporary art gets no more incendiary than the C-prints on political and social topics…
Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

…downright obnoxious…

He’s made Mickey Mouse a homosexual martyr, strapped Dick Cheney to General Electric’s electric chair, slapped the pope onto a perforated condom wrapper and transformed Lady Liberty into a rifle-wielding madwoman.
Tanya Pamploni, The San Francisco Examiner

The more umbrageous among us may not click past Annoy’s home page, primed as it is for publicity with repeat-looped images of a wide range of uncovered private parts and brazen racial epithets. That would be a shame. The interesting thing about is that many will find it more amusing and enlightening than irritating.

The site is worthy of exploration for its irreverent use of interactivity, and there are also other kinds of provocative material here — in particular, cogent essays on media and social issues that are as edgy as anything on the Internet.
The Atlantic Monthly

Ms Liberty.

The New Missus

The New Missus

Not like the limp wristed of Italian fame,
with cowering limbs effeminate from toe to hand;
Here at our blood-soaked, dark gates shall stand
a fleshless killing machine with a weapon
whose discharge is incarcerated thunder, and her name
MotherFucker. From her cold, dead fingers
Screeches isolationist disdain, her lifeless eyes dictate
The polluted harbor
over whom twin cities loathe and litigate.
"Vomit from your ancient lands your rotting wealth!"
sneers she
with grit-clenched teeth. "Yoke your diseased, your
Your sickly masses choking to breathe Ours free,
The stinking diversity of your tainted shores.
Bring only, the rich, pure, pharmaceutically virgined to me,
I pack my heat behind the impenetrable door!"
Osama Bin Laden

The New Missus

Blood Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you feel
by the dusk’s fading light
How so sadly we mourn
our constitution is screaming?

Whose wise words and great power
could not win such a fight,
When our guardians we watched
stripped the words of their meaning?

And the terrorist nightmare,
the politician’s hot air,
Simply stole all we love
Our liberty no longer there.

Oh, say from the rubble
that is now a mass grave
Can our freedom we rebuild
and our constitution we save?
Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani

Strike a Pose...

Judy Nathan, Gracie too
Diallo, that is Amadou
Andres Serrano.. Damien Hirst
Decency above all first

Abner Louima, Holy See
Howard Safir, Hillary
Chris Ofili.. Pataki too
Sensation, NYPD Blue

Rudy has class
Rudy has taste
Brooklyn Museum, Sacred Waste
Disney.. Times Square.. Prostate Blues
Donna Hanover.. Bloomberg News

Vagina Monologues, Penis Passions
Tabloid Headlines, Fascist Rations
Funding Witholds, Catholic Leer
Virgin Dung, Madonna Smear
George W. Bush & Donald Rumsfeld

George W. Bush & Donald Rumsfeld

Stern Lawbreaker! yet thou dost wear
The Calumniate 's most malignly mask;
Nor know we anything so dark
As is the taint upon thy task:
Truth burns before thee on her deathbed

And distrust in thy bidding dreads;
Thou dost accuse fair moon of treason,
And the most despised fires of hell,
with thee, fester sick devoid of reason.

To nobler functions, awful Power!
I call thee: I myself resist
Unto thy trickery from this hour.
O let my revulsion have no end!
Give unto me, made bitterly wise,
The spirit to challenge the ghastly lies;
The confidence of freedom try;
Or in the death of Justice thy bondman let me die!
Carlo Giuliani

Carlo Giuliani

Banana Republicans, Stock Market Crashes
Gap Generations, World Trade Center Ashes
Sweat Shop Shenanigans, Corporate Snitches
Apple Stock Options, Abercrombie & Bitches
Starbucks Addictions, Executive Greed
Monsanto Corn Ears, Burger King Feed
General Electric, Vice President Energy
Searle Pharmaceuticals, CEO Synergy
Sweaters by Nike, Portfolio Big Bust
Microsoft Antitrust, Mister Ashcroft Mistrust
Bullets by Bennetton, Kenneth Cole Blues
Mattel Bulimia, Martha Stewart Stews
Dell Dudes in Doldrums, Global Currency Woes
Scandalized CEOs, WTO Lows
Commodities Fading, Futures Uncertain
Insider Trading, Inside Halliburton
Inefficient Management, Beneficent Boards
Embattled Embezzlers, White Collar Fraud
Black & Decker, Black & White, Presidential Joke
Texas Rangers, Harken Energy, Diet Pepsi, Coke
Patents, Trademarks, Casual Fridays, Low Class Action Suit
IMF, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit
Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney


Out of the fumes that choke us,
Black as the Soot from oil to drill,
We curse whatever gods may be
For environmentalists shrill.

Amidst the stench of weeping bark
With brazen chop and pious pave.
Under the ozoneless of skies
We damn the soil, dehydrate your grave.

Beyond this place of sweat and Khaki
Looms naught but Nature's sickly grudge,
And yet the warming of the globe
Finds, and shall find, us unwilling to budge.

It matters not how green the gas,
How dry the sand; how diluted the brand,
We are the masters of our dearth:
We are the destroyers of our earth.
George Washington

George Washington

Burn Baby, Burn

Burn Baby, Burn;
Earn Baby, Earn;
Green Backed Stealth
Red Neck Wealth
High Stakes Blood Sports
Low Key Afterthoughts
Temper High,
Semper Fi;
In God We Trust,
For This We Die.
Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

It was the sickest of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of tabloidism,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of misinformation,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Disgust,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the fall of integrity,
it was the winter of despair,
we had nothing behind us,
we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Hell,
we were all going indirect the same way--in short,
the period was so far like the present period,
that some of its noisiest authorities insist on its
being received,
for tragedy or for tears,
in the desperate degree of emphasis only.
Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh

Lethal Indigestion

The more we kill, the more we eat;
The kids explode; the mothers bleat;
A toxic wasteland blows apart;
The heavens bleed; the frying starts
Foot and Mouth and Bomb and Hand;
Burgers, Rifles, Promised Land,
Swallow the poison, kill the swine;
Block the circuit; pretend it's fine.
It's payback baby, even score;
It's in God's name, it's just one more.
The more we kill; the more we waste
Perfect precision, damn good taste.
JonBenet Ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey

With the regurgitated
greedy promises
and sycophantic evil,
the lickspittle hounds of perversity package
our collective grief,
and with depraved, whore-like lust,
sell it
back to us
for nothing less than our
battered souls,
politics, and thirty pieces
of tarnished silver.
Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler

We don't believe in mass branding of people.

There are saints, martyrs and devils of every stripe, color, and ethnicity.

For every martyr-like American prisoner of war, there is an American that will happily kill and rape a fleeing Albanian refugee.

For every slaughterer in Serbia there is a gentle kind protector that will shield and hide victims (only to be turned into a Steven Spielberg movie one day).

And for every well meaning political leader, there is an opportunistic pig who will stop at nothing to assert supremacy in an uncertain world.
John Paul II

John Paul II

Holier Than Thou...

Hallelujah ®, Praise the Lord ®
Jesus, Inc. God Corp.
Holy See ® Holy Blind ®
Virgin Slut
Cruel Kind
Intellectual Property
Antiquated Prophecy
Madonna ® Pepsi ®
Silent Night
© Copyright
Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam

And as the bastards went to war
No one cared, 'cos no one saw
With no thought, no rhyme, no reason
The empty threats of troop cohesion
Were left lying like a corpse in an early grave
And still they gave
The deathly lies and violence

"Fag," said I, "It's time to go
The war is over end the show.
Your life is only worthwhile when you die
Although we asked, we cannot take the lie"
And the bombs and bullets
echoed through the desolate night
With deafening lies and violence

The blind and wounded could not find
There was nothing left behind
And the victory scream of naked hate
Could do nothing to redeem the State
And the Law said "These people cannot any longer help us win the war"
Forever more
And then killed them with lies and violence.

On January 30, 1997, Clinton Fein launched, simultaneously filing a federal court action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 that criminalized any “indecent” computer communication intended to “annoy” another person. 

Much of the content on was deliberately provocative and very often, somewhat crass, mocking the pretensions and piety of politicians and media alike. 

The CDA’s assault on the First Amendment could not be countered with subtleties. So began a prolonged court battle against Janet Reno and the Clinton Administration that was finally determined by the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Fein became the first South African born activist to challenge the United States government before the Supreme Court.

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, Artforum, New York’s prestigious art magazine, pulled an advertisement for an exhibition. 

The advertisement consisted of an image displaying a purse-lipped Rudy Giuliani sitting naked in a urine-filled glass box, referencing the technique used by artist Damien Hirst and part of an exhibit, Sensation, that resulted in the former mayor withholding funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art. 

Artforum would later give conflicting reasons for the decision that day veering between operational and ideological justifications.