The Condiment War

This project happened six years ago, but this video just popped up on the net last month. In August of 2003 the Madagascar Institute had a massive “condiment war” in DUMBO Brooklyn.

Daniel Maurer was there and wrote up an awesome first hand account. Here’s an excerpt:

There were supposed to be four armies: Madagascar Institute, the Toyshop Collective, the Greenpoint-based art collective WAMP, and “the bloodthirsty public, banded together in an Irregular Militia.” (Several civilians also posed as pacifists, meditating in the Lotus position even as they were pelted.) The teams were demarked by the color of their armbands (civies in yellow) and stationed in opposite corners, but as soon as the schnitzel hit the fan, all was chaos.

Noise makers and blow horns filled the air, as did a dizzying plethora of condiments. Suddenly I felt like I was in Saving Private Ryan. Men and women in plastic coveralls ran around spraying each other, or throwing chunks of hot dog, dough, pretty much anything edible. A woman wheeled an ice cream cart into the center of the staging area and pulled a hose out of it, spraying everyone around her. Another combatant hid her condiments in a baby carriage disguised as an elephant. Someone with a Super Soaker pumped vinegar into my eye.

From the rooftop of an adjacent 10-story building, people threw balloons full of god-knows-what onto the street below. At one point I looked up to see an operative rappelling off the side of the building. The figure stopped halfway down to drop a cluster of condiment bombs. All the while I ran around squeezing my wimpy squirt bottle of ketchup, feeding off the thrill of soiling total strangers while trying not to slip on a lava bed of spent ammo

Another write up
Some photos

(thanks Kevin)

5 thoughts on “The Condiment War”

  1. Seems like a lot of fun, indeed. They sure had a good time. But I don’t like the idea of wasting food. It really bothers me.

  2. So, I stole your link and post it up at my hood but I told everyone to come see you and give you the love I feel for your site. Thank you everyday for finding such cool stuff.

  3. Unless the food was going to be disposed of anyway, I too don’t really like the idea of wasting food. But nevertheless, this sure does look like a hell of a lot of fun.

    Probably smells like shit though. Condiments are pungent! hahah.

  4. To the “wasting food” critics: most of the food was taken from dumpsters and it was on the way to a landfill or incinerator.

    Plus, condiments aren’t food. Try sending a case of mustard as hunger relief to an impoverished subsaharan African nation. They would not be amused.

    Love this video – I had been looking for one for years.

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