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