Dyke Action Machine
"GAP" Campaign
Xerox posters, 1991

"Lesbian Americans: Don't Sell Out!"
4/C offset poster, 1998


Dyke Action Machine! (DAM!) is the public art project of photographer Sue Schaffner and painter Carrie Moyer. Since 1991, their public art campaigns have dissected mainstream media by inserting lesbian images, content and critique into highly commodified commercial contexts. DAM!'s interventions are sited wherever the public gets its information -- the streets of New York City, the Worldwide Web, the Munich subway system, interactive phone lines, even matchbook covers have all been used as vehicles. The project began as an interrogation of how lesbians are and are NOT depicted in American popular culture and evolved into a larger critique from a lesbian point of view.

The "Gap Campaign" was DAM!'s premiere project from 1991. It was a un-ironic effort to expose a lack of visual representation by appropriating a familiar ad campaign (in this case, The Gap). It delineates the basic concept that one cannot be present or seen by American society unless one exists to them as a consumer group.

The "Lesbian Americans" campaign in 1998, critiques so-called "gay marketing" in the post-Ellen era, a time in which images of lesbians were being used to sell products and lesbians themselves were even occasionally being marketed to. With this campaign, DAM! looked backwards, staking their claim on Americana and the national propaganda produced during the WPA and WWII. The project combines the earnest tone and formal elements of such war-effort posters with the cynical use of patriotism by brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. www.dykeactionmachine.com.