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Protesters Rain Down Thousands of Bills in Guggenheim Rotunda

"At 6:45 pm ET yesterday evening, a handheld bell sounded in the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, signaling the second protest action in as many months from the Global Ultra Luxury Faction, or G.U.L.F. The ringing was followed by the release of 9,000 “1%” bills of parodic currency which fluttered downward as patrons rushed to the inner edge of Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiral ramp. But unlike G.U.L.F.’s intervention at the museum late last month, there were no shouted demands or Occupy-style mic checks — the only sound that could be heard after the bills were released was the collective gasp of the hundreds of patrons who packed the museum, where lines for entry wrapped around the block (Saturdays are a free night). Posters and bills were also placed in the museum’s bathrooms and later posted in a number of the city’s subway stations and trains."

"The action also coincided with G.U.L.F.’s inauguration of their “sustainable design” competition, announced Friday on a spoof website, and followed a New York Times op-ed published by the group’s Andrew Ross, a professor at New York University(NYU)."

"The event marks a transition away from G.U.L.F.’s previous Occupy-influenced style and an embrace of a more aesthetically-oriented strategy of protest. The group, a relatively new offshoot of the Gulf Labor coalition, has distinguished itself by injecting a dose of activist spectacle to the longstanding labor rights campaign. The action, explained Nitasha Dhillon of G.U.L.F., was inspired by Abbie Hoffman’s 1967 intervention at the New York Stock Exchange, where he orchestrated the dumping of dollar bills in the middle of the trading floor."

"The dollar bills, designed by Noah Fischer, were printed at NYU on six different colors of paper and were produced and deployed collaboratively by the 20 or so people involved in this action. Though none of the participants were arrested or detained by museum security, the Guggenheim’s staff responded to the incident in several ways. Photography was immediately banned in the rotunda and guards shut down the main floor."