Symposium Schedule

Welcome Guests


Schemes, the American Dream, & the Kardashian’s

Lauren Prado

An investigation that looks at the Kardashians as a contemporary cultural touchstone that has permeated so many avenues of American life. An exploration into the millennial celebrity, #lifestylegoals, and acquisition.

Risky Business - Good Decision Making When The Outcomes Are Uncertain.

Steve Bleiler

We’ll explore in this talk how knowing our attitudes toward risk, some elementary probability theory, and the mathematical and behavioral theory of games can inform our decision making when the outcomes are uncertain. The presentation is self contained and no previous knowledge of either probability theory of the theory of games is assumed.

Boned: Survival and the Sexual Revolution

Philip King

Sex workers, much like those working in the food service industry, engage in physical labor to satisfy the basic human needs of others—yet sex workers face constant scams, prejudice, and criminalization for engaging in what is openly known as ‘the world’s oldest profession.’ Sex workers are shamed for actualizing bodily autonomy as a means to survive in our capitalist society. But few who deride this occupation understand the multivalent schemata of the industry. What risks do sex workers truly face, and conversely, what are some potential liberations of working in the sex trade?

Lunch Break

Is Higher Education a Scam?
Moderated by Roz Crews
In this group discussion, everyone in the room will be invited to participate in a dialogue where we will collectively debate whether or not higher education is a scam. After establishing a set of shared definitions (ie. What is higher education?), folks will be invited to share and analyze conflicting viewpoints about the topic.

Real Fake Artistry

manuel arturo abreu
Theoretically, enough free and pirated resources exist online that artists can engage almost any digital medium and refashion their practice as needed or desired. As well, any non-artist could, with enough self-training, present as an artist in any digital medium and potentially be taken seriously. This sounds liberating, but it actually becomes a necessity as precarity continues to pervade our lives: everyone has multiple jobs, doing a little bit of everything but mostly nothing. Anything can be art, everyone is an artist, but very few are paid well or at all. So how do we get out from under this by taking advantage of all the available resources? Using their own practice as an example, abreu will show how some of these resources might be accessed by those interested in being a real fake artist.

Strategies for Post-Digital Subversion

Alden Jones
Whatever happened to the internet? The removal of barriers, of identities, of physicalities, was supposed to bring us to a grander civilization, to a communal humanity on the integrated circuit. Now it has become corporatized, Web 2.0’d, driven by the extraction of wealth from categorization and commoditization of its users and the data they generate. This talk will review a variety of contemporary media artist strategies for subverting the current working order of the internet and the digital systems of oppression that underlie it.

How to Know When Your Horoscope is Being Real
Interview with Renee Sills
In this conversation, Ralph Pugay will interview Renee Sills, author of Embodied Astrology, on the realness of astrology and horoscopes.

Museums, how they serve us and harm us.
Libby Werbel and Roz Crews
In this conversation with artist Libby Werbel and SSSS organizer Roz Crews we will examine the role the museum serves in cultural advancement and how it is tied to systems of oppression. How has the power dynamic between artist and Museum developed over time, what is it now, and what is its future? Is it possible to be both subversive and appreciative of an Institution? How?

Defensive Housing with the Office of Neighborship
Eric Olson and Zeph Fishlyn
Having a problem with your lease or your neighbors? Confused by complicated housing rules? Learn how to take care of yourself in uncertain times. Through a combination of Know Your Rights training and group exercises, you’ll leave with a clearer sense of your power and place in a changing city!


The Totally Honest Barter Bazaar

The Totally Honest Barter Bazaar will showcase one-of-a-kind/original/legit products and services where both vendors and consumers are encouraged to be creative / self-determine / negotiate the value of what is on sale through experimental or traditional forms of exchange (currency or otherwise).



The Living School of Art
The Living School of Art is an alternative art school housed within a city-block square affordable housing apartment complex in East Portland, OR. The program follows the form of a traditional art school (classes, guest speakers, etc) but focuses on creative impulses within everyday habits and experiences. The Living School of Art's booth will be selling Bart Simpson necklaces, zines, and original artwork made by kids.

Phone Session (Malia Jensen with John, Sophie, Damian, and Daniel)
Phone Session will present a number of conversational options available for purchase.

Mis Tacones
Hola y Buenas tardas, I’m Carlos Reynoso. My Partner Abram Bañuelos and I run a queer vegan Taqueria pop-up called Mis Tacones. We are currently working on expanding our business to a more permanent location to continue to serve our beautiful and supportive community. We serve traditional Mexican street food found in Baja California and East Los Angeles. We are selling some goods with prints designed and printed by me to go towards our crowdfunding campaign. Gracias y abrazos.

Official Merchandise Booth (Daniel Rolnik)
Supplies limited. Most esoteric art events have no official merchandise...until today. Please use caution when visiting our Official Merchandise Booth if you are aware of a special health condition. Some merchandise may not be appropriate for guests with health conditions.

PLNT DD (Shawn Creeden)
PLNT DD will be offering Plant Care Guidance, Encouragement of Non-human Empathy, and opportunities to adopt a rescued photosynthetic friend! Bring your curiosity and questions and leave with strategies to subvert life-negating, extractive, consumer capitalism and the depressing isolation it promotes by investing energy into the growing of LIFE in your home and heart. Learn best watering practices, ways to nurture your awareness and sensitivities, and take home a cutting and begin a new journey of healing and reconnection with Mother Nature.

Well Made Toy's Co. (an artist project by Elijah Turner-Nelson and Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. with support from Carlos and Kaylahni)
Well Made Toy's Co. features the finest toys made by children* for all ages! Disclaimer: Most toys are too delicate to play with, so play at your own risk, no refunds, all sales are final. *No children were harmed, paid, or exploited in the making of Well Made Toy's Co.'s toys.

Underfoot Vintage & Stuff From Costa Rica (Marci Branagan & Lori Gilbert)
This dynamic duo will sell vintage things, some scratch & dent vintage, some altered vintage and a few plants or terrariums. They will also sell stickers and plants, and items based off of things Costa Rican.

KEYCHAIN: When trust counts (Sandy Sampson & Francesca Frattaroli)
If you make a good impression Keychain will open a 6 month analogue trust account in your name. No purchase necessary

Just the Fax (Sam Peters)
Selling copies of Just the Fax, a collection of shady faxes sent to the PSU School of Art + Design fax machine in 2018 and early 2019.

Buckwildpegasus (Matt Leavitt)
This vendor will be selling drawings, paintings, small sculptures and more!

100% RECEIPTS (Intuitive Writing)by Morgan Ritter

100% RECEIPTS will offer an intuitive service of analyzing individuals into percentages of objects that they are based on the vendor's perception and writing them like a poem on a big receipt. This vendor will also have drawings, books, or sculptures for sale, and possibly a bunch of examples of the 100% receipts with pop culture figures.

In 1994, Yolo Biafra donned his pseudonym: Fiësto. Today, the DJ and musical grifter is a GRAMMY® Award-winning, platinum-certified, international icon.
He is the only artist to ever hold the titles of "Greatest DJ of All Time" and "The Godfather of Scheme Tech". After making history in 2004 as the first DJ to open the Olympic Games, he remains a sought-after headliner everywhere from Coachella, Ultra, to Beech Street Parlor. From high-profile residencies to crossover success, Fiësto created the blueprint that defines what it means to be a success in today's rapacious music world.
Despite his sonic evolution, he has never lost his connection with the crowd. "I came up in the scam scene, so I have the ability to really pull one over on the audience. I can grab them– yunno, musically– and take them for everything they're worth. That's why I've been around for so long."





Schemers, Scammers, and Subverters Symposium (SSSS) is a free one-day symposium that explores the many ways in which schemy and scammy behaviors influence the way we live life in a capitalist society. Organized as a send-up of traditional business conferences, SSSS will host panel talks and lectures that unpack different wayss in which flimflammery pervades our culture by way of different motivations. SSSS serves as a hub for conversation, education, and awareness on relevant topics which will be delivered by presenters from diverse perspectives and walks of life. Presenters throughout the day will address ways in which people become victims, witnesses, and perpetrators in the manifestation of deceitful and undermining behavior, as well as shed light on instances where they can be useful.

Where and When:

SSSS will be hosted in the Windsor A and B rooms of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Portland OR on Saturday, February 23rd from 9:30a-6pm. Please refer to the map below for directions on how to get there.

Crowne Plaza Hotel Portland | 1441 NE 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97232

How to Attend:

Schemers, Scammers, and Subverters Symposium is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary. A printed program schedule will also be available on-site beginning at 9:30am and throughout the duration of the event.



Given that we are currently living in one of the most turbulent political moments in American history, instances of schemes, scams, and acts of subversion are consistently being brought to our attention in the news and social media more than ever. We live in a moment when citizens are constantly being reminded of the fact that not only is this country founded on freedom of expression and free markets, it is also founded on undermining people who are most vulnerable. Coming to terms with this history amplified in the present can feel painful especially for those who are most victimized. Dismayed by the current moment, the founders of SSSS wanted to create a knowledge-sharing platform that would bring attention to different ways that society is susceptible or culpable to such predatory acts. We want a place where we can gather together to learn about different ways that things can slip under our rugs so that we can at some point figure out what to do about them. At the same time, we also acknowledge that for many, undermining others can mean other things, like being able to provide for loved ones in need or simply feeling a sense of life through the lulls of playing by the rules. SSSS is a an event that provides a place where we can understand the different motivations at play in the act of undermining systems.

Who will participate?

Though the idea of this symposium is artist-initiated, we are looking to bring light to different topics related to scheming, scamming, and subverting from a variety of perspectivee. This event is open to the public. Due to the nature of the topics covered, we expect that everyone participating will treat each other with respect. Be considerate or leave.

What will the day look like?

During the day of the symposium, lectures, workshops, and presentations will happen throughout the day from 10am until 6pm. Time for questions and answers are allotted at the conclusion of each session as well as breaks to prepare for proceeding panels. Attendees can enter and leave presentations as they please. While presentations are in session-- The Totally Honest Barter Bazaar will be open in the adjacent room from 10am-5:30pm.

What is the Totally Honest Barter Bazaar?

The Totally Honest Barter Bazaar will showcase one-of-a-kind/original/legit products and services where both vendors and consumers are encouraged to be creative/self-determine/negotiate the value of what is on sale through experimental or traditional forms of exchange (currency or otherwise).

Where will it be?

SSSS will be hosted at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Portland OR, in Windsor Ballrooms A and B.


Email for inquiries about this event.




This event is sponsored by: