THEN: Reed College art senior who engineered the surreal reverse-peristalsis protest of 1990, when a dozen demonstrators greeted Vice President Dan Quayle with a hail of red, white and blue vomit.

NOW: After graduating, Vamos started the Barbie Liberation Organization, which swapped the voice boxes of hundreds of talking Barbie dolls with those of GI Joe--so that Joe would giggle, "Math is hard!" while Barbie spat, "Dead men tell no lies!" The BLO then put the surgically altered dolls back on toy-store shelves, to the consternation of Mattel.

Vamos later directed a sly mockumentary about the fin de siècle Paris "fartiste" Joseph Pujol, whose flatulent performances at the Moulin Rouge had audiences swooning.

But Vamos' most ambitious prank so far is the Yes Men--a satirical band of reality-hackers who infiltrate groups like the World Trade Organization and take free-market theory to its illogical extreme (check out the recent documentary or

When he's not subverting the dominant paradigm, Vamos, now 36, is Assistant Professor of Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and last year landed a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.