This morning at 7am, a whole bunch of naked people descended on the financial district to do various normal and not-so-normal things in the buff. One woman walked an invisible dog. One man led an imaginary aerobics class. (The Youtube video someone took has already been removed.) Another sat at a desk and worked. By 7:05, they had all put their clothes back on and split. Early reports speculated it was Improv Everywhere, even though their pranks don’t tend to break the law.

As it turns out, it was a visual protest on the part of artist Zefrey Throwell that he dubbed “Ocularpation.” Fed up with Wall Street’s lack of transparency, and sickened by watching his own mother lose her life savings in the crash of 2008, he sought to contrast the naked vulnerability of the performers with the surrounding buildings’ shady dealings. “I’m trying to illuminate a dark cranny in the financial world,” he told Metro New York. “It’s been three years and nothing has changed. It’s still mysterious.” This all makes logical sense to me. But even if some of that message might’ve been lost on the amoral capitalists at which it was directed, it certainly made for a visually interesting happening.

A few of the performers were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and “exposure;” the artist bailed them out. The evil titans of Wall Street could not be reached for comment, but I’m going to assume they’re currently weeping at their desks, preparing to give all their ill-gotten gains to charity.

(Photos via Metro)