D+TM #16 & #17 !Mediengruppe Bitnik
Our workshop will explore questions of anonimity in networks, collective identities, presence and absence and performing in radical realtime.
We’ll look at how online and offline networks are intricately interwoven. Where can we find areas for artistic action in the intersections of online and offline? How are these spaces changing the notion of publics and public spheres?
We’ll use recent works as a starting point for a reflection on RRRRRRRRadical Realtime. This will also mark the playing field for own
explorations and collaborative experiments in time-based online media.
What are strategies and tools to intervene into online and offline public spaces? What role can realtime media play for a time-based artistic practice? And how can we use these spaces as a stage for performances?
!Mediengruppe Bitnik (read – the not mediengruppe bitnik) live and work in Zurich/London. Using Hacking as an artistic strategy, their works re-contextualise the familiar to allow for new readings of established structures and mechanisms.
They have been known to intervene into Londons surveillance space by hijacking CCTV cameras and replacing the video images with an invitation to play chess. In early 2013 !Mediengruppe Bitnik sent a parcel to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuodorian embassy. The parcel contained a camera which broadcast its journey through the postal system live on the internet. They call this work a system_test and a live mail art piece.
!Mediengruppe Bitniks works formulate fundamental questions concerning contemporary issues.
Founders and Artist Core Team:
Domagoj Smoljo (1979)
Carmen Weisskopf (1976)
Adnan Hadzi, Daniel Ryser
Their works have been shown internationally including:
La Gaîté Lyrique Paris, NiMk Amsterdam, Space Gallery London, BAC Bâtiment d‘art contemporain Geneva, Cabaret Voltaire Zurich, HMKV Dortmund, Beton7 Athens, Share Torino, Museum Folkwang Essen, Ars Electronica Linz, Contemporary Art Center Vilnius, Kunsthaus Zurich, Gallery EDEN 343 São Paulo and the Roaming Biennale Teheran
They have received awards including:
Swiss Art Award, Migros New Media Jubilee Award, Honorary Mention Prix Ars Electronica
!Mediengruppe Bitnik, Random Darknet Shopper, «The Darknet – From Memes
to Onionland. An Exploration», Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier
4 Chan Games. Selection
2. Performative Aspects – Live
3. Hacking for LuLZ / Trolling
4. Self-Referential / Memes / Games
1.1. Draw Yourself / Draw Your Life
“Draw Yourself” is an exploitable cartoon series centered around a plain stick-figure that can be customized to resemble what the illustrator looks and dresses like in real life. Similar to other character templates like fsjal andconga, “Draw Yourself” became a popular pastime on imageboards and forums largely due to its casual aesthetics. This version is not to be confused be with the expanded multi-pane template Draw Your Life.
The online phenomenon of illustrating and sharing self-portraits have been in existence prior to the emergence of “Draw Yourself” template, with notable examples like “Draw Yourself as a South Park Character” and “Draw Yourself as a Teenager” from the early 2000s.
The stick-figure template was created by LaxJeff2002 on a F@NBOY$ Forum  thread.
The figure itself first appeared on the /co/ board of 4chan after having been posted there by a friend of Jeff’s, where over 250 images of it were made.
1.2 MS Paint Desktop Icons
MS Paint Desktop Icons (also known as “Misspelled Desktop Icons”) refers to a series of hand-drawn computer icons with intentional spelling errors created by using basic image editors like MS Paint. Since its first appearance via 4chan in late November 2007, this thread has been re-summoned on multiple occasions, with each round of thread typically spawning well over a hundred contributions from the userbase.
The earliest known image compilation of hand-drawn icons can be found in a 4chan /b/ (random) thread dating back to November 30th, 2007. The OP began the thread with a rather poorly drawn Google site logo and the misspelled caption “Gouleg.” The original thread was met by positive response on /b/ and went on to inspire over 200 reply posts showcasing various sketches of well-known desktop icons.
2. Performative Aspects – Live
2.1 I’ll be there in 30 minutes
“I’ll Be There in 30 Minutes” is a catchphrase used to troll others on 4chan’s /b/ (random) board using the live feed of Earthcam 2 located in Times Square in New York City, showing a souvenir postcard stand in front of a giftshop.
Although Earthcam trolling schemes have been brought up on 4chan prior, “I’ll be there in 30 minutes” comments first surfaced on February 10th, 2011, after a postcard stand on Times Square was knocked down by two pedestrians on January 20th. Others who witnessed the event via Earthcam started making empty claims to head over to Time Square and knock it down again “in the next 30 minutes.”
Earthcam Times Square:
/b/ got tired of knocking over the cardstand… Ordered some pizza for a change.
New York, NY 10036,
2.2 Smash Face On Keyboard, Post Results!
“Smash Face On Keyboard, Post Results!” is a type of forum gaming activity that involves striking one’s head against the keyboard and posting the result in a serial thread. Since its introduction via 4chan in early 2009, the phenomenon has spread to hundreds of websites and forums. While it has been criticized as spamming or trolling, the forum game remains quite popular to this day for its spontaneous appeal.
On January 28th, 2009, a thumbnail image appeared on 4chan simply reading “SMASH FACE ON KEYBOARD POSTRESULTS”, with the creator only having “78y6u” in his post, presumably from smashing his face on his keyboard. Hundreds of replies were posted instantly after the original post, mostly consisting of randomly stroke letters and numbers. In the following weeks, the image was re-posted numerous times on the imageboard site and the phenomenon caught the attention of other blogs and forums, one of the earliest reports coming from the internet culture blog GiveUpInternet.
2.3 MapCrunch Game
The MapCrunch game requires that players pretend to have woken in an unknown place and must find their way home again by coming across an airport. Due to the fact that the initial location chosen is random, the game has proven to be notoriously frustrating and time consuming.
The earliest archived mention of the game comes from an archived 4chan thread in the /v/ (video games) board on March 6th, 2011. A Wiki for the game was created on February 16th, 2012.
2.4 Game Wikipedia
Go to wikipedia.
Choose Random Page.
Try to find your way to Tesla/Obama entry on wikipedia by browsing from the random page
Post how many steps it took you.
2.5 Pool’s Closed (Habbo Hotel)
Pool’s Closed is a catchphrase associated with a series of raids carried out by Anonymous against the online social networking site Habbo Hotel, where members of the group formed human blockades to obstruct the entry points of popular hangouts with their avatars dressed in afros and business suits. The first raid was launched in July 2006 after rumors began to spread on 4chan that some Habbo moderators had tendencies to ban users based on the skin colors of their avatars.
2.6 Post Ending in X wins Y
Post Ending in X wins Y is a lottery game played on chan imageboards, in which the OP (original poster) randomly posts a winning number–usually the last two digits of a post number–with a reward and whoever replies with a matching post number (located next to post time/date) is omg teh winrar. It’s kinda like digital bingo.
For instance, if the OP says “first post ending in 43 tells me what to do with my life,” then the reply “#144360543: quit 4chan forever” would be the winning advice (screenshot). There are many variations of this game, most notably “Post Ending in X gets to name Y” and roll posting (NSFW) where the OP assigns instructions to numbers 0-9, which would correspond to the last digit of each post number. There is also a type of post game where you guess at your post number for a picture reward, yay!
More Online Forum Games:
2.7 Flash Mob Campaigns
Internet Love Machine:
William Lashua’s Birthday is a flash mob campaign organized by 4chan’s Anonymouscontingent to celebrate the 90th birthday of William Lashua, a World War II veteran who resides in Ashburnham, MA. Also see: Kate’s Birthday.
Kate’s Birthday was an open Facebook event organized by Kate Miller, who wished to invite some of her close friends and celebrate her birthday on May 1st, 2010. Although it was meant to be a small, intimate get-together, the number of invites quickly got out of hand after it became widely publicized by others, amassing over 60,000 attendees before getting shut down.
2.8 Sending Pizza
3. Hacking for LuLZ / Trolling
3.1 Moot 2009
On February 17th, 2009, moot found himself gracing the front page of the style/culture section of the The Washington Post. Drawing on his appearance at ROFL Thing this year, the article is basically the same as the Time Magazine article published last year, apart from the revelation that despite the growing publicity the internet’s “master of memes” has received in the last year and a half and the lucrative ad revenues he’s been pulling in due to 4chan’s ever-growing popularity, he’s been unable to secure a job IRL, still living with his mom, and 20k in debt. TL;DR: moot is in for tough times, where did it all go?.
Washington Post article – “His real name is Christopher Poole.”
On the bright side for mootle, Time Magazine has decided to suck his muddy cock even more, and included him on the voting list of Time`s 100 Most Influential People. Wait, what?
As of April 27th Moot IS Time Magazine’s World’s Most Influential person. A Time Magazine editor had this to say, “I know it was rigged but he just would not stop offering to suck my cock. So, I finally let him and JESUS CHRIST, shit was so cash. Why do you think he won by such a wide margin?” I wonder if he got the stains out?
3.2 Friday the 13th – LOLSCRIPTS
On June 13th, 2008, 4chan came one step closer to the final solution. A script kiddie decided to post a script for others to follow its instructions and save it in to Notepad. When the script runs, it posts the guide in a thread on /b/. The final result was a barrage of lulz and resulted in the newfags that fell for it and didn’t know how to stop it getting b&. This cycle would reoccur several times thereafter, ensuring that half the posts on /b/ at any given time are spam.
3.3 Rickrolling / Duckrolling
Rickrolling is a bait-and-switch practice that involves providing a web link supposedly relevant to the topic at hand, but actually re-directs the viewer to Rick Astley’s 1987 hit single “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The URL is often masked or obfuscated as a randomly-generated shortlink to conceal its true source from the experienced users. Whenever someone clicks the link and unintentionally summons Rick Astley’s song, he or she is said to have been rickrolled.
Textual Derivative: WikiLeaks Rickroll
Just as the world was fully grasping Wikileaks for the first time, amid dense publications of top secret cables, the arrest of Julian Assange in the UK, and Operation Payback which included serious attacks on Visa, MasterCard, Amazon and Paypal, one purported Wikileak document titled “England: Reliability and Longevity of UK-US Relationship Confirmed” was probably more read than any other:
Originally posted on the eve of December 9th, 2010, readers who clicked through the hidden link were led to a document that includes the lyrics to the Rick Astley’s song:
SUBJECT: ENGLAND: RELIABILITY AND LONGEVITY OF UK-US RELATIONSHIP CONFIRMED
REF: A. LONDON 365 B. LONDON 366
Classified By: Consul General Robbie Honerkamp for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D )
1. (S/NF) Summary: We’re no strangers to love. You know the rules and so do I.
A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of. You wouldn’t get this from any other guy.
I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling. Gotta make you understand.
2. (C/NF) Chorus: Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.r
Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.
3. (S/NF) We’ve known each other for so long Your heart’s been aching but You’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on We know the game and we’re gonna play it
And if you ask me how I’m feeling Don’t tell me you’re too blind to see
4. (C/NF) Chorus: Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.White House Tweet
On July 27th, 2011, Twitter user @wiggsd tweeted “This WH correspondence briefing isn’t nearly as entertaining as yesterday’s.” The official White House Twitter account, @whitehouse, replied to the tweet with a link to the Rick Astley video on YouTube.
Slightly Related: Gold Membership Trolling, also known as “Gold Account Trolling”, is an online prank that involves posting a fabricated image to raise the false notion that a paid account is required to view the real image. This method of trolling is most often found on image boards, discussion forums and social networks. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/gold-membership-trolling
Bait and Switching
Bait-and-Switch is a common tactic associated with online fraud and practical humor that involves falsely advertising a hyperlink as a destination of interest, when in fact, it leads to something that is irrelevant or undesirable.
Some of the most commonly linked destinations in bait-and-switch trolling include The Hampster Dance, Duckroll,Rickroll, Trololol, Nigel Thornberry Remix and Epic Sax Guy. The method is also widely used as an online prank wherein links to shock sites and media are falsely advertised as news or information that is in high demand.
3.4 Polls: Voting
Best Book Read Raid:
4chan Best Book Read Raid was a prank orchestrated by members of 4chan which targeted an online poll ranking life-changing books by the website Best Book Read.
On April 7th, 2014, the website Best Book Read published a promotional video for their online poll ranking books that “transformed your life forever.”
On April 17th, 2014, a thread was submitted to 4chan which urged users to vote the 1925 autobiographical manifestoMein Kampf by Adolf Hitler to the top of the Best Book Read poll.
Taylor Swift and others:
Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan Contest was an online voting contest by the Boston radio station Kiss 108 FM giving away a chance to meet the American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. In July of 2013, the contest became the target of an online raid by users of the imageboard 4chan.
Justin Bieber to North Korea (also known as “Project North Korea is Best Korea”) is an Internet prank orchestrated by users of the imageboard 4chan in early 2010, which aimed to rig an online poll to select North Korea as a destination in Justin Bieber’s “My World” tour.
Spam as a Digital Weapon Over the years, the annoying qualities of spam have been used deliberately to overwhelm and incite confusion in online communities. On image boards such as 4Chan, for example, the infamous “sagebomb” technique has been used to flood threads with sage posts, ageing the thread until it dies whilst ensuring it does not get bumped. On forums around the world, spamming is used by spambots to advertise a product, and by humans to demean or offend their target. When raids are done on websites or forums, spam is used as a primary weapon thanks to its ease of use and devastating effect. Entire organizations have even been formed to hunt down the elusive groups that propagate spam, and a war is being fought in the bowels of the internets by various groups who have taken it upon themselves to try and kerb the spam epidemic.
4. Self-Referential / Memes / Games
4.1 Wat do?
“Wat Do” (or “What Do?”) is an image macro series showcasing the most eccentric,WTF-like pictures on the internet, accompanied by the prompt: “Walk in. See This. What Do?” On discussion forums and image boards, this phrase is typically used to survey others’ opinions or suggestions in regard to an image or scenario in question.
Walk in – See this – Wat do?
The best response to any “walk in, see this, wat do?” thread. results in instant lulz.
-Walk in, see this, wat do? (picture of spider infestation on ceiling)
4.2 You Laugh, You Lose – You x You Lose
This meme came from 4chan around the summer 2007, according to Google insight and consisted in a simple game: Posting a picture that arouses a specific reaction. One must hold himself on to avoid having said reaction. If one loses to do so, one must reply by posting another picture in order to provoke the same reaction.
Most of the time, it gives birth to endless threads of images followed by replies such as “I lost !”
4.3 I Accidentally
“I Accidentally…” is a catchphrase, internet slang, and trolling mechanism meant to exploit the imagination of English-speaking internet users. It is used by constructing a complete sentence that begins with “I accidentally” and removing the verb, leaving readers wondering what had been there in the first place.
The first instance of this was a possible typo that appeared in a post on 4chan‘s /b/ (random) board on May 20th, 2008. The original poster stated that they had just “accidentally 93MB of .rar files” and wanted to know what they should do and if it was dangerous. Other posters responded both with comments on the post’s lack of grammar as well as variations on the phrase “I accidentally.” Although the original thread was not archived, a screenshot of the post has been floating around the web since.
4.3 Name My Band
Name My Band is a series of recurring threads in the /b/ (random) board on 4chan. Each post typically begins with a group photograph and a request for viewers to give the subjects an appropriate band name, to which other users respond with jokes mocking the those pictured in the photo.
The earliest known “name my band” thread was submitted to 4chan on October 25th, 2010, featuring a group photo of four young teenagers (shown below).
4.4 Newfags can’t Triforce
4.5 Fingerboxes / Item Fads
Fingerbox is an item fad that began on 4chan’s /b/ board sometime in the summer of 2010.
The fad involves someone posting a picture of a Fingerbox with a seemingly genuine question or remark, followed by other users acting as if they not only all know what the OP is referring to, but have owned one since childhood.
The common discussion points are the number of holes, the materials the box is made of, and different custom boxes and their merits.
Inevitably a user finally asks what a Fingerbox is, at which point they will promptly be laughed at and called aNewfag.