Two Videos

February 13, 2009 § 1 Comment

These two videos are made by something called “Fatal Farm”. I have done absolutely no research into the origins or philosophies of this group–I don’t know anything about it. Is it a team or a single person? Are their goals commercial or provocative? I have no idea. I don’t particularly care to know. One side benefit of only having the Internet on a small, cramped laptop is that the idea of finding the answer is literally exhausting. Do I want to navigate through one thousand tabs, nursing my cramped hands and aching wrists? On a larger computer it’s likely that I would become sidetracked, spending hours coming to a very simple (and meaningless) answer. The Internet is a butterfly, and as we try to concentrate on a single point, we are distracted by the majesty and the grandeur of its unfolding and folding wings.

The videos here are very weird. As a result, without context, they are even more fascinating. What is being subverted? Why are these videos so effective? Is it simply that we are engaged, even revitalised, by the idea that we are allowed to physically play–in the Knight Rider video below, this is where this idea is most obvious–with communications that we have, for most of our lives, understood as holy and unchangeable? We receive the word of beings composed of thousands of people: we imbibe this word as if it came directly from God. Is our thrill in watching these videos (and their YouTube cousins, from “Fatal Farm” or not) akin to that experienced by Martin Luther, or even Richard Dawkins? Or is it something else? Perhaps the word that we receive from our television sets seems unnatural–corporations, for instance, cannot claim to have the same interest in our well-beings as God, or the gods–and our delight might come merely from the perceived justice of its subversion.

But it could be simpler than that. It could be that any kind of symbol that has become well-established in the human psyche–an apple, a braying donkey, a sink or a urinal–becomes that much more interesting, or even revealing, when we turn it on its head. How frightening, then, that these new symbols are inorganic and developed in bland meetings, later packaged and sold as if they are necessary; perhaps more frightening is that their use is controlled by corporations who can make a reasonable claim against the maker of these videos, against the makers of anyone who repackages their widgets, as if they, for broadcasting something, hold a greater share of it than us, who imbibe it and, in a way, become it. At any moment these videos could be removed from the internet, and the revelations contained within will become nothing more than black holes.

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