Needless art actions strike again. Yesterday at around 3 pm, Brad Troemel’s latest work, Assembly, managed to get his popular Tumblr blog The Jogging deleted by its host. The concept of this piece was simple: JstChillin.org would host a poll asking readers what site they would like to oppose. Once the offending site was chosen, JstChillin.org would serve as the site of protest, hosting 25 constantly reloading iframes on one day only (November 1st). Troemel then invited people to visit the site and keep their browsers open all day. This would use up the bandwidth, and result in a denial of service (DoS).
Unsurprisingly when JstChillin’s hosts got wind of this, they deleted the blog, (though it seems the site may be generously restored should the agree not to host Troemel’s project – a few pages still work.) Sure protests such as Troemel’s are legal, but JstChillin shares their server space with other websites, so the DoS would have effected other customers. Those people were never given the opportunity to vote on whether they wanted to participate, despite being the ones most effected by the project.
When Troemel moved the project to his blog, tumblr told him Assembly violated its terms of service. They gave him 72 hours to do one of three things: keep the project up as is and have it deleted, remove the text outlining the project’s intentions shut down a democratically decided website, or delete the project. Troemel conducted another pole and readers decided Troemel should stick to his guns and have the blog deleted.
So just what did this art action achieve? As far as I can tell, nothing. Amongst the top sites targeted for protest on jstchillin were, Rhizome.org (24 votes), Troemel’s own blog The Jogging (22 votes) and facebook (19 votes). All these results show is that people will click on anything. After all, nowhere did Troemel even attempt to discuss what readers would be protesting, though the statement loftily describes “an undesired possibility of a world without the website” as an “eye opening” experience similar to It’s a Wonderful Life. Yeah right.
Jogging You Were No Martin Luther King, writes blogger Tom Moody, who also complains that The Jogging’s refusal to change the project now appears as though it was a noble act. It most assuredly is not. Past this, Assembly merely garners nuisance status amongst website hosts, all in the name of art. The founders of the ill-fated Wikipedia Art would be proud.