Why is Occupy The Internet now an “exhibition of leading net artists“? Launched two weeks ago at fffff.at, the original project was a simple call: embed a script that runs an army of animated gif protesters on your website to show your support for the Occupation movement. The post asked for animated GIF submissions that would then be “called up for duty”, and has since been installed on over 875 websites.
Now, all those submissions are being replaced with GIFs by artists curator Evan Roth deems worthy of special consideration: Aram Bartholl, Brad Downey, Constant Dullaart, Olia Lialina, Dragan Espenschied, Mark Jenkins, La Quadrature Du Net, Jonah Peretti & Chelsea Peretti, Ryder Ripps, Rafael Rozendaal, Telecomix, Charlie Todd, and UBERMORGEN.
This is beyond insulting. Perhaps some enterprising curator can go down to Wall Street and redo all the protest signs there too? Sure, the show’s only temporary — from November 1st to November 4th — but those who placed Occupy Internet on their sites didn’t ask for a self-proclaimed elite crew of gifs on their site. GIF makers also didn’t submit work only to have it removed for a few days when a few misguided artists decided to make a grab for exposure. The exhibition drips of opportunism and self-aggrandization.
I think this sucks and I’m not the only one. As a response, AFC Editor-In-Chief Will Brand has prepared a script for those who find this show repugnant: Occupy Nothing. Drag this to your tool bar, and it will hide Occupy Internet scripts on a page. I recommend it to anyone who finds this show as offensive as we do.
Edit: The designers of Occupy Internet apparently do not take kindly to users controlling what they see; they’ve changed their script to protect it from ours. We’ve updated our script, and will continue to do so; if you added it before about 2:30 today, you’ll need to add it again, but anytime after that you should be good forever. I’m sure there’ll be some kind of stupid cat-and-mouse arms race here.
On a broader note, this is equivalent to someone telling you you cannot close a pop-up; that their rights as site administrators are greater or more important than your rights as users. That’s bullshit. We’ll do our best to make sure you can avoid this. [Will Brand]