Gonzo research gone bad!
Chris Arendt, offspring from a white trash meth family, was sent to Guantanamo Bay to serve as prison guard in Camp Delta in 2004. He saw and did things he could never forget and never forgive.
Early 2008 Chris stayed at the UBERMORGEN house for two months. Private Arendt was a very dangerous man and lizvlx, Hans, Billie (5) and Lola (2) were scared and thrilled. To pull through with our gonzo research we made ourselves believe that the risk was manageable, but we were wrong!
Imagine there’s a murderer in your house. And it is dark outside, and the electricity is out. Imagine your nervous system spiking, readying you as you feel your way along the walls, the sensitivity of your hearing, the tautness in your muscles, the alertness shooting around inside your skull. And then imagine feeling like that all the time.
Things totally went out of control and we had Chris detained by Austrian Federal Police.
Today we consider Chris Arendt to be an enemy combatant and a war criminal. October 2012, shortly after the suicide of Adnan Latif - a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay - Chris Arendt killed himself in his home in Portland, Oregon. His suicide note referred to his impossible love affair to Adnan Latif.
Pain & Death. Perpetual avant-garde.
The shooting location was Vienna’s old train-station. Vienna represents this old link between The East and The West. Hence the empty and kaputt past visible within these photos is currently beeing transformed into a smooth and superficial future.
The missing walls still exist as post-traumatic walls and Chris Arendt’s self-staging shows the desperation of the perpetrator while concealing the hopelessness of the victim. But our own motivation and moral high-ground is not relevant, because the “Perpetrator” has to find his own way, only then he can serve us as a case study and model for future reference.
Perpetrator is part of UBERMORGEN’s “Superenenhanced” project: ipnic.org/superenhanced
*The story - and the images - were held under seclusion due to a 5 year blocking period by Army Intelligence (USAI).
Credits: Photos by Oliver Jiszda, Video by Lukas Gutmann
DAM Galerie Berlin - Summer Splash 2 with Aram Bartholl | Constant Dullaart | Ernest Edmonds | Eduardo Kac | Sommerer & Mignonneau | Evan Roth | UBERMORGEN
ART FID My Cow, 2006
ART FID My Satellite, 2006
both 100x100, ink on canvas
Where are you today?
I just returned from the opening of our show in Tokyo. Today i am en route to Singapore for our solo show at the ArtScience Museum. Currently sitting in a A380-800 in my favorite Seat -94G, last row, aisle. lizvlx just came back from London where she gave a talk about Artist Collectives vs. Social Networks at the ICA.
Where do you come from?
From a vibrating space irrespective of will and delusion, born at Yale University Hospital New Haven, grew up in Basel, then moved on to study in Vienna - “Angewandte” (P. Weibel).
How many emails do you answer on an average day?
3-5 business mails and 10-12 personal emails. I use the “LINE” App to chat with my daughter while she is in school or sitting across the breakfast table.
What was your first collaboration project?
A major media hack. We manipulated the appearance of a large institution. We were young, wild, very ruthless and alarmingly careless. Right after that we were equipped to do our feature project: Vote-Auction. Before that I did some weird shit in the 90s. One project included the kidnapping of 1.5 million internet-users, guiding them into an online world of fear, terror and entertainment. It was so real, people would pull out their power-plugs to make it stop.
What are you working on right now?
“The Project Formerly Known As Forkbomb”. We transform Youtube comments into E-Books and upload them to Amazon’s Kindle-Shop. Thousands of books per day, fully automated. Another project deals with wealth distribution and the financial system, it is called “Everything is Always” and currently on view in Tokyo. And in one of our “work in progress” we are looking at the world through the eyes of the fly. Since our first series in 1998, featuring tiny shopping carts from e-commerce websites, we have covered a variety of topics and people. Over the next days i photograph mentally ill Singaporeans and process them into low-resolution portraits. The pixel is the atom of the visual universe.
You were invited for Documenta13 but then kicked out, what happened?
We had a meeting with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and agreed on a large-scale installation of our Somali Pirate Fashion project for the Staatspark Karlsaue. After receiving the official invitation we were disinvited. We don’t know why, but our work tends to make people anxious and we have a tendency to transform the things we say we do into something else. For example Vote-Auction in 2000 - an auctioning platform buying and selling U.S. electoral votes during Bush vs. Gore. We started posing as Eastern European business people and went “all in” after the FBI, NSA, CIA, Federal Attorney Janet Reno and 13 District Attorneys threatend us with prision and CNN aired a 30 min feature: http://vote-auction.net 2001 we recruited Neo-Nazis in Eastern Germany in a project we did with Christoph Schlingensief. The BKA, the Ministry of the Interior, radical Neo-Nazis and left-wing radicals were threatening us physically and legally. It went completely out of hand: http://naziline.de
How is your work called that you show at the Bimbo Gallery Opening?
We show a recent video called “Dotoildot”, dealing with luxury oil in Norway, a large scale seal from the Amazon Noir project (EKMRZ Trilogy) and a collection of unique pieces recently rediscovered in our archive. My favorite series was produced during my “residency” at the AKH, Psychiatrische Klinik, Station 4B in 2002.
What was the reaction?
The Dotoildot piece deals with oil as luxury and creates an oil based brand that sells gasoline for very high prices, people tend to get very emotional on this subject matter. The EKMRZ trilogy reveals conceptual pieces: GWEI - Google Will Eat Itself -where we short-circuit the business-model of Google by using their advertisement services to generate money and then buy Google shares. Amazon Noir, a large-scale theft of digital books by a gang of evil and immoral bandits. Finishing up with “The Sound of eBay” where eBay user data automatically generates music. Psych|OS deals with Hans’s mental illness. During the 1990s Hans was part of the global Net.Art jetset mixing LSD with unchartered digital territory. This extreme research came with a cost, madness was the consequence. Most people feel uneasy around nutcases, so do i!
Black or White?
What are you most looking forward to this week?
The Singaporean heat, the humidity, the growth of mental illness & the wonderful food in the so-called “Disneyland with the Death Penalty” (William Gibson, Wired Magazine, Oct, 1993).
Sunday morning Breakfast, 2013
Bread, Fisherman’s Friends, Sultanol Asthma Spray, Kleenex, Apple Skin, MacBook Air, The Big Bang Theory
UBERMORGEN at ArtScience Museum Singapore, ICA London and EYE OF GYRE Tokyo…
… UBERMORGEN will join Ichi Ikeda at the ArtScience Museum Singapore Marina Bay Sands for the two artist show ”HANDFALLS & DEEPHORIZON Friday 10th May, 19:00 Opening
… wear yr grass Mohawk hairstyle at the ICA, London - ica.org.uk Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6.45PM, £10 where Ben Vickers discusses “Artist Collective vs. Social Network” with lizvlx and Metahaven
… Hans and curator Yukiko Shikata will join you for “Money after Money” mamjp.org at spectacular consumer contemplation temple EYE OF GYRE, Tokyo Opening May 2, 6-8pm, gyre-omotesando.com & 7-9pm at Montalk
Please come all & bring your friends…
Everything is Always (2013), Apple ii, 1/5400th of an Apple, 100x100cm, Image: UBERMORGEN
Untitled, Guantanamo Bay Prison Guard Chris Arendt iii, Photo: Oliver Jiszda
Body in Boat Aerial View, Boston, April 19, 2013, 19:22:37, 2013,
Remote Actionism, Reduced Resolution, Bravo