-- the original transcript with corrections, stamped and signed is a foriginal
-- it will be scanned and exhibited online +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
-- i / we sell this documents to the art market with some delay, so if you are interested, ---
-- there is also a spanish translation foriginal available! a scan of the document will --
-- be put online --
-- if interested, pls give us notice with the reference url to officeR@ubermorgen.com --
-- THIS TALK WAS HELD AS THE D-I-N-A
/ digital is not analog series in --
-- BARCELONA AT THE CENTRO CULTURAL CONTEMPORARY
-- 10/2002, THE PREVIOUS DAY, SCP/BILL BROWN --
-- along with the talk, visuals [in the text indicated as links] are beeing surfed --
-- down by specialists who know the ubermorgen universe in-and-out --
-- due to a live [paragraph] translation, serious amounts of text had to be
cut out of
-- the lecture --
my name is haaaaaaans bernhard! from ubermorgen and the etoy.HOLDING.
mr. vanni from D-I-N-A is operating the visualz
so, first of all. thanks for the invitation, it is a great honor to speak here in barcelona and in front of you! i hope you enjoy the flight with ubermorgen. for questions, blows to my head, or just some feedback, please await the end of my presentation, if you absolutely cant wait, then ask... . please listen carefully, there is a full load of story and visual content coming! therefore, lets go straight to it and rock da house with some real corporate shit and media hacking samples...
i will tell you stories on my business
and art ventures, the etoy-holding
and the ubermorgen group, both networks of companies, me and my partner lizvlx,
own and operate on our own, and with local managers, partners and artists.
our network and friends includes ventures such as micromusic
dot net , jodi , lo-res, irational , d-planet, no org , dextro , kac, slycer,
01, shulgin , eyeriz, tomato, textz, praystation, spooky, rtmark and many more
net art and media entities.
to not only have myself talk and tell stories.. i will try to show you key visuals, performance and related web-sites along with the stories, plus a swell 20 minutes video sequence from our smash internet-hit of the year 2000, the [V]ote-auction action.
french philosopher jean beaudrillard
once said about ubermorgen: "ubermorgen means the day after tomorrow, a slight
tip towards their aestehtic and activist vision and prejudice, they are hardcore
and radical in their actions and they are extremely strange and highly
intelligent people". end quote.
i intentionally do not solely focus on visual aspects, but on the, what we
call gesamtkunstwerk, or in english overall art concept , sort of the meta-level
bringing together all our legal, corporate and aestehtic art forms and activities.
cause.. the visuals and the designs are produced for individual screen-consumption
and not primarily intended for big time projections. and also, the net enables
you to look at our stuff, how, when and where you want to, and best, for
free! that is what it has been designed for and how you should all look
our core-focus is on radical global business ventures with MEDIA HACKING capabilities, and the production and maintenance of necessary corporate structures. we look at this from a business, a profit-driven and a communcative angle. and secondly, from a purely aesthetic angle. we produce corporate style and excitement on a global level. i have been called a maverick businessman, or the etoy promotion hammer, or "the nasty shock marketing maniac" by many mass media platforms such as wired magazine, the washington post, MSNBC, frankfurter allgemeine, le monde, but also by italian underground magazines, korean business magazines and german theory publications.
that is why we say a loud and a very affirmative yes to globalization and
technology! along with some of our partners in crime, for example the yes-men!
especially in business
opportunity recession times world-wide, stocks and asset prices very low..
this is the best time to invest into new ventures!! , and ideas
i consider myself as a kid from the 80s , influenced by cocaine high speed brokers making 1 billion on day A and losing 2 billion on day B and still having the most beautiful ferraris and super-models as girlfriends. thats what the kids from the 80s are all about, and thats their obligation and desire , forever! i am really passionate about that, so. for starters, i wanna now introduce you to one of my very first ventures to gain wealth and beautiful women.
etoy. and the etoy-corporate network. in 1996 pop-star be-iork from iceland, said the following about etoy.: "yes!... and all our children will be playing in their garden of joy surrounded by glamour and perverted disco tunes.. etoy, immature digital priests from another world..."
the general slogan for all etoy-activities and products is. leaving reality behind. . etoy was founded in 1993 in a swiss mountain training-facility, funded by japanese venture capital and managed and ran by 7 highly trained etoy-agents.. one of them being myself , etoy-hans respectively etoy-brainhard.
together with 3 other founding members, we are currently running the etoy-HOLDING, the honest corporation, the mother company, holding major and minor stakes in all etoy-companies, such as the etoy-venture-association based on the cayman islands, the etoy-ltd germany and the virtual etoy ltd in bulgaria.
the etoy-holding is primarily dealing with financial, legal, and trademark aspects, plus with strategic long term planning for brand and financial success, so, my involvement is purely profit-oriented, in terms of financial, communicative, pop-starish and aesthetic long-term profit. in 1996, etoy was awarded with the golden nica, the first price of the ars electronica festival award for new media. this legitimation push was mainly generating a massive followship and open markets in japan, taiwan, namibia, new zealand and chile.
to give you a quick idea about the history of the various etoy-corporations. it all started with the etoy-tanksystem, the home base of the etoy-agents emigrating into the internet in 1994, with the symptomatic slogan: "etoy: the pop-star is the pilot is the coder is the designer is the architect is the manager is the system is etoy"... from this etoy-Tanksystem, all etoy-operations were initiated and operated by the etoy board, consisting of the seven founding members. since 1999, due to personal conflicts, the board has been split into two parts, and legal battles are in the pipeline within the next 10 years.
to look at the early days. the corporate
identity and new panic management strategies were core to our high pressure
explorations. always online - some times lost. the etoy agents used the web
as the stage, to disrupt the data flow, abuse technology and expand pop-music.
flashing into the future. releasing the edge game, run, jump, shoot for the
digital generation. no seatbelt - no backup. so please dont forget, this was
conceptually, actionwise and visually created for online use in 1993 to 1996,
in a time when the world wide web was unknown to the general public.
for example. the digital hijack -
with 1.4 million internet-hostages taken in a 4-month period
in 1996, by legally hacking into the five major search-engines of this time.
etoy software robots infiltrated the web, the etoy gang configured a trap for
net-travellers. the twilight zone of the medium formed the place of action.
search engines were transformed into a stage. designed as a merger between a
hollywood movie script action and a real airplane hijack, the digital hijack
was a shocking experience and a very violent attack on the naive internet-user
of the mid 90s.
and. the etoy-tanks - these are globally traveling cargo-containers built into operational structures [offices, studios], removable within 8 hours, the etoy-tanks are constantly moving around the globe and host etoy-agents during their duty... then, in 1998, the etoy-corporation did their IPO and issued the etoy-shares. 640.000 class-A shares.. you can monitor the share-price and get
information on etoy on www etoy dot com and etoy dot ag.
the mission is to invest into the code of tomorrow..."
etoy investors include gianni agnelli, david zwirner, lego international, laurie anderson,
francois the family mitterand and many more. dividends are
not paied out in cash but in cultural value in the form of artistic projects,
such as the digital hijack or pervert business and community actions and wars
such as... the toywar.
the etoy versus california e-commercia giant etoys [at the time valued at 8 billion dollars stock value
in 1999]... this legendary battle of the
etoy-corporation had only one winner, the etoy-corporation! check this out by
searching google with the key-word TOYWAR;
this year, the book "leaving reality behind - the battle for the soul of the internet" was published by fourth estate in london. this book about the background and the history of the etoy-corporate network, the people behind etoy, the fight with e-commerce giant eToys, and many technical, social and economical backgrounds about the internet are packed into a mindblowing thriller. check this book out, you wont regret
one of the latest etoy quality-publications
just released is an article in rem
koolhaas new book called "mutations" with the title: "breakthrough to the
world code: etoy's concept of net architecture." exhibitions in tokyo and torino
were executed by the etoy.com team.
so.. you better watch out for corporate press-releases and possible pop-ups on your computer screen or some news-feature in your preferred financial news or fine art publication.
now i would like to move away from the very fascist etoy-businesses to the network of companies i started to found in 1999 together with liz. we wanted to expand our vision of corporate aesthetics to a more network and contemporary form of companies and other legal entities. for me it was the logical next step after conceptually + practically creating etoy.
we call this network the ubermorgen group, it is also a holding. the ubermorgen group consists of companies in germany, austria, switzerland and bulgaria. we are heavily involved in software development, licensing deals, fine art production, media hacking actions and high-end consulting services for globally
and digitally acting
the core ubermorgen people, or like we say, the UBERpeople are, business-terror-style
bitch lizvlx a-k-a maria haas, who holds a masters degree in market research
and advertisement from the vienna school of economics. she currently works and
lives in berlin and vienna. and myself, hans extreme, a-k-a, net-callboy, or,
hans bernhard, or luzius bernhard, etoy.HANS;etoy.BRAINHARD,david arson ; dr.
andreas bichlbauer, piotr zendai, bart kessner,h_e. with a masters in fine art
at the university of applied arts in vienna, prof. peter weibel. since 2 years
i am trying to get some words on paper for writing my phd thesis i am currently
writing with prof. bazon brock in germany. the topic is MEDIA HACKING and negative
affirmation strategies in the 1960s civil disobeiance and liberation times and
in the 1990s internet time.
founded in 1999, ubermorgen has completed an amazing amount of legal entities, projects, law suits and publications. global mass media communications as art form, as fine art and as business strategy. shock marketing, drama marketing, character marketing are some of our communications strategies we applied in our work and also sold to DOT com and old-school corporations willing to pay our excessive prices
for consulting and campaign-production. this year
we have raised our fees 22% respectively 25% just to make clear that we are
the best and you have to pay your best, so you can get us. so, if, for example
bjoerk or madonna want to release her new album online, we are ready to communicate
ourselves in order to give the world what it wants!
self-funded by our excessive fees, and by controlling our budgets to be slick, swell and with minimal overhead due to intelligent and effective use of new technology. we host our server farm in our bedroom, but our bedrooms are our offices, and our 2 cats are our current kids, although liz and hans just split up personally and artistically, we are still highly engaged in the companies we own, and this guarantees stability to our image, our projects and our clients.
out of such activities, a series of companies was released in the last three years due to liability and aesthetic reasons, our ventures are such dangerous and radical approaches, that we have to distribute the possible areas of attack by enemy companies or governmental institutions.
so, our key-companies currently are.
- the ubermorgen holding company, with headquarters and legal body in vienna, austria.
- the ubermorgen ltd in sofia bulgaria, the main entity to channel liability cases.
- the e-sof ltd in sofia bulgaria, a software production company with a bulgarian style web-site done by eyeriz from eyeriz dot com.
- and the vote-auction ltd, sofia bulgaria, the legal body for the vote-auction action...
- and as i said and explained initially, the ongoing growth and activities of the etoy-holding and its subsidiaries.
since january this year, you can regularly update yourself at the ubermorgen
news agency, just visit ubermorgen dot com and get yourself the daily ubermorgen
briefing. it is right there popping up into your face accompanied by some juicy
so what are we actually doing?
our initial pr-launch was a press-release we issued in the name of the jury of the ars electronica in linz in 1999, the most important new media art festival and new media art award. the press-release was headlined: "linux wins prix ars electronica due to microsoft intervention". this very detailed and in-depth e-mail describing the potential bribery of the net-category jury, was sent out in the name of the head of the jury, to over 100-thousand e-mail-adresses globally, including journalists, media-and culture people and the global tech-community.
on the festivals opening monday morning, over 250 journalists required information on this press-release from ars electronica
representatives. 6 hours after
the release, the first articles, claiming this e-mail to be a fake, appeared
in international media-art and technology publications such as slashdot org
and li-nux-today.. but it was way too late, the virus was spread and even myself
received our press-release by colleagues and biz-partners over 50 times the
next day. so the multiplication of the e-mail goes into 2 digit million figures
by viral distribution. hundreds of articles about this supposed manipulation
of the award by the corporate sponsors, but also about the then obvious fake
character of this message were published all around the world. revelations do
fuel even more attention with our method. during the festival, it was the
THE topic, and representatives of the etoy.com entity and RTMark
representatives were agressively asked wheter they were the authors.
due to current internal etoy conflicts, the etoy reps were not able to deny
or confirm any relation to this incident, although they knew that ubermorgens
was behind it all. it was big fun and although it was a hard manipulation, the
claim that the open source li-nux will be taken over by corporate entities became
reality just a year later, by companies such as h p , compaq, SUN MICROMSYSTEMS
but this was just a teaser-action and a artistic show-off of ubermorgens capabilities in terms of communications and perversion, we call this strategy MEDIA HACKING. this way we launched the etxtreme dot ru brand, one of our early content creations and ubermorgen group message into the public consciousness and especially into the minds of the global media art and tech scene in a violent but brandwise very subtle way, because ubermorgen was only know as author to a absolute elite within the .net.art, tech and theory community.
then, we hit pay dirt with our feature action in the year twothousand.
we got our dirty hands on the everlasting
and totally swell Vote-auction.
vote-auction was a platform originally invented by the united states art student james baumgartner in spring two-thousand. it was a platform for american citizens to offer and sell their individual votes during the us-presidential election two-thousand, al gore against georg dubbya bush] . on november seventh, companies, political parties or individuals could then auction off these votes via the vote-auction web-site and buy whole states. due to heavy pressure by governmental officials, james baumgartner offered vote-auction, at this time a tiny venture without much chance to survive, to the ubermorgen group, middleman to this transaction was art-mark dot com, an american corporation specialized in globalization activism.
so, ubermorgen took over controll of vote-auction and pushed the limits in terms of public relations, shock marketing and global business-development of the platform, to a global mass media level unseen before! the vote-auction core message,
the programm of vote-auction is: "bringing capitalism and democracy
the american principles of capitalism and their idea of democracy is already tightly interwined, the corruption of the election process is legal for large corporations, but illegal for individuals. vote-auction consequently pushes this direction and wants to develop a perfect market for votes. vote-auction was not and will never be political. it is purely business, art and market oriented. there is no underlying ideology, but only the very strong belief in affirmation. you say democracy. you say capitalism, we say vote-auction. bringing capitalism and democracy closer together!
-->INSERT WHY EU CITIZENS INTERFER WITH US-ELECTION!
the key-facts of this 4 month public relations and business action. ubermorgen immediately founded the vote-auction ltd in bulgaria for liability reasons, although most law suits were targeted on private persons such as myself or the ceo of our provider and on james baumgartner.
i have some of these documents with me, so dont hesitate to come up
and have a look ! are beeing exhibited at the madreTTor exhibition
space "locus" during the festival.
thirteen state attorneys, for example from arizona, massachussetts, new york, california, wisconsin, missouri, texas, washington, investigated and very aggressively communicated with us. we received up to ten legal threats per
services UPS or fedex daily, filled with temporary injunctions, court complaints
and much more legal stuff, sometimes beyond a 100-pages per package, actually
we received the whole web-site per photocopies for over a 150 times. state and
federal attorneys have spent 1000s of hours and millions of dollars investigating
we have started to do exhibitions with such legal documents in the united states, south africa, the netherlands, austria and switzerland...
. federal attorney janet reno investigated the case. the central intelligence agency CIA, the federal bureau of investigation FBI and the the national security agency NSA investigated the case, we suspect them to have done break and entries on our servers running the vote-auction site, but we can not prove this. we were hacked during the action and had to invest serious money into our new security system of our server-farm, credits for our security and for high-end tech support go to aaron kaplan from lo-res.org.
two domains were illegaly shutdown by united states authorities. vote dash auction dot com and voteauction dot com were taken away illegally and are still not operative until today. we have entered a law suit in germany against joker.com/CSL ltd, the company who sold us vote-auction.com, but the law suit was rejected because the damage was done by CORE, a dubious company in geneva/switzerland, which turned off the domain after receiving an EMAIL with a temporary injunction court oder from wisconsin. we talked to them and they simply stated from their point of view our activities are illegal, and they are afraid of repression against CORE emplyees in the united states. what a farce! but this led us to our current project "the injunction generator".
but, the action was running hardcore. we had approximately 20 to 30 interviews per day over a period of 3 months. we would therefore develop the story in realtime and see our new stories and ideas printed in real-time or next day, all around the globe. we call this new art form media hacking. it is the highest level of global interactive visual art and storytelling. the dynamics of the news-networks and its consumers is amazing and can be used for all means. terrorist attacks as well as artistic expression, commercial as well as social or political statements... there is no wright or wrong, no true or false, it is an experiment you need some experience in order to not fuck up your brain and your brand, but there is no security at all in the end, with etoy, we called it the edge game, with ubermorgen we would rather call MEDIA HACKING.
four temporary injunctions were actually granted and issued by courts in missouri, wisconsin, massachussetts and illinois.
we counted over two thousand five hundred press-features alone, including international television, radio, newspapers and magazines, online publications. from daylies to business magazines... in reality, you can probably tripple the number of news features and you might be close to the real amount of press vote-auction was getting globally during this four-month period. we reached over 500 million people with our brand and stories.
james baumgartner was questioned and taken into custody several times. FBI agents were observing him and frequently questioning him. once, i was talking with james via ICQ, i was totally stoned on dope and l-s-d in my hotel room in bulgaria. james would not answer for about ten minutes, then he came back on chat and told me about some two federal agents knocking at his door. they wanted to talk to him. he didnt wanted to talk to them so he sent them away. later he did talk, and he talked way too much. due to his talking, there is still one law suit ongoing in chicago, with the electronic frontier foundation and the american union for civil rights involved. an endless story without any proof of illegal activities, like in all cases vote-auction representatives have been named plaintiffs! but the beauty, we get a continuous stream of legal documents, and we work with them in the art and fine art context.
all other temporary injunctions and law suits announced were settled or dismissed. the illegally turned off vote-auction domain was a tactical mistake. the shutdown was way too early, actually five days prior to election day. we had over three hundred press features in america on election day alone, we had entities such as hell dot com and over hundred other sites pointing their full web traffic to vote-auction. so we were there, we won, because all the united states officials wanted was to shut us down on election day, so the integrity of the election process was not in danger. they did not succeed! with the mess in florida, vote-auction found its historical continuation in full screen hardcore reality, the logical continuation of james idea and our execution.. so we sat back, finally relaxed and enjoyed the show.
some of the most prescious gifts we received for our action... for example e-mails from veterans of the second world war... writing us about the totally red sunset in the normandie 1945 at invasion day, the sunset mixing with the blood of killed soldiers in the atlantic and the aesthetic of the war for democracy, and how we were destroying democracy with vote-auction and how they gonna kill us for that. we felt honoured and highly threatend by such poetic emails.
so. now, for some more real good entertainment and in-depth information on the venture. here a excerpt of the "burden of proof" show on cnn international, an exclusive on vote-auction and the legal consequences. hans bernhard has also taken part in the discussion by phone from europe. actually i was in our underground bootlab in berlin just doing a tv-interview for the german news channel n-tv, parallel listening to the cnn realmedia stream with approximately 10 seconds delay, and talking to cnn via my communicator. this is fine prime time material from the global news leader. so enjoy!
*** CNN VIDEO ---> CNN = POP PURE , INTERVIEW STYLE = LOW KEY!
in the aftermath of this action, we are getting requests from all over the world to franchise vote-auction to local elections. we are ready to exhibit original legal documents, sculptures and installations including the vote-auction seal in museums and galleries.
the documenta in kassel was not interested in our
[V]ote-auction installation and performance. but, it seems that we are way
ahead of our times and really have to pay the price to be there. so we are still
looking for first class gallery representation in different countries, for agents
and our official fine art market entry at documenta or art basle switzerland.
we are in negotiations regarding book releases about vote-auction. one of the
now, to give you the quick look at our 2001 feature action called NAZI~LINE,
a campaign to promote integration of neo nazis into activ work, actually as
actors in a hamlet interpretation by german superstar director filmmaker christoph
schlingensief in the worldfamous schauspielhaus in zurich/switzerland. schlingensief
he was our campaign mascott due to his massive popularity in the german speaking
part of europe. mainly we wanted to promote our
NAZI LINE ltd company also based in bulgaria. we do consulting for hate crime
infected companies around the globe. we help companies deal with these problems
by analyzing the environment and the market and the company and its clients.
now to come back to our campaign. we organized neo nazi castings in berlin, which actually i took part in and had a great pleasure to meet people from the right wing scene and look at them from a pure human point of view. on the other hand, the theatre people were walking around the streets in switzerland, asking for some conservative right wing party to be banned. great chaos started to happen, mass media was going hot for our campaign and the MEDIA HACK was getting momentum. now, one of the main questions was, why does NAZI line uses such fascist aestehtics. from a marketing point of view a stupid question. or would you not talk with your target group in the visual language they understand? we sure do speak with the people in their language. i love the corporate nazi line web site, i think it is one of liz best design work of the last year.
on the corporate nazi-line web-site, we do get hate crime reports and consulting requests on a regular basis, so the campaign was a full success, not only in terms of public discussions, neo nazi, press, politicians tours in the german parliament and actions like that, but also from an intellectual point of view. to touch such a hot topic in germany and switzerland requires a lot of smarts and experience in order to not be misused by governemental, political and corporate entities. we turned it all around and announced about thirty top german and swiss corporations and governmental agencies as partners. some of them are are still researching which department did the sponsoring and partnership deal with ubermorgen and nazi line ltd. we regularly tell them, that we are also trying to internally research which nazi line ltd department did these deals with the respective companies. and, the german ministry of the interior is constantly threatening us with law suits, because we run a copy of their technically so poor web-site, we enhance this web-site by slightly manipulating the content. they think it is illegal, we think it is not, it will probably end in front of a court, and that is very good so, because we are in permanent need of foriginal legal documents for our art market branch and fine art products.
now. to wrap up this talk and to give you some outlook on our future activities.
since fall two thousand one, the ubermorgen group is focusing on the international art market, we are investing into the pre-production of several fine art products, ranging from oil on canvas to large scaled scultures and installations, from net-art pieces, to activist-web-sites. our products are as fine as you can get contemporary a-vant-garde.
visually and physically, the seal, the symbol of governemental power and authority has become a real obsession for us. so.. to be able to monitor the progress of our visual publications and of the ubermorgen news, please consult the ubermorgen dot com web-site from time to time and also lookup the keyword: ubermorgen, lizvlx or hans extreme at google dot com to get a picture on our activities from your very own viewpoint.
if there is some time left now ????
if yes, i would just like to
surf a bit on the ubermorgen-site, show you some visual stuff and then finish
off exactly within the given time-frame.
most people have little
choice but to follow the
herd pack, ubermorgen will infect potential
alpha-animals and show some disruptive and l-s-d ways of thinking, acting and
now, it was,a great pleasure to speak here! if you wish to get in contact
with ubermorgen or myself, please direct your e-mails to officeR @ ubermorgen.com.
we would be glad for any publication of our highly difficult to communicate
work, we are really looking for gallery representation and an agent to
work with us on our fine art market strategy, to deal with our timetable and
this transcript can soon be found online on the ubermorgen web-site.
and to end, i would like to quote 2 ubermorgen slogans:
ubermorgen: "we make money"!
"it's different because it's fundamentally different"!
. so. thank you so veddy much for your attention!
-- total of 11 printed pages --
-- edited manually by HANS BERNHARD 27.10.2002 VIENNA/AUSTRIA --
-- REF.NO.: DIBA200210 --