No Fun (2010)

Link to project with video, pictures, and more details

The project: A Chatroulette performance piece, where they simulated a suicide and recorded people’s reactions. This video artwork is then staged on a laptop on an inflatable mattress for people to see.

Why I found it intriguing: I found it intriguing in that I absolutely despise this project LOL. I don’t know why anyone thought this was a good idea for art. I’m not sure if they were going for a What Would You Do? style piece where they wanted to get people’s reactions to find humanity in this world, but the medium they used just makes no sense for that. The point of Chatroulette is that you’re paired with a random person anywhere in the world. You don’t know who they are, where they are, anything about them. What the hell are you supposed to do if you see someone who has committed suicide other than be traumatized and literally have no ability to do anything about it at all? You can’t call the police, you can’t help in anyway, and then all you’re left with is trauma and guilt. The fact that these people are unknowing participants to this just really rubs me the wrong way. I just find it really disturbing and for no reason at all.

I guess, if I was trying to understand, I can see the point of this artwork being that websites like Chatroulette are just overall “No Fun” and able to turn pretty messed up pretty quickly in these ways where you’re totally unable to help, but I just can’t really get behind the fact that they’d subject a bunch of people to this.

The Chatroulette project shown in class, where people’s faces were turned upside down, was so harmless and fun, whereas this one just seems somewhat unethical to me. But, I’m open to being proven wrong on that.