The Technoviking Archive

The Archive gives access to the research on one of the most complex & most likely the best documented Internet-Memes of the last decade. It was initiated in 2007 when the Video "Kneecam No.1" became a viral hit under its new name "Technoviking" and users started to remix and re-publish the video in countless variations. Today the archive contains far more than 2000 single units and 42 GB of data in form of images, emails, blogs, forum discussions, court documents, fan objects expert interviews and a selection of user generated video responses. The fan clips and images are assorted into more than 60 categories.  The collection illustrates new ways of production and distribution within user generated networks and presents strategies in remix and recycling culture. Originally the archive was open to the public but according to the verdict of the trial 27 O 632/12 at the Berlin court (where the dancer's personality rights predominated the film maker's freedom of art & expression) neither the original video nor the major part of the archive can shown in public anymore. For public access the plaintiff's likeness has to be removed or pixelated. A selection of articles on the discussion behind the trial were gathered on this Facebook page. Nevertheless, every month lots of new remix versions and responses to the video are still published online. The most outstanding new examples are documented and included in the Technoviking Archive. A selection of user examples from the archive are shown to the public in form of mashups, installations, lectures and in a feature lenght film about the Technoviking meme.

The Context

The Technoviking project is an example for the reordering, reediting and remaking of an "original" video in the internet. The original video is in analogy to genes called a meme. As such the original and its first clones, start to circulate within social networks, where the original mutates, competes with other originals and inherits. Becoming multiplied in this way, the original video becomes successful by reproducing itself, through various recycling techniques. In this way the Technoviking project questions the creation's origin of such an internet hype. After being altered and filtered several times through a chain of actions and reactions – the popular result is not just the original, but the the original + n. The potential of public attention such clips raise, brings also attention to the role of online giants such as Google. The owner of YouTube provides the basic technological structure not only to enable and control, but also to profit from such creations. If the creation is based on "free" social information networks, the product is commercialized through a major company. In this way the Technoviking is a perfect example to illustrate such new ways of production, distribution and exploitation within user generated networks.