Artist Commits Suicide Online as a Work of Art (well, sort of)

From The Art of the Prank:

Thousands of people watched powerless while a person was hanging from the ceiling, slowly swinging, for hours and hours. It happened yesterday, in the popular website Chatroulette, where people from all over the world can anonymously and randomly see each other through their webcams and chat with perfect strangers.

The hanging man was in fact Brooklyn based artist Franco Mattes, and the whole scene a set up. The artist recorded all the performance and than posted it online. In the video, titled “No Fun”, one can see all possible reactions, from the most predictable to the most unthinkable: some laugh, believing it’s a joke, some seem to be completely unmoved, some insult the supposed-corpse and some, more cynical, take pictures with their phones. Apparently, out of several thousand people, only one called the police. Watching the video can be a strange experience, at times exhilarating as well as disturbing…

[continues at The Art of the Prank]

9 Comments on "Artist Commits Suicide Online as a Work of Art (well, sort of)"

  1. justagirl | May 4, 2010 at 9:28 am |

    this reminds me of all the people who walked by that stabbed hero on the street of new york thinking he was just a drunk, sleeping bum. people said those who walked on by were guilty of neglecting to help a dying man. i say it is people like this said “artist” who is to blame. like when spongebob pretended to drown, just so he could set up his ripped pants joke and instead just pissed everyone off.
    this guy must SUCK

    • fusionism | May 4, 2010 at 9:41 am |

      How are the artists to blame? It's art! Their role is to comment on society, not dictate to it. I actually think it is a very interesting piece that stirs a range of emotions and speaks volumes about the way we interact. And, it's clever. If you react strongly to a piece of art then in my view the artist has succeeded.
      Great work Mattes

      • justagirl | May 4, 2010 at 9:47 am |

        sorry i had to tear down your mate. i don't think this is art at all. it's just a childish prank that has been done many times before. not clever at all. he needs to clean his room, paint something, get naked and tie an anvil to his bloody ankles.

        • fusionism | May 5, 2010 at 2:02 am |

          i didn't say it was necessarily the most original idea i had ever seen, but the reactions of people are real. Re his room had you said he should tie an anvil to his balls that would have been more interesting… I'm sure u realise this is not the first time that “what is art?” has been discussed. I guess it's horses for courses…

  2. emperorreagan | May 4, 2010 at 10:09 am |

    I guess it's a change-up from penises.

    Kind of derivative and uninteresting generally, though.

    • tonyviner | May 4, 2010 at 11:30 am |

      Silly pranks like the gorilla thing might not be that artistic, but some people take great pride in honing their craft. Take Steve-O for example, the thing he did with the toy car was pure genius.

      Sure not to be funny to everyone, but if ever a prank could be viewed as art, it would be this one.

  3. Youtube actually banned the video, you can still see it here:

  4. Youtube actually banned the video, you can still see it here:

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