100 thoughts on “Did Horse_ebooks Show Us that SPAM is the Web’s Native Artform? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

  1. These videos are the best and worst thing to happen to my sleepless nights.

  2. hehe, Still can't get over how funny "advert" sounds in American English. We usually say Ad or advertizement.

  3. i dont think that everything you do on the internet is serving a corporate purpose/ why would this comment help any kind of a profןt-based organization? and if i go to say, miniclip, it will only be monitored by my browser history. and if miniclip moniters my, why should i care? it is only to count who many people got into the site. anyway' i loved this video. you are awsome!

  4. As an example of the idea that everybody's trying to sell you something on the internet: at least half of these comments are just trying to make it onto the next video. Including mine. Please.

  5. I saw the Arcade Fire album cover in the background and was just so much more happy

  6. So if a person was hired to make an ad to sell cheddar cheese wedges. They poured their heart and soul into it, money be damned they just want to make something great. It is not art because it was for money? Or IS it art because their heart and soul was poured into it. And yes. There are lots of pieces of art with money at their soul. Such as the Sistine Chapel's ceiling. Doesn't that mean its not art because it was for money? Or is it still art because you say so for some flimsy reason?

  7. Not enough character space in these things. Anyway. Your whole argument seems to be "Art is art because it is art." you have no clear definition of what art actually is. By your own definition the Mona Lisa isn't art. Anything by Raphael isn't art. And why can't money server as the soul anyway? If a person has a deep desire to create something great, puts their blood sweat and hard work into something so a person gets their monies worth. Why is their hard work invalid because it was for money?

  8. I think we just feel 'alive' being disturbed, feeling that we lost control and we are not being controlled. These 'bots' are the perfect example. As Donna Haraway should say: “Late twentieth-century machines have made thoroughly ambiguous the difference between natural and artificial, mind and body, self-developing and externally designed, and many other distinctions that used to apply to organisms and machines. Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.”

  9. The difference is that if something is created for practical function then it is not really art. Ads have a function, a message directing us to buy/ vote/ use; art may have a message, but the message doesn't have any function other than to evoke or intrigue.

  10. So you're saying art can't have a function? What about the gorgeous cinematography in Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of Will"? Or why do people collect old pulp movie posters? Aren't they art that serves a purpose and has a function? Or what about pottery? Can't it carry water or oil or flowers while still being art?

  11. Yep. Cinematography is art – it serves only as much function as theatre or as literature (i.e. nothing practical). Old posters used to have a function, but they no longer serve this – they are now collected as pieces of art. Pottery is craft, not art; although modern artists have specifically toyed with this idea by making non-functional pots (are they still considered pots at all if they can't hold anything?).

  12. I think it's a trap to confuse 'creative' with 'artistic'.

    Vying for audience attention and engagement is only a means to an end. Sure Superbowl ads and art are both creative and both vie for audience attention. But the ads use this attention to serve the function of selling/ getting money, art use attention only to convey without expecting anything else from its audience.

  13. Finally, I can say this and be on topic: If a comment isn't gratuitously (or otherwise) promoting something, DON'T MARK IT AS SPAM. If you don't like it, just click the Thumbs Down button, and it'll eventually say "This post got too many negative votes," which is more accurate.

    This has been a Public Service Announcement. Thank you.

  14. Internet's true artform is ponies, and ponies porn. Expecially ponies porn.

  15. i love the GIANT ANNOTATION in the middle of the screen when you starting talking about Spam lol

  16. Richard Lanham's work in _The Economics of Attention_ might be of interest to folks who are interested in why and how the "information economy" is a thing. Most notably, perhaps, he talks about how to maintain or achieve agency in the IE by describing a manner of reading that accounts for substance and style. He describes it as "toggle switching." I wonder if this manner of reading could have revealed that horse_ebooks was an art performance…? What kind of aesthetics would have given it away?

  17. Anything in the world is or can be art to someone. Ask yourself what is not art.

  18. I agree that spam can be art, but not that it's native to the internet. There have always been very clever forms of advertising that have become a type of art, like the Burma Shave road signs in the 1920s-1960s.

  19. This is superlate, but are you telling me that nightvale is in the middle of the town Courage the cowardly dog lives in, Nowhere? That's deep. Or shallow. Either. Both.

  20. I think this website supports the theory that spam really is the internet's true art form. I know it just smashes random snippets from old Facebook statuses together, but somehow I can't help but find meaning.


    I call shenanigans. 

  22. Most if not all Renaissance Art are actually pieces of advertising, advertizing catholic christianity in churches and monasteries, advertizing the importance and influence of the patron, and advertizing the grandeur of a state or it's rulers

  23. If you think that shitposting is the Internet's native artform you haven't been online for very long.

  24. ok while you are talking about spam and how the internet is a bunch of people jumping at you to get your attention, those images. Those memes that are used in every video, they are funny, they are useless, and they are distracting. I seriously get distracted by them, the ideas and the words are passing by so fast, I don't have the time to look at every cat and every written meme. And still I try, because "it's probably something funny/awesome". See, I don't have to click anything, but it's still something jumping at me for my [email protected]@

  25. I don't think I get the link between spam and art. I got that it is old, omnipresent and rooted deeply in internet culture, but how does that make it art? You COULD SAY. You could say. Art is a form of spam, if you define spam as a product made to get your attention. Because art is trying to get your attention. And art can be used to sell things. So art can be used as spam. But I hold art as something more than a quest for attention. And more complicated.

  26. Spam is merely the junk mail specific to the internet.  It isn't the web's native art form because it is not native to the internet.

  27. another fun bot to follow is @ticbot on twitter. he tweets random tourettes tics that are usually funny to raise tourettes syndrome awareness. @ him and he responds with something weird probably about biscuits. always makes me smile

  28. There is now a new narrative that further pushes and encapsulates this idea that I figure I might mention. Go google Twitch Plays Pokemon and take just one look at it's reddit page. It is something to behold, a narrative told directly through and as a result of spam after an otherwise completely mundane ordinary experience (that being the act of playing pkm normally).

  29. It's because the non-human generated spam allowed consumers to perceive its content autonomously. It was about the form of the spam and not its function (as it lacked any), which within the mind of many is what true art is about. When the human, and thus agent, behind it was revealed, it immediately gained a function – to further this agent's agenda – and as such lost its appeal as an artwork. That may be the reason why people were so pissed about it – they were cheated out of a subcultural art experience.

  30. A while back, I was told from my science teacher that I need to stop writing the way I think, and in a more professional tone. I felt that this stifled my Creativity, so, I got a tumblr. And I've discovered something. The Internet doesn't have a native art. Internet is the sum of the way one thinks, and THEIR personal experiences. That being said, I don't think that there's a Native art for ANYTHING. Art is what it is, and isn't Native to any one particular thing. 

  31. But like you say, SPAM isn't native to the internet… I get it in the post all the time. Spam probably just got elevated to a high-art form once the perfect environment(the internet) was developed for it.

  32. No… I think spam is a literature form, gifs are an art form

  33. Spammer alert spammer alert what happened to me me me lol!
    He said:Please sub plz sub plz sub!

  34. I have been having way too much fun with a Markov Chain generator this morning haha XD

  35. Surely the community must actively and in large numbers actively seek out multiple examples of its native artforms not have the artform be forced upon it. Then again Soviet Propaganda Art.

  36. Who is the host?  Is it wrong that I'm slowly but surely falling in love with him?

  37. Whenever a human says something poetic (especially on the internet) the chances are that the only thought they put into it was clicking the share button. It is rare to find something truly original on the internet, let alone something with no underlying motive.

    I believe that the main appeal for the horse tweets is the fact that it is something that is (or was) guaranteed to be 100% original and as a mindless spam bot there was no way it was trying to manipulate you, sell to you, make you like them…. though apparently in the end it was all those things.

  38. Bear Stearns Bravo is one of the best games I've ever played, honestly I think this guy would take a lot from its very artsy style and philosophical ideas.

  39. I just created my first gif 😀 http://makeagif.com/fSS_Tk

  40. You might want to create a response to this with the rise of Sh–posting on Tumblr (that's probably radiating outwards because trends and memes tend to on social networking)

  41. Maybe gifs are the internet's native medium and spam could be its native art form, but I rarely see the two together. It's always a video, link, picture, and/or text but rarely a gif.

  42. Did I miss something? "Nothing, I am not taught to make anything" is a direct quote from 'As You Like It'.

    Apparently not everything went through the Markov chain… unless selecting and mixing random words from horse-related books isn't what it was programmed to do. I probably also don't understand exactly what a Markov chain is.

    And, wait… what's a "jife?" Someone's trolling you by giving you that pronunciation, bro.

    Magic A Remote Server Somewhere

  44. I have a sudden need to watch Monty Python thanks to all this talk of spam.

  45. Domesticated spam is what you (hopefully) get when you forget to put the opened spam can in the fridge.

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