Flagged for lulz
Ingrid Luquet-Gad, an art critic based in Paris, traces the spirit of politicised laughter in !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s ongoing series “Flagged for” for the May edition of Spike x Liste Expedition Monthly Picks.
!Mediengruppe Bitnik might just be doing it for the lulz. To present-day eyes and ears, this internet phrase is already an item of media folklore. Referring to a carnivalesque laughter rising from the depth of message boards, the term denotes both a specific historic context and a strategic positioning towards institutional power. The former has become understood through anthropologic studies of the hacker galaxy Anonymous, and it also marks a global, generational awareness of internet-assisted activism. The latter, meanwhile, is a spirit and a strategy, symbolised through the persona of the lone trickster, jester or fool, which transcends mediatic regimes – one that, plunging its roots in the avant-garde practices of Dadaist outrage and Ubu-esque absurdity, resurfaces in sweeping waves at times of paradigmatic political change.