I’m a mile high currently. Not in typical el Prof fashion, mind you. (Although, also, yes. It’s kind of a thing here.) I’m reporting live from my artist buddy Aram’s couch in Denver, but still managing to find an excuse to dick ride an artist from the 313.
Today, that lucky recipient is Jason Revok — Revok if you read tags — whose filmed defacement of his own artwork caught the eyes of Aram as he laid in bed doom scrolling before work this morning. In the video, Revok buffs over some stellar mandala-style spiral art, the respectable artist and/or adult version of stomping out the sandcastle you spent an entire beach day perfecting. You know. Oddly satisfying in the ASMR pimple-popping-video sort of way, like you are manifesting the power of God by controlling which of your creations gets to see the light of the first day.
In other words, Revok is the Banksy of the latest viral TikTok phenomenon: Piss Off Porn videos. Basically, someone films themselves doing some mundane thing in a terribly wrong way — cutting a slice of pizza from the center of the pie, etc. Believe it or not, the average Internet go-er turns out to be somewhat humorless, reactionary, and short on critical thoughts, which means these videos are factory farms for negative reactions. A masochistic exercise in self effacement? Maybe. But more likely, these savvy creators realize the algorithms do not have the same pre-existing mental conditions as most of the extremely online crowd, and interpret all reactions, negative or otherwise, as engagement, driving up the creator’s reach and ad dollars.
TL;DR — piss off your followers and get paid. I guess it’s healthier than the tried-and-true, mainstream-media-favored tactic of fear mongering for profit. Jason’s artisanally half-assed buff left me feeling that there’s a larger comment being made here, but unfortunately, it’s obscured by a thin layer of millennial pink paint, so I can’t quite find the words for it. The IRL nature of his immersive exhibits and his proven mastery of Internet virality means NFT cash grabs are likely not a game he needs. Regardless, web3 could use a little more irreverent self-awareness, at the very least.