Ubermorgen.com, Vienna, 1995.
UBERMORGEN.COM is a Swiss-Austrian-American artist duo founded in 1995 and consisting of lizvlx and Hans Bernhard. They are European artists, net.art pioneers and online actionists. They tenaciously convert code & language and concept & aesthetics into digital objects, software art, text, net.art, large-scale installation, post-internet painting, videos, binary press-releases and online actions. They have shown, talked & published in major institutions around the globe and created digital commissions for both Serpentine and Whitney.
CNN described them as 'maverick business people', NYT ‘simply brilliant’ and their main influences are: Rammstein & the Futurists, Samantha Fox & Charles Bukowski, Guns N’ Roses & Duran Duran, Sadie Plant & Olanzapine and LSD with Kentucky Fried Chicken's Coconut Shrimps Deluxe.
Over the last 25 years as net.art pioneers and media hackers, they have been widely recognised for their high-risk research into data and matter and polarising social commentary. In 2000, UBERMORGEN reached an audience of 500 million with their satirical website Vote-Auction during the US presidential election, challenging the FBI, CIA and NSA. In 2005, they launched their acclaimed EKMRZ Trilogy, a series of conceptual hacks – Google Will Eat Itself, Amazon Noir and The Sound of eBay.
UBERMORGEN’s research-based practice is driven by a desire to satisfy their own curiosity, without the constraints of having a defined political agenda or preconceived beliefs. Their open-ended investigations focus on the concept of corporate and governmental authority, power structures, and institutional and individual responsibility. The material they source and sample is eventually used to infiltrate, or hack the net and mass media; even a press release becomes a ’Media-Hack‘, an opportunity to let loose a contentious issue into the world. Once in circulation, it is manipulated and moulded by different agents, constantly evolving and adapting to this journey becoming installations, videos, websites, actions, pixel paintings and photographs, often involving unaware audiences in the process.
Recent exhibitions include New Museum, NewYork,2019; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2017, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, 2017, Kunsthall Aarhus, 2013, Ars Electronica, Linz, 2013, and ArtScience Museum, Singapore, 2013.
They have been awarded among others with the Swiss Art Award, Ars Electronica Award, Transmediale Award and the renowned IBM Award.
Their work “The EKRMZ Trilogy” won the 4th edition of the ARCO-BEEP Electronic Art Award
Work at the collection: The EKRMZ Trilogy
The EKRMZ Trilogy, 2008
“The EKMRZ TRILOGY” is made up of three projects, each one about an online economic giant that is possibly one of the most conflictive and least studied aspects of contemporary digital culture (by art or from any angle).
GWEI – Google Will Eat Itself (2005-08) generates money from the self same google ads located in hidden pages. The profits are used to buy shares in the internet’s number one company. A “self-canibalizing” model of the digital economy that reminds of the meme that we have seen circulating: If Google is made by the users, let’s nationalise Google!
In Amazon Noir – The Big Book Crime (2006-07) the bad guys (Cirio, Lizvlx, Ludovico, Bernhard) have appropriated 3000 copyrighted books which are sold on Amazon thanks to a robot of “Perversion Technology”. The programme in question has ended up selling Amazon for an undisclosed sum.
The Sound of eBay (2008-09) uses data from the users of the platform to generate sound. You enter your username and email and you receive a notification when your song is ready for downloading. The sonic pieces, presented in the “teletext porn style” circulate the web, in the form of audiovisual landscapes.