ARTIST COMMITS SUICIDE ONLINE AS A WORK OF ART (WELL, SORT OF)

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.

Eva and Franco Mattes are already known for similar interventions done under the name 0100101110101101.ORG. What they wanted to achieve with this bizarre “online performance”, as they call it, is not clear. “Since we live online” declared Franco Mattes “than we should get used to die online”.