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Google Will Eat Itself by peterfuchs
September 13, 2008, 7:48 am
Filed under: Art as Gift Research blog | Tags:
Saturn Devours his childs, by Francisco Goya

Saturn Devours his child, by Francisco Goya

“Google will eat itself” is an art/hacktivism project by Ubermorgen.com which is intended to slowly take over the search engine giant Google from inside: it is generating income with Google’s own advertisement system and then turning the profit into Google company shares, therefore buying out the very same system they are using.

If they gather income with the current pace, they will take over Google in about 200.000 years, which immedietly leads to two conclusion: 1. Economic processes are way larger and far more complex then we, the artworld would ever seriously consider to bother them  2. GWEI is in fact a hardcore art project, in the sense, it is not even intended to work, just signals an issue for further investigation.

This later can be proved as we check out the very same site two years ago, with the help of Wayback engine, and find out that the “Google Ownership Counter” on the lower right are of the site shows exactly the same time amount then nowadays, therefore it is not updated or not based around an elaborate algorithm, just being a simple artistic display. And even if it is an active counter, the time amount it indicates is beyond any imagination, and therefore being rather informative, artistic then functional.

One of the possible explanations might be to this that Ubermorgen are more artists then hackers, and no intend to interact directly into economic processes, but display them for us.

UBERMORGEN.COM is an artist duo created in Vienna, Austria, by Lizvlx and Hans
Bernhard, a founder of etoy. Behind UBERMORGEN.COM we can find one of the most
unmatchable identities – controversial and iconoclast – of the contemporary European
techno-fine-art avant-garde.

In this nice introduction on their website, it might become apparent that the self identity of the avantgarde artist is indeed very close to the avantgarde hacker. GWEI is in fact only an avantgarde gesture, not an economic intervention, in the sense, it will never influence Google directly – yet its concept is highlighting many aspects of the all devouring nature of our economy.

A giant like Google eating itself might remind us to the ancient tales of Saturn, who devours his own – and gives the mega corporation an image of a ruthless embodiment of market interests, which – in their blindness and arrogance can even turn agains their their very body.

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[…] Ubermorgen makes the book down loadable on their website, although I have to admit,  what I wrote about GWEI (Google will eat itself)  is also true here: the project is much more a display then an actual […]

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