Thursday, August 12, 2010

Easy Come, Easy Go: Gimberg Nerf leave Facebook

The Dear John letter arrived in my Inbox a couple of days ago: Gimberg Nerf have left Facebook. It was the most sincere insincere Dear John letter I have received.  In the two weeks that Gimberg Nerf – the art collective/unit made up of Douglas Gimberg and Christian Nerf – existed in the virtual realm we know as Facebook they/he burned pretty bright.

For starters they befriended absolutely everyone in the art world in a matter of days, proving that this little community of ours isn’t terribly discerning. Nevertheless for us it was a highly amusing ride full of cheeky and, sometimes, lurid posts, pictures and pranks. Certainly in the past couple of weeks they explored the ‘depths’ – I use this designation with a full sense of irony it entails – of this social media tool and succeeded in some way in solidifying the Gimberg Nerf persona – albeit that ‘his’ visual appearance was slightly unstable, however, given ‘his’ rather awkward and contrived provenance it was to be expected. And in fact I had come to look forward to see exactly how this character might manifest next.

Of course, I do think that given more time, Gimberg Nerf would have felt more and more real to us. But, once they finally secured the prerequisite 666 friends thus achieving their devilish objective their scheme had reached its farcical conclusion.

Of course, the question remains is making art as easy as making so-called friends on FB as Gimberg Nerf suggests? If so it could valorise FB and the “practice” of F-booking thus ensuring that those who spend hours fashioning a status update or faking photos of themselves in some desirable foreign locale wouldn’t feel as if they have been staring into an endless void.  

I think what I like the most about the FB Gimberg & Nerf stunt is that it is to some degree untraceable that their “face” has disappeared and everything they have said and done has been erased. Of course, we have all those fun memories. But they will fade. Fast.

And perhaps that is ultimately what I have enjoyed about the FB Gimberg & Nerf stunt, they have shown all us Fbookers and the flimsy connections we make for what they are; shallow, self-serving and engineered to boost our egos/profiles.

Here I would like to refer to a quote that our long-lost friend Gimberg Nerf left us with upon their sudden departure (Warning: ensure there is a box of tissues nearby) that offers alternative meanings for the words friend, friendless and friendship:

Friend, n. An investigator upon the slide of whose microscope we live, move and have our being.

Friendless, adj. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterances of truth and common sense.

Friendship, n. A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.

No comments: