SITUATION #33: Eva & Franco Mattes, No Fun, 2010
8 April – 22 May 2016
On Chatroulette.com users from around the world are paired together randomly for chat conversations. Perfect strangers connect and exchange via webcam and can move to the next chat partner at any point. In 2010, with an estimate of 1.5 million users, “artist provocateurs” Eva and Franco Mattes used this setting for an online performance: For several hours, Franco Mattes’ limp body hung from the ceiling, while the webcam live-streamed his apparent suicide. The slight movement of the body and the clever arrangement of the screens served as indicators of the liveness and authenticity of the event. No Fun, an edited video documentation of the performance, captures the reactions of the chat partners as they are confronted with the scene. Unwittingly becoming actors in the ‘play’ set up by the artists, their responses range from shock to disinterest, from concern to ridicule or offence. No Fun is a thought-provoking work on social behavior, questioning forms of online spectatorship and agency as the boundaries between reality and fiction become increasingly blurred.