Artist Profile – UBERMORGEN

Published on 2018-09-08

Artwork featured in the salon – 'Injunction Generator' (2001) Edition 3 + 1AP (online) (Screenshot, artwork courtesy of the artists)

Since 1995, lizvlx and Hans Bernhard have been collaborating as UBERMORGEN.COM (“day after tomorrow” or “super tomorrow” in German) on political pieces that question corporate and governmental authority, power structures, and institutional and individual responsibility and deal with issues like international rights, piracy, e-commerce, torture, democracy, and global communications. Whether in sculptures, software, or pixel paintings, they’re interested in the mediality of how we experience and communicate information—”reality” doesn’t mean much to them. Their work has appeared in Kasseler Kunstverein, MUMOK Museum of Modern Art, MACBA, ARS Electronica, SFMOMA, Centre Pompidou, New York, MoCA Taipei, and the Sydney and Gwangju biennales, and their awards include ARCO Beep, Swiss Art, Ars Electronica and IBM New Media.

Their manifesto states: “we are not activists. we are actionists in the communicative and experimental tradition of viennese actionism - performing in the global media, communication and technological networks, our body is the ultimate sensor and the immediate medium.” 

They’re referring to pieces like GWEI – Google Will Eat Itself, a system of “economic auto-cannibalism” in which the money made by placing Google ads is automatically invested in Google (now Alphabet) stock; [V]ote-auction, a vote-selling website that blew up as a media hoax in the Gore / Bush election; and Superenhanced, an “interrogation software” that asks questions like “Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?” and was promoted with a newspaper, photo series, and musical album called Torture Classics.

After UBERMORGEN.COM facetiously promoted [V]ote-auction as a platform for buying and selling votes, a U.S. court issued an injunction to have their site taken down. Despite the papers being served over email, to a business outside American jurisdiction, the domain name registrar Corenic pulled the plug on vote-auction.com. And UBERMORGEN.COM sought revenge. 

Injunction Generator’s homepage asks “is there any web-site you wanna take off the web using a highly subversive method?” and offers the forms to get you started. The site page promises that in no more than 15 minutes, you can generate a standard court order to claim any website is operating on an illegal basis—plus alert the domain name registrar, journalists, and lawyers. UBERMORGEN.COM writes that it “automatizes and democratizes what normally remains reserved to big companies with a strong financial backing: the spreading of cease-and-desist letters in the form of court orders without any kind of legal basis.” 

Artist profile by Katheryn Thayer for The Current.

'Injunction Generator' is featured in 'The Current // Truth' curated by Tina Rivers Ryan from September 6 – 14th, 2018. Become a member of The Current to attend our private salons: http://current.mu/membership