Willem
Kempers

H ac k tivists

May 2nd, 2014

In early February our tutor gave us a black one minute video, except for just one single frame and the audio track of an interview. We were asked to think of a story around the frame and the audio while retaining the original material. The one frame was a child playing with his toys, the audio was an interview about the Barbie Liberation Organization (BLO). The BLO was a group of activists that switched voice boxes in talking GI Joe action figures and Barbie dolls to criticise gender stereotypes, it was a strong message to the companies making the dolls and the people buying them. This harsh criticism got me thinking of a more recent group of hacktivists that started out very similarly: LulzSec. This group was formed in 2011 to make people aware of Internet companies that were very apathetic about consumer security. LulzSec hacked into the databases of these companies and made private data public in order to warn people about this. This seemed like a noble goal at first, but as time went on, LulzSec's original intentions became muddled. Although LulzSec presented a romantic image of pirates sailing the waves of the Web collecting loot from evil companies, their real intention was to cause mayhem. In my video I use images of Barbies to represent the BLO and Dutch paintings of Golden Age naval battles to symbolise LulzSec. The images are morphed to show that these nonconformist groups come and go, one evolving into the next.