UN_COUNTRYBALLS vs. THE NATION STATE
We live in times of hate and division. Uncertainty and fear are pushing an increasingly fragmented social body towards shallow and polarizing answers, while the scattered remnants of late modernity are seeking protection behind the ancient walls of abstract identities: the eternal return of ‘blood and soil’.
But like the fascists of yesteryear, today’s neoreactionaries are ruthless tacticians, cynically exploiting the very technologies they claim to despise. Social Media Platforms and digital communication technologies have become essential tools of their political propaganda. In this context, even (or especially) seemingly innocent formats have proven very effective at inoculating neoreactionary views into the unknowing public. Memes, in particular, have lately shown to be powerful vectors of social change, shifting global narratives.
With their new work, Clusterduck want to take a look at an important example of such a seemingly trivial format, the so called “Countryballs” (or “Poland- balls”): very simple, comic representations of national identities and stereotypes, which in their interactions reflect widespread cliches and an overly simplistic view of world history.
Read this Booklet for more information about the work of Clusterduck
Clusterduck is an interdisciplinary collective working at the crossroads of research, visual communication and transmedia, focusing on the processes and actors behind the creation of Internet-related content. It curated the online exhibition #MEMEPROPAGANDA, hosted by Greencube Gallery, which was presented at The Influencers Festival (Barcelona), Tentacular Festival (Madrid), IFFR (Rotterdam), Urgent Publishing (Amsterdam, Arnheim), Radical Networks (Berlin) and others. Clusterduck is currently developing Meme Manifesto, a physical collection of printed memes and a web-based collective project aiming to show how deep the web can go. The first stage of the project will be developed at IMPAKT (NL) during the EMAP / EMARE residency programme. Clusterduck is creating the new participative exhibition format #MEMERSFORFUTURE, investigating the role of memetics in the global climate justice movement. The exhibition will be shown IRL at re:publica 2020, and to other locations around the globe. Clusterduck is also developing three different formats of collective research workshops: #HYPECOMPASS, #EscapeTheFunnel and #SOMECOMPASS. These were presented at “Sharing/Learning - Methods of the Collective” at UdK Berlin; The Influencers Festival, Barcelona; and Simposio 2019, Borca di Cadore. The group also curated online/offline exhibitions and interventions like the Wrong Digital Biennale pavilion "Internet Fame" at panke.gallery, "Make URL self at Home" at Arebyte On Screen and "Pack Your Stuff" at Offsite Project.