The Techno Viking is an internet phenomenon that has started off as the first ever meme1.
Initially, the artist Matthias Fritsch, has filmed the Techno Viking dancing to techno music at the anti-Love Parade street festival called Fuckparade, which was and still is a protest against the commercialisation of the Love Parade2, in 2000. In 2006 the artist proceeded to upload the video to the online platform YouTube titled ‘Kneecam No. 1’, and soon the Techno Viking was born¹.
Why am I mentioning the Techno Viking3, you ask? Well, obviously he is an internet sensation and needs to be seen by everyone who loves some good dance moves. But, after a long fight about rights with the Techno Viking himself, the artist released a documentation about the phenomenon that the Techno Viking is. The full documentary and more about the background story of the Techno Viking can be found here4.
The Techno Viking stands for the power of social media in today’s society. He can be seen as a metaphor. Mass media, as Debord5 has predicted, rules our everyday life and how we participate in it. This is why I believe that it is practically impossible to hold an event that is unique to everyone in the modern society. A truly unique event would call for media attention, and through the power of social media it would spread across the world like a forest fire and thereby become a spectacle. Maybe this is the reason for the vast amount of mainstream events and festivals, that are homogenised to their cores.
Can I make any strategic implications for events in the contemporary environment? To be honest, no I can not. It is becoming more and more difficult to keep up with the increasing demands of event attendees, that are striving for unique event ideas that fulfil their needs, which ultimately leads to the decision of whether or not to attend an event. Social media platforms allow us to indirectly participate in events, through liking and sharing, or watching recaps online. Today’s society is so distracted by the technology that surrounds us, that it may as well be, that no one actually wants to attend real, unique events any more.
As Bauman6 described in Liquid Life: alienation is a social construct that causes people to feel like they do not have a role and therefore simply float with the stream of the society. I believe that the majority of people simply float with the stream of society and what is currently “trending”. Unfortunately, for event managers and people that actually do love to attend any sorts of events, this means that it will get more difficult to create a truly unique event that does not get dragged into the spiral of social media and commercialisation.
1TECHNOLLAMA, 2015. The Curious case of Technoviking [online]. [viewed 7 November 2016]. Available from: http://www.technollama.co.uk/the-curious-case-of-technoviking
2BERLININFO, 2011. Berlin Events. Fuck Parade [online]. [viewed 4 November 2016]. Available from: http://berlinfo.com/Freetime/Music-Clubs/events/index.htm
4RIOTTA, C., 2015. Who is the Techno Viking? New Documentary reveals story behind viral video, memes. Arts.mic [online]. [viewed 6 November 2016]. Available from: https://mic.com/articles/127123/who-is-the-techno-viking-new-documentary-reveals-story-behind-viral-german-video-memes#.f53T3kRe5
5DEBORD, G., 1994. The Society of the Spectacle [online]. New York: Zone Books. Translation published by Donald Nicholson-Smith. [viewed 27 September 2016]. Available from: http://antiworld.se/project/references/texts/The_Society%20_Of%20_The%20_Spectacle.pdf
6BAUMAN, Z., 2005. Liquid Life. Cambridge: Polity Press