All images courtesy of spacemovies.net
A CONVO WITH creator TIIMO SHULZE and CONTRIBUTOR paul cooley
What is Space Movies?
TS: Space Movies IS a weblog where Paul and I would post images that we made while we were really busy with school. Initially, it was a rebellious response to a professor scolding me for setting type in photoshop. It evolved into a legitimate post-post-modern design movement...
PC: Tiimo and I met in university, when we are working on our doctorates. We just needed a way to combine our talents and intelligence in consumable way for the public...thusly, spacemovies.net was born. He started it, I just ride the coattails.
Although we get a sense that work generated under Space Movies is always engulfed in a layer of jest, there are some pieces which seem a bit more critical and provocative. One image in particular is the Julian Assange/Mark Zuckerberg composition which was created some 4 years ago but yet is remarkably relevant today. Can you tell us a bit about this piece and in general how you decide to balance humor and serious issues?
TS: 100% Jest 100% Cereal – Paul did the Zuckerberg/Assange image, but I think the fact that it's still relevant is proof of how distracted and powerless we are. #EndSlacktivism
PC: The jokes write themselves.
Assange was seen as whistleblowing hero and Zuckerberg is kind of this gatekeeper figurehead for the social media world. They both have had a hand in dispersing/revealing our personal information, and I think they both exist in this kind murky moral space. The humor is inherent, it exists in the friction between bemoaning having your email monitored by the NSA and publicly broadcasting an entirely self-created record of your life on Facebook.
It’s like that secret level in Diablo III where it’s this innocent looking Candyland-like area with all of these cuddly creatures that are trying to kill you...thats Facebook. Then the rest of the game in all of its dire hellishness is our surveilled/wiki-leaked NSA'ed experience. The same principles apply to both worlds, one is just inside a larger one more sinister one, knowwhatimean?
What are your views on internet privacy and internet popular culture in general?
TS: I don't agree with blanket monitoring of internet traffic in any way. Whether it's to combat terrorism or sell to market research firms and advertisers, I think it's shady AF and unfair to the users who both pay taxes and pay for an internet connection. The government and the ISP duopoly is far from transparent on this issue and that, along with leaks and media hype, breed fear and suspicion amongst users (intentional?( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°). Hopefully this is just a transitionary thing and we figure it out someday soon.
As for internet culture, I mostly adore it. It's ever-fresh, uncensored (if you're doin it right) and nearly boundless. The problem today is filtering through mindless commercial content and social bullshit. I think Reddit is a great model for sharing content, while Facebook fails at this. Choice is important and software that chooses for you is as wack as can be.
PC: I don't think the general internet-using populace is really sure what they want when it comes to internet privacy. The popularity of things like Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, taking picture of your own face with the camera way to close, etc speak to a culture that is obsessed with the idea of being visible through the din of mundane daily life, but I don't think everyone has really agreed on where that visibility should stop.
The internet feels like the most human of all inventions, because its just everyone screaming literally all of the time. Everything is a mess, and from that you can get a pretty incredible depth...like www.spacemovies.net
Do you think the internet needs more content generators (As opposed to people who just consume content)
TS: No, I think it should "die" and become a niche market.
PC: Pretty sure all the "content" has already been created, now its time to aggregate and reconfigure. I think that Parker Ito piece where he commissioned all those paintings of the one girl form the 404 error pages should be the last project ever.
Moving forward though, I think the most pure manifestation of the Internet Brand™ of self-expression and content-generation is Tumblr, the home of SpaceMovies.net. It is essentially a place where people can be really creative by showing a composite of their own original personality through the content/ideas/works of someone else.
Hypothetical: Websites are now sovereign states, who will you pledge your nationality to? WorldStar, Reddit, TMZ, Pornhub?
How can potential collaborators get in touch with you?
TS: "We do not seek collaboration"
PC: Interns only.
Experience Space Movies IRL at Studio-Shop:
Sunday, May 17
7219 Alabama Ave
Canoga Park CA 91303