Cindy Sherman vs T shirt ninjas

Untitled Film Stills, 1979:

sherman 1sherman 2
sherman 3 sherman 9sherman 10
sherman 5sherman 4
sherman 6sherman 8
sherman 7sherman 11

Webcam Ninjas, ca. 2002:

- tom moody 4-14-2007 8:57 pm

what's your source/sources for the ninja shots? were they grouped this way, or have you 'curated' them?
- kristin (guest) 5-05-2007 7:56 pm

I saved them around 2002 or 03--the URL where I found them is long dead. Basically one cammer had the idea and a group of them all "did ninjas" which were then all saved in one location. It was kind of a tribal phenomenon. Just a goof but with so many involved and so many variations it became interesting. Guthrie Lonergan did something similar with MySpace intros but he actually curated them.
- tom moody 5-05-2007 8:30 pm

There's a similarity in the cindy/ninja thread to ze frank's photo-galleries, like "when office supplies attack" and "blow" (links below). As you probably know, Ze Frank sets up a simple idea for a photo, and people send him wacky responses. A similar premise as the ninja cammer phenom, but with wider reach and more differentiated output. Maybe we can think of Ze as The Son of Sherman: he's performing for the camera, but more importantly he gives people the impetus, license and space for their own performance.

I like the idea of a "spontaneous crystallization" as a type of participatory self-curating. I wonder what you would consider to be good examples of that happening in art? I'm drawing blanks trying to think of a particularly meaty one.
- kristin (guest) 5-10-2007 7:56 am

It hardly happens in art at all because everyone is guarding their turf and nurturing their own bids to be history's most important solo actors, changing the face of art. Brian Eno's term "scenius" applies here, and also to jungle drum & bass music where a lot of people were working on the same ideas and invented a new sound without any one person dominating. Unlike Ze Frank, the person who instigated these ninja pictures did it mostly as an ephemeral "guerilla" action, or a lark, and wasn't trying to be Cindy Sherman or Ze Frank. The instigator has disappeared from the web as far as I know.
- tom moody 5-17-2007 10:05 am

Whoops, gotta close this thread--I'm afraid those URLs attracted spammers. Please email if you want to continue the discussion.
- tom moody 5-19-2007 11:54 pm