Hella More Funner is an art collective consisting of Sam Fuchs and myself. We have been working together over the Internet since 2007. Our process involves obsessively collecting thousands of images and icons from the Internet and collaging them. Glorified drug abuse, subcultures, fame, overproduction, waste, capitalism, politics, and hyped-up fads are the themes in these convoluted compositions. As we unwittingly developed a religious devotion to modern life’s input overload, the Internet has become our deity.
The work we made in 2007 and 2008 reflects our feelings about living in LA. It represents our squandered time, A.D.D., boredom, apathy, and outrage at the city for being so indifferent. We worshipped its sun, beaches, celebrities, its promise and our potential. We railed against its smog, traffic, hipsters, and goldbrickers. We had a panoptic view of everything that was happening and yet we had no power to affect let alone understand the city’s currents and connections. Our cognitive abilities were in every way outmatched by our growing perceptual powers. When everything is within reach, nothing is special. We were increasingly connected but rarely touched. We were blessed with innumerable choices but floundered in our uncertainty.
After six years of living in Los Angeles I found that I understood it less. Sam has since moved to San Francisco and I to Rhode Island. LA as a place is no longer the source of our anxieties but the culture it manufactures persists all around us. It is in everything that promises happiness and youth, every product that promises the girl, every half naked body selling a cheeseburger.
We view our distraction as a global epidemic—a cognitive plague that threatens to unravel generations of productive and focused thought. A constant diet of distraction through electronic media makes it more difficult now than ever to address serious long-term problems like climate change. That pundits and politicians can compete with just about every relevant scientific body is evidence of our collective inability to filter information rationally. Our objective reality is under attack. As the tides of information rise, the attention required to navigate this shifting reality safely will become our scarcest resource, making it incalculably valuable.
Our wires are crossed, our messages mixed, and anxiety has swelled to inhabit the utterly chaotic world of the Web. Our recent work has become increasingly dense with scavenged Internet images. The work reflects the chaos and insanity of society’s sensory overload, an accumulation of everything and the kitchen sink, yet it is geometrically keen. You will find endless little narratives to keep eyeballs searching and spinning in their sockets. You can prove that you belong to this culture just by knowing what we show you. For those who look at the work and say, “I see some religious iconography, some ominous symbols, some celebrities, and some porn—but I don’t get it.” Great! Good for you! Each piece is the result of innumerable confusions piled on top of and in juxtaposition to one another. None of our pieces add up to any sort of big finish or conclusion. They just add to the chaos. “Look,” we say, “everything is coming undone —isn’t that awesome?” Confu
sed? So are we!
We are the product of our environment and as self-appointed representatives we must tell our cautionary tale. Can you not feel what we represent through our work? Can you not see us behind these funhouse mirrors? Being born into the suburban vacuum of daytime TV plus Disney plus Pop-Punk plus Beavis and Butthead plus Raves plus The Real World plus Techno-Liberalism plus America’s Funniest Home Videos plus Y2K plus South Park plus 9/11 plus Fox News equals boredom-drugs-drinking-cynicism-impending doom-paranoia-heartbreak-neurosis-stupidity-apathy-depression and inaction. We can use this! Do not believe the hype—everything has not been done already. Nothing is dead. Every set of eyeballs makes it brand spanking new. We want to exceed expectations. We will squeeze our history for all it is worth. We are the front line. We lovingly battle and celebrate the coming cultural apocalypse, laughing, crying, and screaming in unison.
At the heart of our work are epic spectacles, displayed in a manner reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch’s disarrayed paintings, that fuse human triumph and folly through juxtapositions of society’s current Gods, from George Bush to Britney Spears to Lil’ Jon. We think all culture exists on the same A.D.D.-addled plane: where political failure occupies the same space in our heads as Lindsay Lohan puking outside a club. After years of watching Friend’s, Oprah Winfrey, and ER, how could anything possibly sink in? “ Like: Chuck E Cheese, Cheerleaders, Cheers, Cheerios, Cheetos, Charley Chaplin, Charley and the Chocolate Factory . . . What’s the difference? Or “Think different,” “Think outside the bun,” “Hungry, why wait?” “Do the do!” “Don’t just feed your hunger, crush it,” “We know how to spell relief: R-O-L-A-I-D-S,” “I’m Lovin’ It.” What are these messages telling us? Why is this crap in our heads?
Who are our influences? Turn on the TV and flip through 900 channels as fast as you can. Don’t blink. Ask us to name infomercial personalities and gangster rappers and we’ll never stop talking. Which is why Hella More Funner is a cathartic project, a way of unburdening ourselves from the 25 years of garbage culture that is engorging our brains. We’ve become mentally obese and this is our ActivOn. “Apply directly to your forehead.”
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