BOY’Dega Season 1: Edited4Syndication
Launched May 9, 2014 / Commissioned for First Look: New Art Online / The New Museum of Contemporary Art
You were constructed but from parts, nameless. You were given electricity (technology), were forced to socialize, to ask fundamental questions about being human. You found your ensemble cast, forcing a contamination but giving you what you’d been lacking—family. Losing (sharing) a little self to gain a little other, maximizing endurance, increasing longevity. And from contamination: syndication. From family: imposters, progeny, and deviations.
Television’s evolving penchant for storytelling has given way to its own peripheral distribution platforms such as: Hulu, Netflix, official show sites, and fan sites that inform a show’s episodic universe. These central narratives can also manage to be at odds with their syndicated selves, leading towards: moralizing re-edits, binge viewing, appropriation, shared commentary, and further convolution. Through these, a new story evolves that implicates the collective makers, participants, and addicts as formidable foes to the show’s creators.
BOY’Dega: Edited4Syndication is a website that uses a model to extrapolate scenarios and visuals from systems that seek to either qualify or quantify the body in the urban sphere, and through levels of role confusion create a form of security through obscurity. The site is a supplemental to the show’s non-existence, a consciously chosen mirage based on aspects of HBO’s The Wire. The model posits the nature of interchangeability through a set of key roles in any show’s cannon: the character, the author, the fan, and the actor working towards a dissolving of their stability. HBO’s The Wire presented a metropolis where bureaucratic institutions and the people they quantify are steeped in codes, hierarchies, and modes of conduct while simultaneously policing each other. The show’s creator David Simon uses the phrase “juking the stats” to refer to institutions that set up systems and test only to benefit from their results directly. This phrase/action, implying moral ambiguity, sets a working model for his series. The nature of this ambiguity lead us to our model and a set of 5 central terms as modes of operation.
B:E4S presents itself as fan-fiction parlaying as an artwork both intended to inform one another by taking a Trojan Horse and trapping it in the droste effect. Distanciation, the supplemental, cultural practices, process/procedural, and self preservation cause further proliferation, engender new forms to present ideas of propagation, of reproduction, of mutation, of generation, and of moving from a place of origin to a Frankensteinian notion of selfhood.