Common Culture is a UK-based artists’ collective, founded in 1996. In April 2018 their website was hacked and disabled. It was at this point they discovered that a young American internet celebrity, looking to capitalize on the intimate relationship he’d built with his online followers, had trademarked the name ‘Common Culture’ to brand, promote and sell a range of coffee, apparel and music. As he said: “It looks cool, it sounds cool… a unified culture anyone can enjoy.”
OMG I love common culture !!!! ♥♥♥♥ draws on the adulatory online responses of fans to ‘Common Culture’ merchandise pro–moted in his vlogs. The exhibition, featuring the die raum gallery space and a Common Culture website, explores how the aesthetics, interactions and transactional intimacy built by internet personalities are ruthlessly deployed to convert followers into consumers.
Apart from the opening night, the gallery space of die raum will be ‘closed’ for the duration of the exhibition. The gallery’s blacked-out store front exterior will carry the logo of Common Culture and host an accumulation of graphic stickers based on the online comments of the internet celebrity’s fan base. In the gallery (and online for the duration of the exhibition at commonculture.store), a video features the collated footage of YouTube vlog introductions as he greets his online followers, from his first, amateurish post from his parents’ house, up until the launch of his very own ‘common culture’ website. But while he enthusiastically promotes the originality and creativity of his new website and ‘common culture’ merchandise, his on-screen image is gradually overtaken by a swathe of adulatory stickers drawn from the feed-back of his on-line followers and consumers.