Monochrom's Marxist sock puppets

Web 2.0 meets Marxist (Foucaultian?) economic theory in the latest video hijinks from Austrian subversive art collective monochrom. Meet an online porn monster ("iPhone? noooom nom nom nom") and learn how Google-y eyed neo-liberalism screws over the proletariat in "Kiki, Bubu, and the Shift."

Update: monochrom has the longer-form, uncut director's version up on their site.


* Monochrom: MyFaceSpace, the musical
* Monochrom: Campfire at Will

* Monochrom: Falco Stairs
* Monochrom: Bar code artist Scott Blake / Falco stencil memorial
* Human USB Hack / Very Simple Motor
* Mark's Curie Engine / Monochrom's love song for Lessig

About Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email:
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17 Responses to Monochrom's Marxist sock puppets

  1. isaac says:

    thanks foucault!

  2. License Farm says:

    On the basis of the last few Monochrom contributions I was ready for this to be really lame, but this was actually amusing and informative.

  3. tartar says:

    I like the Monochrom stuff. They are witty and always try something new. They keep surprising me.

  4. zuzu says:

    This is tagged funny because they perpetuate the myth of the Labor Theory of Value, right?

    The problem with Neo-Liberalism is the cognitive dissonance between the Classical Liberal theory espoused and the manner “privatization” is put into practice — which more accurately would be called Corporatism.

    Maybe I’ll do my own puppet show, with blackjack, and hookers. In fact, forget the blackjack and the puppet show. Ah, forget the whole thing.

    But the economic calculation problem is still real, which is why socialism cannot work. c.f. The Use of Knowledge in Society.

  5. gwydion says:

    Watching this at work is particularly amusing.

  6. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Zuzu, more on that?

  7. grenz says:

    Well… I don’t want to anticipate too much…

  8. noen says:

    I second that Teresa, more on that please Zuzu. Especially the puppet show. You’ll need more hookers though, you always need more hookers.

  9. jimh says:

    It seems that Hayek’s major argument is that the variables in these types of equations are too numerous and that too much information would need to be available in real time. And he would have been right at the time he made the argument. But we do live in an age of marvels, and we are capable of exchanging a little more information than we were then. I’m not advocating it, mind you, but I am saying that what he dismissed as impossible is not, now, outside the realm of possibility.

  10. mojo_jojo says:

    Cf. Sifl + Olly (MTV c. 1997) for capitalist sock puppet interpretation of similar concepts(Precious Roy Home Shopping Network… SUCKERS!!!

  11. grenz says:

    @jimh: Our puppet piece is not directly dealing with economic theory, it is dealing with the shift in power structures. It’s a brief summary of Foucault’s concept of the -> “disciplinary society” and Deleuze’s adaption of Foucault’s ideas (-> “society of control”).

  12. dragonfrog says:

    At the risk of taking the discussion down a couple of notches, did anyone find Kiki hard to watch? Even at the framerate of the mp4 video, he was moving around so fast he got blurry. I mean, the puppeteer must have been flapping his mouth about 2-3 times per syllable.

    Perhaps it shows my intellectual poverty, but I found that interfered with my paying attention to what they said…

  13. larf says:

    @ Dragonfrog:
    I think ultra-fast-talk fits perfectly to Kiki’s character 😉

  14. jimh says:

    @Grenz #11
    I got carried away with zuzu’s comment, my post was mostly a response to the Freidrich Hayek article. I thought the puppet piece was awesome btw!

  15. wittgensteinian says:

    The irony of a Dell ad, with Xeni’s talking head, appearing in the midst of this seems to more succinctly illustrate the point then the sock puppets.

  16. TJIC says:

    > This is tagged funny because they perpetuate the myth of the Labor Theory of Value, right?…

    > Maybe I’ll do my own puppet show, with blackjack, and hookers. In fact, forget the blackjack and the puppet show.

    Best Boing-Boing Comment Ever.

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