Dancing with 50 Cents Party (2018)
HD｜colour｜8’15”｜English and Korean subtitle
A Guide to Archive Me originates from the concern about how artists are archived in both internet and physical repository, in that aims at unearthing the scattered or hidden information about art. Being part of this project, Art(ist) Searching Engine – www.archiveme.art – is built as a platform to connect artists electronically. In order to review the internet and search engine as a record system, the platform engages artists in contributing metadata. However, in 50 Cent Party engagement, it is justified that the correlation does not always imply causation. In general, the search engine scans content all over World Wide Web and systematically selects the most relevant to certain topics and keywords, this is regarded as the algorithm. Akin to archivist to history, algorithm varies on every single search engine, which determines materials that are visible to internet users. In order to reach potential users and deliver the content efficiently, Archive of the People (AOP) expands artists’ online visibility through www.archive.art; Art(ist) Searching Engine is otherwise in need to gain aground in the ocean of the internet. Preliminary AOP hired the infamous 50 cent Party to boost our popularity and visibility among conventional search engines.
50 cent Party is a colloquial term describing a group or freelance internet commentators. The major reason for engaging the 50 Cent Party in this project because its affiliation with Chinese authority on manipulating public opinion and internet surveillance; on the other hand, the party provides services to generate textual content that is specifically designed to satisfy search engine algorithms. The major differences between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and 50 Cent Party are the quality of content, and how the content is linked to the website in favour of the algorithm. When the negotiation with multiple 50 Cent Parties continues, we are told that www.archiveme.art is inaccessible, very likely to be blocked by the Great Firewall of China. One 50 Cent Party points out that the first page of the search engine is a blank page. In such case, they can provide very limited service in contributing content. AOP could have looked for other service providers outside China, but we find the engagement very symbolic. As an upshot of building a rhizomatic network for artists, www.archiveme.art reaches out to various internet users and does not limit to any regions; unfortunately, the search engine is wiped out and becomes invisible.