‘The problem with quotes from the internet is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy’ (Abraham Lincoln, 1986)
The information age we live in is shaping the way we interact with each other. The internet is huge, so huge in fact that only 0.03% of its content is accessible through ‘traditional’ search engines such as Google or Bing. With such a massive platform for communication, information and freedom of speech so readily available for the masses, problems tend to arise. The current problem within our digital society is the prying eyes of those that seek to take advantage of us and control us. There is also an ongoing power struggle between those that seek to censor and regulate the internet and those who see the internet as a platform for freedom of communication and information.
Kenji Abe has produced a publication that highlights several aspects of the internet culture and the various subcultures that emerge within it. The publication is produced under the pseudonym ‘Flute Manhawk’ and various other aliases, highlighting the anonymity that is causing tensions between online communities, governments and corporations. Inspired by Bladerunner and Johnny Mnemonic, the publication, titled Proper Gander Magazine, portrays a 1980s/1990s cyberpunk retro futuristic aesthetic. The contents of the publication embrace a satirical view on the current topics and headlines dealing with the internet, such as the British government’s involvement in storing private browsing data of the public for ‘national security’ and hacktivist group Anonymous. The images presented here constitute individual pages of the magazine.
Kenji Abe is a 21-year old digital artist who studied BA Photography at Falmouth University. During his time at Falmouth he began to reject conventional forms of photography for the sake of more quirky and controversial media forms. An avid appropriator, he mainly uses imagery lifted from the internet, which he combines with his own graphic designs to create strange and vivid posters and publications. Being politically driven, Kenji Abe’s aim is to convey to the viewer a satirical view of the current world affairs.