What: To consider a internet performance or digital LARP (live action roleplay) of Philosophy, Literature and Art; an ongoing project for 20+ years.

Who (IRL): A skint, working class UK based philosopher, writer and artist.

Internet Theorist Bob What

Rob’s Mission: “A stylistic zeitgeist response.”

Lockdown Art: Socially isolated art in a time of intense global crisis.

Big Science: A ‘strange imaginary game you pretend to play’. Set in the dark, neon tinged ‘Near Future Retro 80s’ hyperreality of Ludocapitalism.

Example in-Scene usage:

Researcher Y: Hi – what are you doing?
Researcher X: Oh, you know – ‘Big Science.’
Researcher blinks once: OK. How do you play?
Researcher X: Good question! Let’s find out..

Guidebook: Nonlinear, postmodern Theory-Fiction fragments for an imaginary game; an experimental European post-Cyberpunk antinovel.

How To Play Big Science – a novel

Your Role: You are a fellow brilliant, troubled Research Scientist, also recently hired by a mythical, Near Future hypercorporation to work on advanced R&D projects with biocosmic implications.

This Site: A showcase of Rob’s own worldbuilding (paracosm) playthrough; curation, bricolage, remixes and mashups of digital pop culture artifacts found Online. These images and texts represent Rob’s experiences and discoveries within The Game. So how do you play B.S? Our Player Orientation Video will set the tone, and provide a flavor of what’s at stake:


Robert’s Plan: To save a loved one (and himself) from the soul crushing monotony of Work, break free of Student Debt, buy a house, fully develop and express “Big Science” and help other artists & thinkers – eventually forming a cool alternative Artist Syndicate / Art Collective where we play in an atmosphere of intellectual and artistic freedom and interdisciplinary exchange, without interruption and in a supportive environment. Meanwhile however Robert must unfortunately Earn A Living™. This fact is treated as inseparable from his daily, political Digital Labor Practice or ‘Art (as) Work’. He dislikes Patreon.

Site Notes: Before Namecheap screwed up, this site was called Alien Fiction. Everything here is entirely free as in Freedom: “Zero Copyright, No License, Maximum R&D” – please Kopimi! – and exists for the purposes of philosophical critique, sociopolitical commentary and satire.


Rob’s Artistic Approach: To consider that Art too often seems laborious and impoverishing; years of fruitless accumulative effort to develop small ideas, whose more imperfect Conceptual exposition is possible much quicker. Even better still is to simply pretend that such advanced R&D Projects already exist, ie. to simulate them – and then to offer resumes, outlines, commentaries. More non-reasonable, more effortless, it feels preferable to simply scrawl strange digital graffiti in the margins of bizarre virtual worlds.

How To Purchase Rob’s Art: Some theoretical context for purchasing Art (/in the time of Covid + Anthropogenic Climate Change Disaster) from this site:

  • All art on this site is of the ‘Luxury Automated Conceptual Psychedelic Space-Communist Lockdown’ variety.
  • The very notion / delusion of Robert What as an important living artist is on offer for a grand total of $8B; compared to the strict, standard contemporary values of the inherently bizarre Global Art Market, Robert’s own art-performance brand feels reasonably priced.
  • Such Art only contains at least ‘1 calorie art’; its successes and failures lie in the precise moment (manifest privilege) of Purchase and default Consumerist excess.
  • To purchase such Art, is to enter into a conceptually performative call-and-response with Resident Internet Theorist Robert What. Works on this site stating ‘Ideal / Idealized cost for such a concept: [AMOUNT] – contact Robert What today for details‘ are available to purchase. After verification of transaction, Robert can then provide a digital certificate of Conceptual purchase.

Associated Information:

Hiring: If you’ve unique Projects which could benefit from Outsider consultation, freelance speculative ideas brainstormer Robert What brings keen, non-rational / experimental philosophical investigation and a deep left-field perspective to reveal and expand existing / hidden Meaning and untapped potential Artistry. His skills include the ability to undertake daring cognitive leaps between concepts and perceptions; such tests and imprecise deployed notions involve indeterminate strategies – unpredictable ongoing developments and impossible events to deconstruct and ponder alternative outcomes – thus providing fresh insights into emergent in-Scene play.

Contact: To chat about cool project collaboration or consultation, reach out today at bob at robertwhat dot com. Please expect up to three working days for replies. He is currently watching Twitter’s ongoing implosion with interest.

Om Mani Padme Hum.

Site Reviews:

Fascinating, rambling, deranged
Reddit review

A mix between performance and architectural critique, this is in-game photography documentation at its best. It also indicates a possible way for critics, artists and game developers to engage in a fruitful collaboration.
– Matteo Bittanti, Gamescenes

Also, this guy who hates Andy [Warhol] has a clever interesting website (robertwhat dot com) the 20th Century salutes him.
– MONDO 2000 @2000_mondo

// how to play big science