Short Version: This is the fictional story of Resident Internet Theorist “Robert What” – an absurdist, R&D based Live Action Roleplay into a ‘strange imaginary game’ called Big Science. Featuring a rich, mixed bag of Ideas, Text and Images.
Fascinating, rambling, deranged
– Reddit review
Also, this guy who hates Andy [Warhol] has a clever interesting website (https://robertwhat.com) the 20th Century salutes him.
– MONDO 2000 @2000_mondo
What: To consider an absurdist online performance (digital LARP) of Philosophy, Literature and Art.
Who: Robert What – Resident Internet Theorist.
Backstory: Hired by BSZ Hypercorporation behind the scenes – and without public oversight.
Mission: “A stylized zeitgeist response.” A virtual artistic escape attempt from daily UK life.
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 late stage Videogame Capitalism aka Ludocapitalism. Ideal for Zero to Infinity minus-one players, ages 18-80. Example in-scene usage:
Researcher Y: Hi – what are you doing?
Researcher X: Oh, you know – “Big Science.”
Researcher Y: *blinks* OK.. How do you play?
Researcher X: Good question! Let’s find out.
How To Play Big Science (Cyberpunk Theory-Fiction Novel): Nonlinear postmodern Theory-Fiction fragments for an imaginary game – cleverly disguised as a failed experimental European Cyberpunk sci fi novel. 327k words, 1.1MB epub. Download here: How-To-Play-Big-Science-Cyberpunk-Theory-Fiction-Robert-What.zip
Your Role: You are a fellow brilliant, troubled Research Scientist, recently hired by a mythical Near Future hypercorporation to work on ‘advanced R&D projects’ with cosmic scale implications.
A Showcase: This site showcases Rob’s own worldbuilding / playthrough; bricolage, remixes and mashups of digital pop culture artifacts found Online. These images and texts represent his adventures 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 here:
HOW TO PLAY BIG SCIENCE
Rob’s Plan: To break free of Student Debt, buy a well insulated house, fully develop and express “Big Science” and help others – eventually forming a cool Alternative Artist Collective / Syndicate where we can play in an atmosphere of intellectual and artistic freedom and interdisciplinary cultural 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 also despises the Capitalist ideology of Patreon.
Site Notes: Before Namecheap messed up, this site was called Alien Fiction. Everything here is free as in Freedom: “Zero Copyright, No License, Maximum R&D – please Kopimi!” – and exists for the purposes of philosophical critique, sociopolitical commentary and cultural satire.
Artistic Approach: Art too often seems laborious and impoverishing; years of fruitless accumulative effort to develop small-potatoes ideas, whose more imperfect Conceptual exposition is possible far quicker. Even better still – to simply pretend that such advanced ‘R&D Projects’ already exist – to simulate them – and then to offer resumes, outlines, commentaries. More non-reasonable, more effortless, it seems preferable just to scrawl strange digital graffiti in the margins of bizarre virtual worlds.
Purchasing Art: Some helpful theoretical context for purchasing Art (/in the time of Covid + Anthropogenic Climate Change) from this site:
- “This is not an Artist Statement, but rather a polite middle finger to mainstream art in general.
- All art on this site is of the ‘Luxury Automated Conceptual Communist Lockdown Performance’ variety – in which the very notion of ‘Robert What’ as an artist, and everything he performs is on offer for a total of $8B.
- According to the strict, standard contemporary values of the Global Capitalist Art Market, Robert’s art-performance appears reasonably priced.
- To purchase such Art is to enter into a conceptually performative call-and-response with Resident Internet Theorist Robert What.
- Such Art is only really meant for ‘the ultra rich and white with no taste’ and contains ‘1 calorie art’; its success and failure as art lie in the precise moment (manifest privilege) of Purchase and default (Consumerist) excess.
- Works on this site featuring the phrase ‘Ideal / Idealized cost for such a concept as this: £ [AMOUNT] – contact Robert What today for details‘ are available to purchase instantly.
- After verified of a transaction, Robert can then provide a digital certificate of Conceptual purchase.”
- RANT vs ISCA (fiction)
- Calculating The Hyperreal Financial Concept of “Worth”
- “The Art World is the most phony, elitist clique of circle jerking pretentious twats there is”
- “This Is Your Head”: The Difficulty Of Selling Conceptual Art Online
- Why Is (/Post) Modern Art So Bad? with Sad Aesthetic-Relativist Background Drowning Music
- Conceptual Paintings re: Artistic Freedom In The Age Of Neoliberal Copyright Ideology
- Libcom: The decline of decadence – Malcolm Bull
Hire / Rob’s Skills: If you’ve unique R&D Projects which could benefit from outside 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.
Rob’s skills include the ability to undertake daring cognitive leaps between concepts and perceptions; such extensive tests and imprecise deployed notions involve indeterminate strategies – unpredictable ongoing developments and impossible events to deconstruct and ponder radically alternative improbable outcomes – providing fresh insights into emergent ‘in-Scene’ play.
Contact Details: To discuss such bleeding edge ‘theory-fiction’, chat about cool project collaboration and-or consultation, reach out today at bob at robertwhat dot com. Please expect up to three working days for replies. Follow Rob on Twitter.
Comments Policy: Politeness & intelligence will be reciprocated.
I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels.
– Diogenes of Sinope
- Big Scientist RND Zaibatsu Welcome Pack (NSFW)
- Diving Everydayness: The Wolverhampton Aqualung Society
- Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy: Conceptual Art
// how to play big science