Talking With Images: Is Dump.fm the New 4Chan?

by Art Fag City on May 26, 2010 · 62 comments Blurb

POST BY: PADDY JOHNSON

I wrote a short post for Urlesque today on the image chat website dump.fm. The teaser below.

Typing is so passé. At least this is the impression I have while I’m on dump.fm, a new (often NSFW) image chat room co-founded by Internet Archaeology‘s Ryder Ripps, Scott Ostler of the publishing framework MIT Exhibit and core social bookmark programmer for Delicious, Tim Baker.

Here users post animated gifs, manipulated and found images and webcam shots as a means of conversing. The site has more than 2,000 registered users and the pace of exchange is frighteningly quick. Post too slowly and you’ll be bombarded with glittering images from users reading “Still learning to dump.”

To read the whole piece click here.
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  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    I just tried out dump.fm, too, and it is kind of addicting. My least favorite part is that typing is even an option, because it takes away from the whole image-only speak that makes the forum exciting. A lot of the content is prurient, gaudy, and otherwise NSFW, but why should one not expect a bit of “visual sewage” on a site called “dump”?

    I’ve already seen Visual AIDS & Tom Moody drop images into the forum, and it’s fascinating to me how the “conversation” can become seemingly cogent, even “elevated” based on who’s dumping what and when. It’s also clear that there are various types of dumpers. I just find things to dump from image searches, while other dumpers are clearly doctoring, combining, and creating their own images.

    I wrote some thoughts about my very first dump here http://bit.ly/buBi6z — and recalling your previous post re: curators/artists, I think that dump.fm can legitimately be considered a site that allows for a synthesis of curator/artist sensibilities. The site chronologically logs all of your dumps (ha!) and also keeps a separate log of other people’s dumps, both of which are available for public viewing. Dump.fm also embodies that idea of “forum culture,” the term that was coined by Beau Sievers and gently seized upon by Mr. Moody on the Newsome thread.

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    I just tried out dump.fm, too, and it is kind of addicting. My least favorite part is that typing is even an option, because it takes away from the whole image-only speak that makes the forum exciting. A lot of the content is prurient, gaudy, and otherwise NSFW, but why should one not expect a bit of “visual sewage” on a site called “dump”?

    I’ve already seen Visual AIDS & Tom Moody drop images into the forum, and it’s fascinating to me how the “conversation” can become seemingly cogent, even “elevated” based on who’s dumping what and when. It’s also clear that there are various types of dumpers. I just find things to dump from image searches, while other dumpers are clearly doctoring, combining, and creating their own images.

    I wrote some thoughts about my very first dump here http://bit.ly/buBi6z — and recalling your previous post re: curators/artists, I think that dump.fm can legitimately be considered a site that allows for a synthesis of curator/artist sensibilities. The site chronologically logs all of your dumps (ha!) and also keeps a separate log of other people’s dumps, both of which are available for public viewing. Dump.fm also embodies that idea of “forum culture,” the term that was coined by Beau Sievers and gently seized upon by Mr. Moody on the Newsome thread.

  • Amos Satterlee

    4chan probably happy poseurs now on dump.

  • Amos Satterlee

    4chan probably happy poseurs now on dump.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    from Boris Groys’ The Weak Universalism:

    “At the same time, [Warhol's Sleep and Empire State Building] actually do not need dedicated attention, or any spectator at all in fact—-just as the Empire State Building or a sleeping person do not need any spectator. It is no accident that both of these films…function at their best not in a movie theater but in a film installation, where as a rule they are shown in a loop. The exhibition visitor can look at them for a moment—-or maybe not at all. The same can be said about the Web sites of the social networks—-one can visit them or not. And if one does visit them then only this visit as such is registered—-and not how much time one has spent looking at them. Contemporary art’s visibility is a weak, virtual visibility, the apocalyptic visibility of contracting time. One is already satisfied that a certain image can be seen or that a certain text can be read-—the facticity of seeing and reading becomes irrelevant.

    “But of course the Internet can also become—-and partially has become—-a space for the strong images and texts that have begun to dominate it. That is why younger generations of artists are increasingly interested in weak visibility and weak public gestures. Everywhere we witness the emergence of artistic groups in which participants and spectators coincide. These groups make art for themselves—-and maybe for the artists of other groups if they are ready to collaborate. This kind of participatory practice means that one can become a spectator only when one has already become an artist-—otherwise one simply would not be able to gain access to the corresponding art practices.”

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    from Boris Groys’ The Weak Universalism:

    “At the same time, [Warhol's Sleep and Empire State Building] actually do not need dedicated attention, or any spectator at all in fact—-just as the Empire State Building or a sleeping person do not need any spectator. It is no accident that both of these films…function at their best not in a movie theater but in a film installation, where as a rule they are shown in a loop. The exhibition visitor can look at them for a moment—-or maybe not at all. The same can be said about the Web sites of the social networks—-one can visit them or not. And if one does visit them then only this visit as such is registered—-and not how much time one has spent looking at them. Contemporary art’s visibility is a weak, virtual visibility, the apocalyptic visibility of contracting time. One is already satisfied that a certain image can be seen or that a certain text can be read-—the facticity of seeing and reading becomes irrelevant.

    “But of course the Internet can also become—-and partially has become—-a space for the strong images and texts that have begun to dominate it. That is why younger generations of artists are increasingly interested in weak visibility and weak public gestures. Everywhere we witness the emergence of artistic groups in which participants and spectators coincide. These groups make art for themselves—-and maybe for the artists of other groups if they are ready to collaborate. This kind of participatory practice means that one can become a spectator only when one has already become an artist-—otherwise one simply would not be able to gain access to the corresponding art practices.”

  • Amos Satterlee

    Tom, why the love for Groys? This article of his is rife with silly contradictions, like the oxymoron of a professional de-professionalized “avant garde”. And Malevich erasing? Rauchenberg erased, Malevich consumed. come on, you can do better.

    Suggest “lazy” as used by programmers as a better thought environment. (credit: Beau Sievers bhqfu seminar http://beausievers.com/bhqfu/computer_art/)

  • Amos Satterlee

    Tom, why the love for Groys? This article of his is rife with silly contradictions, like the oxymoron of a professional de-professionalized “avant garde”. And Malevich erasing? Rauchenberg erased, Malevich consumed. come on, you can do better.

    Suggest “lazy” as used by programmers as a better thought environment. (credit: Beau Sievers bhqfu seminar http://beausievers.com/bhqfu/computer_art/)

  • Samson White

    Read some chapters of the book Art Power. Groys is one of the most advanced thinkers in art in the world.

  • Samson White

    Read some chapters of the book Art Power. Groys is one of the most advanced thinkers in art in the world.

  • Amos Satterlee

    Samson: will do, but if Weak Universalism is any indication, then art thinking is in a real world of hurt.

  • Amos Satterlee

    Samson: will do, but if Weak Universalism is any indication, then art thinking is in a real world of hurt.

  • http://c-monster.net c-mon

    omg, that site just gave me heart palpitations

  • http://c-monster.net c-mon

    omg, that site just gave me heart palpitations

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    There is a category on the Sievers syllabus ( http://beausievers.com/bhqfu/computer_art/ ) called Amateur and Sub-Amateur. That was Ed Halter’s phrase, as I recall. I would call that a professional de-professionalization. Someone has to put the moron in oxymoron.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    There is a category on the Sievers syllabus ( http://beausievers.com/bhqfu/computer_art/ ) called Amateur and Sub-Amateur. That was Ed Halter’s phrase, as I recall. I would call that a professional de-professionalization. Someone has to put the moron in oxymoron.

  • http://beausievers.com/bhqfu/computer_art/ beau

    I have only just barely absorbed Groys’ essay, and I think it’s excellent. Weak and lazy are different, but they’re good friends. Forum culture will dominate because it makes weakness lazier.

  • http://beausievers.com/bhqfu/computer_art/ beau

    I have only just barely absorbed Groys’ essay, and I think it’s excellent. Weak and lazy are different, but they’re good friends. Forum culture will dominate because it makes weakness lazier.

  • http://dump.fm ryder
    • http://tommoody.us tom moody

      Ryder’s glitter text died but it said “What are you Groys talking about?”

  • http://dump.fm ryder
  • http://dump.fm ryder
  • http://dump.fm ryder
  • http://dump.fm ryder
  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    You can run but you can’t hide…from theory.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    You can run but you can’t hide…from theory.

  • http://dump.fm ryder
  • http://dump.fm ryder
  • http://dump.fm ryder
  • Samson White

    I think dump.fm is a cool project, but the comparison to 4chan, though it makes sense on the surface, is too soon. yes they’re image boards, but creativity of 4chan matched? dump is so new, and a very tiny project at this point. 4chan is such a vastly complex environment with its own culture because it’s been around a while and has so much traffic that emergent properties (I mean this in the senses of systems theory and philosophy) exist on it. it also has an anonymous no-registration tripcode design (unlike dump.fm and most any other site). and it engages in anonymous direct action beyond the bounds of the net. phds are being written on chan culture.

    if you were unaware of this, the comparison stands, but what i’m hoping you’re not doing is making a biased comparison in favor of an “art context” project because you believe “creativity” to be slightly more the dominion of artists than others.

  • Samson White

    I think dump.fm is a cool project, but the comparison to 4chan, though it makes sense on the surface, is too soon. yes they’re image boards, but creativity of 4chan matched? dump is so new, and a very tiny project at this point. 4chan is such a vastly complex environment with its own culture because it’s been around a while and has so much traffic that emergent properties (I mean this in the senses of systems theory and philosophy) exist on it. it also has an anonymous no-registration tripcode design (unlike dump.fm and most any other site). and it engages in anonymous direct action beyond the bounds of the net. phds are being written on chan culture.

    if you were unaware of this, the comparison stands, but what i’m hoping you’re not doing is making a biased comparison in favor of an “art context” project because you believe “creativity” to be slightly more the dominion of artists than others.

  • Samson White

    I think dump.fm is a cool project, but the comparison to 4chan, though it makes sense on the surface, is too soon. yes they’re image boards, but creativity of 4chan matched? dump is so new, and a very tiny project at this point. 4chan is such a vastly complex environment with its own culture because it’s been around a while and has so much traffic that emergent properties (I mean this in the senses of systems theory and philosophy) exist on it. it also has an anonymous no-registration tripcode design (unlike dump.fm and most any other site). and it engages in anonymous direct action beyond the bounds of the net. phds are being written on chan culture.

    if you were unaware of this, the comparison stands, but what i’m hoping you’re not doing is making a biased comparison in favor of an “art context” project because you believe “creativity” to be slightly more the dominion of artists than others.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Hi, Samson, we had a lengthy discussion of 4Chan vs surf clubs on Rhizome.org a while back. It was a bad place to have the discussion because people kept interjecting to say “a pox on both their houses. Let me tell you about the real net art…”
    Am curious about how 4Chan “engages in anonymous direct action beyond the bounds of the net.” Can you elaborate on that a bit? Is it political activism?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Hi, Samson, we had a lengthy discussion of 4Chan vs surf clubs on Rhizome.org a while back. It was a bad place to have the discussion because people kept interjecting to say “a pox on both their houses. Let me tell you about the real net art…”
    Am curious about how 4Chan “engages in anonymous direct action beyond the bounds of the net.” Can you elaborate on that a bit? Is it political activism?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Hi, Samson, we had a lengthy discussion of 4Chan vs surf clubs on Rhizome.org a while back. It was a bad place to have the discussion because people kept interjecting to say “a pox on both their houses. Let me tell you about the real net art…”
    Am curious about how 4Chan “engages in anonymous direct action beyond the bounds of the net.” Can you elaborate on that a bit? Is it political activism?

  • Samson White

    I’m not trying to dismiss dump.fm, it’s an elaboration on the image board concept, and a novel one. The comparison with the chans is what a little imprecise to me. For one, it has art ties, and it has been a condition of art since the art/life dichotomy distinction became maturely recognized as a distinction at all, that art often pales in comparison to what it theatrically, in a distilled environ, tries to simulate or engage. But that’s my opinion, as well as art theory that’s at least 50 years old. not new.

    4chan on the other hand is one of the most consistently transgressive places on the light side of the internet, and of 14 year old kids (and 40 year old kids) practicing really hardcore amorality (rejecting historical ideas of morality). just saying that it’s NSFW whereas dump.fm is more high-brow doesn’t get to the heart of it. it gets pegged in the neolib (i say neolib as a vague vulgate) soundbyte langauge as a ‘meme factory’ bc that’s the result that most ppl extract from it. any more probing and things would get very uncomfortable. but spend some time there on /b/, and you see a really scary, ingenious, beautiful, hilarious, highly politicized environment. i don’t have the time or space to go into the direct action elements, but the invasion exploits involving the church of scientology, sarah palin’s e-mail, habbo, facebook, time magazine, local videogame stores, and countless ex girlfriends, are all googleable.

  • Samson White

    I’m not trying to dismiss dump.fm, it’s an elaboration on the image board concept, and a novel one. The comparison with the chans is what a little imprecise to me. For one, it has art ties, and it has been a condition of art since the art/life dichotomy distinction became maturely recognized as a distinction at all, that art often pales in comparison to what it theatrically, in a distilled environ, tries to simulate or engage. But that’s my opinion, as well as art theory that’s at least 50 years old. not new.

    4chan on the other hand is one of the most consistently transgressive places on the light side of the internet, and of 14 year old kids (and 40 year old kids) practicing really hardcore amorality (rejecting historical ideas of morality). just saying that it’s NSFW whereas dump.fm is more high-brow doesn’t get to the heart of it. it gets pegged in the neolib (i say neolib as a vague vulgate) soundbyte langauge as a ‘meme factory’ bc that’s the result that most ppl extract from it. any more probing and things would get very uncomfortable. but spend some time there on /b/, and you see a really scary, ingenious, beautiful, hilarious, highly politicized environment. i don’t have the time or space to go into the direct action elements, but the invasion exploits involving the church of scientology, sarah palin’s e-mail, habbo, facebook, time magazine, local videogame stores, and countless ex girlfriends, are all googleable.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I wasn’t asking for “the case for 4chan,” although this is interesting. (As I recall I said the honesty and “realness” of the site was a plus in the Rhizome discussion.) “Direct action element” and “invasion exploits” is still unclear and jargon-y to me: is this like the left’s Googlebombing (mass use of a certain word or link in blog posts to “game” top hit results) or telling everyone to email a particular Senator’s office “but please be polite”? Or something more insidious, like a denial-of-service attack? Is it an automated “bot” thing or is it a just a mass request for people to do something?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I wasn’t asking for “the case for 4chan,” although this is interesting. (As I recall I said the honesty and “realness” of the site was a plus in the Rhizome discussion.) “Direct action element” and “invasion exploits” is still unclear and jargon-y to me: is this like the left’s Googlebombing (mass use of a certain word or link in blog posts to “game” top hit results) or telling everyone to email a particular Senator’s office “but please be polite”? Or something more insidious, like a denial-of-service attack? Is it an automated “bot” thing or is it a just a mass request for people to do something?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I wasn’t asking for “the case for 4chan,” although this is interesting. (As I recall I said the honesty and “realness” of the site was a plus in the Rhizome discussion.) “Direct action element” and “invasion exploits” is still unclear and jargon-y to me: is this like the left’s Googlebombing (mass use of a certain word or link in blog posts to “game” top hit results) or telling everyone to email a particular Senator’s office “but please be polite”? Or something more insidious, like a denial-of-service attack? Is it an automated “bot” thing or is it a just a mass request for people to do something?

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @samson white Please keep in mind that I wrote that post for urlesque, an aol website focusing on memes with a very general audience. Even the images chosen by my editor for this piece errored on the side of safe. So, yes, of course the comparison is imprecise, but I’m writing for a different audience and have to use the vocabulary of the site.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @samson white Please keep in mind that I wrote that post for urlesque, an aol website focusing on memes with a very general audience. Even the images chosen by my editor for this piece errored on the side of safe. So, yes, of course the comparison is imprecise, but I’m writing for a different audience and have to use the vocabulary of the site.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Just re-read Samson’s last reply and realized with his vague language and “just Google it” he’s making the case for hardcore amorality as a virtue and political practice without committing himself in any way. I think I prefer dump’s more baldly aesthetic stance to the pseudo-political, although there is plenty of imagery on dump that is cruel and disgusting. (And a range of responses from “cool” to “stop posting so much porn” to actual discussion.)

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Just re-read Samson’s last reply and realized with his vague language and “just Google it” he’s making the case for hardcore amorality as a virtue and political practice without committing himself in any way. I think I prefer dump’s more baldly aesthetic stance to the pseudo-political, although there is plenty of imagery on dump that is cruel and disgusting. (And a range of responses from “cool” to “stop posting so much porn” to actual discussion.)

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Just re-read Samson’s last reply and realized with his vague language and “just Google it” he’s making the case for hardcore amorality as a virtue and political practice without committing himself in any way. I think I prefer dump’s more baldly aesthetic stance to the pseudo-political, although there is plenty of imagery on dump that is cruel and disgusting. (And a range of responses from “cool” to “stop posting so much porn” to actual discussion.)

  • ray

    wonder if matt furie knows they stole all his characters for the site, probably but still

    http://www.mattfurie.com/

  • ray

    wonder if matt furie knows they stole all his characters for the site, probably but still

    http://www.mattfurie.com/

  • ray

    wonder if matt furie knows they stole all his characters for the site, probably but still

    http://www.mattfurie.com/

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Matt Furie is credited on the “about us” page ( http://dump.fm/about_us ). Please do a little research before speculating.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Matt Furie is credited on the “about us” page ( http://dump.fm/about_us ). Please do a little research before speculating.

  • http://dump.fm ryder

    dear ray, yes we worked with matt.

  • http://dump.fm ryder

    dear ray, yes we worked with matt.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Having now spent more time on dump and seen what I suppose are “direct action elements” and “invasion exploits” from 4Chan users I can now make a considered comment about them:
    http://dump.fm/p/tommoody/864927

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Having now spent more time on dump and seen what I suppose are “direct action elements” and “invasion exploits” from 4Chan users I can now make a considered comment about them:
    http://dump.fm/p/tommoody/864927

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Having now spent more time on dump and seen what I suppose are “direct action elements” and “invasion exploits” from 4Chan users I can now make a considered comment about them:
    http://dump.fm/p/tommoody/864927

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I now get what “direct action elements” and “invasion elements” are and understand the reason for Samson’s vague language here. The “really scary, ingenious, beautiful, hilarious, highly politicized environment” Samson praises leaves the airy-fairy world of mere aesthetics and engages in mass harassment of people it deems unworthy. Spamming the victim’s comments (if the victim has a blog), tracking down the victim’s email and spamming it, then finding out where the victim lives and going into “full raid mode” (“Pizzas and UPS boxes were promptly ordered to [victim's] home and there were a number of requests for Craigslist whores in the area to be directed to the address.”) Doing all that to an eleven year old is indeed an area dump.fm hasn’t explored and it’s great that Samson has pointed out the distinction. (See http://gawker.com/5589103/how-the-internet-beat-up-an-11+year+old-girl and http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Kerligirl13 )

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I now get what “direct action elements” and “invasion elements” are and understand the reason for Samson’s vague language here. The “really scary, ingenious, beautiful, hilarious, highly politicized environment” Samson praises leaves the airy-fairy world of mere aesthetics and engages in mass harassment of people it deems unworthy. Spamming the victim’s comments (if the victim has a blog), tracking down the victim’s email and spamming it, then finding out where the victim lives and going into “full raid mode” (“Pizzas and UPS boxes were promptly ordered to [victim's] home and there were a number of requests for Craigslist whores in the area to be directed to the address.”) Doing all that to an eleven year old is indeed an area dump.fm hasn’t explored and it’s great that Samson has pointed out the distinction. (See http://gawker.com/5589103/how-the-internet-beat-up-an-11+year+old-girl and http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Kerligirl13 )

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I now get what “direct action elements” and “invasion elements” are and understand the reason for Samson’s vague language here. The “really scary, ingenious, beautiful, hilarious, highly politicized environment” Samson praises leaves the airy-fairy world of mere aesthetics and engages in mass harassment of people it deems unworthy. Spamming the victim’s comments (if the victim has a blog), tracking down the victim’s email and spamming it, then finding out where the victim lives and going into “full raid mode” (“Pizzas and UPS boxes were promptly ordered to [victim's] home and there were a number of requests for Craigslist whores in the area to be directed to the address.”) Doing all that to an eleven year old is indeed an area dump.fm hasn’t explored and it’s great that Samson has pointed out the distinction. (See http://gawker.com/5589103/how-the-internet-beat-up-an-11+year+old-girl and http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Kerligirl13 )

  • http://snoopon.me Maxim Kharchenko

    With Snoopon.me you can even avoid not just typing but selection of a witty image too – your update is a snapshot of your computer screen (sic!)

  • http://snoopon.me Maxim Kharchenko

    With Snoopon.me you can even avoid not just typing but selection of a witty image too – your update is a snapshot of your computer screen (sic!)

  • http://snoopon.me Maxim Kharchenko

    With Snoopon.me you can even avoid not just typing but selection of a witty image too – your update is a snapshot of your computer screen (sic!)

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    My link to Encyclopedia Dramatica’s explanation of “direct action elements” and “invasion elements” is dead as of this month. ED self-sanitized and is now called “Oh Internet.”

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