Google sends letter to Google Will Eat Itself

September 12, 2006

Google Will Eat Itself (GWEI) is a web art project by Hans Bernhard and Alessandro Ludovico that draws attention to the way that Google makes money via AdSense links. According to their website, GWEI raises money through a network of “secret” Google text advertisements, then turns around and uses the money to buy Google shares. “We buy Google via their own advertisement,” the GWEI team touts on their homepage. “Google eats itself — but in the end, ‘we’ own it!” But don’t be confused — GWEI is not an insidious corporate takeover mechanism. In the end, the shares will be redistributed to the public, leaving Google in the hands of the “clickers” who paid for it.

GWEI has garnered a lot of interest around the web basically because it’s a funny idea, kind of like that old urban legend/Husker Du song about the cat farm and the rat farm. But now Google itself is starting to take notice. Just this week, they sent GWEI a “friendly letter,” asking them to stop what they’re doing. Here’s the most recent update from GWEI HQ:

202.345.126 Years until GWEI fully owns Google

Dear GWEI Subscribers,

The current stats: Google Shares owned by GWEI: 123 Amount of USD: 47.276,28 Adsense-Clicks: 126.336 Adsense-Page Impressions: 5.448.926 Adsense-CTR: 2,31% Counter: 202.345.126 Years until GWEI fully owns Google Current Google Share Price: 384.36 USD, Symbol: “GOOG”.

Google’s Legal Department has contacted us with a very nice and open letter signed by Dr. Arnd Haller, Legal Rep. He stated that Google thinks we are doing great work but somehow something illegal, that they are fully aware that this is an art piece but still we should kindly stop with our assumed illegal activity.

Letter in German.

Our next exhibition will be at the ICC NTT Museum, Tokyo (JP). The “Connecting Worlds” Exhibition curated by Yukiko Shikata, with artists such as Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Dennis Oppenheim, Ambient.tv, Wayne Clements. We will show a digital Slideshow next to a terminal with the web-site.

Media Coverage was very good during the last months, GWEI was featured in BBC World (Radio), Kulturzeit (3Sat TV), Telepolis, Artforum News
and in a lengthy article in Spiegel Online (Deutsch): and “die Presse” (Deutsch) and Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) (Deutsch) and Heise Online, attacking our future project called Amazon Noir.

Additionally, on July 12, 2006 we have frozen a copy of GWEI and added it to the Rhizome Artbase for conservation. And.. we will present GWEI on October 24th at the New Museum New York for the Rhizome 10 years anniversary.

best regards and lovely hugs from the team

UBERMORGEN.COM feat. Alessandro Ludovico vs. Paolo Cirio

Hans Bernhard
UBERMORGEN.COM / etoy.holding

Skype Hans_Bernhard
Studio +43 1 236 19 85
Mobile +43 650 930 00 61
Email hans[at]ubermorgen.com
http://www.ubermorgen.com

Via Networked Performance

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One Response to “Google sends letter to Google Will Eat Itself”


  1. […] 「Google Will Eat Itself(GWEI)」相當有名,這裡不多作介紹,但轉貼Google寫給GWEI的「友好信」: […]


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