11:48 min EN
 DATE OF INCIDENT: 2017 – 2020  LOCATION: London, Europe  COMMISSIONED BY: dieinternet.org  METHODOLOGIES: Visual Analysis, Field Analysis, Live Action Role Play  OBJECTIVE: Evaluation of Images as Soft-power tools for Psychological Operations in Contemporary Media
MEDIA
 OPEN SOURCE ARCHIVE: https://conifer.rhizome.org/dieinternetorg/worldwideweb-inews
BACK
iCASE: THE POWER IMAGE WorldWideWeb.iNews has been commissioned by dieinternet.org to investigate the position of contemporary digital images and their potential of manipulation and usage in psychological operations within high profit clear-net platform corporations, in particular the case @ana_vik. The central overarching question to the investigation is the use of Images as Soft-power tools for Psychological Operations in Contemporary Media and how and why the subject @ana_vik has used selected information and images to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning and behaviours of groups, individuals, institutions and corporations to create capital gain. dieinternet.org, has supplied us, worldwideweb iNews, with the evidence and open source material created by the user persona @ana_vik. We framed and named the case: The Power-iMage. The Visual Field We started off our investigation with the overall analysis of the provided evidence. The online material produced by @ana vik spans across various Media Outlets, from approximately June 2017 until the 7th of May, 2020 and includes the following Platforms: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon, LinkedIN, Apple Music and a Personal Website at www.anaviktoria.com. Notably, not all platforms have been used at the same frequency or duration and therefore we narrowed down the platforms based on the factors of reach, ratio of visual components provided and the frequency of use. This selection led us to the focus on the platforms: Instagram, Apple Music and the Artist website. These aspects of narrowing down the material creates a more clear and easier understanding of answering the research question. @ana_vik on instargam: We started off the inestigation, by creating an online grid of the provided material by the instagram proxy account @ana_vik and noted a clear visual pattern within its presentation. The feed, which alignes in a row of three and combines 257 posts in total, follows a rhythm of image content followed by a video content, with a clearly identifiable colour scheme of vibrant colours such as green, yellow ,pink and blue against a more neutral to grey scale background. This is very evidently in the year between 2017 until mid 2018. On the 2nd, September 2018 a selfie was posted to the account with the caption, I’m the original #anavik. On the 3rd of September 2018, the same photo has been posted eight times, in slightly different variations of frames and crops. Creating a square of 3 by 3 posts displaying the same self-portrait. This creates a fundamental break in the feed structure and is followed by 15 posts which don’t seem to follow any visual structure.
iCase: The Power-iMage, 2020 | Visual Pattern of Instagram user @ana_vik The Surplus Value of the Psyop  On the 29th of November, a video with the caption: if it's a game who knows, I’m playing #assets, followed by 12 posts creating again a pattern of image content followed by video content. This visual posting patterns is again disrupted and looses all structure, from the 18th of February 2019 until the 29th of July 2019. From the 4th of August 2019 until the final post on the 7th of May 2020 the visual pattern of a video followed by an image is resumed. A Video of an electronic plastic doll toy riding a bike in circles, in an outside appearing location states the caption: “keep on swimming! #noalternative” and the location: circle time. This caption seems to introduce the circle again of the posting method, followed by the promotion of an online YouTube Series called Vlogmess via Instagram Stories and posts in the feed on the 9th of December 2019. The final post on the 7th of May 2020, is a black post that extends the standard ratio of instagram posts extensively, with the caption: “Veni, Vidi, Vici #worldwideweb” and the location post The End. This is followed by a Storie posts including video files of a seemingly funeral rehearsals and a very amateur style graphic funeral starter pack with a meme like manners of different images. This is followed by a black screen post Saying again same as the final post: Veni, Vidi, Vici 2017 - 2020.
iCase: The Power-iMage, 2020 | Instagram Post @ana_vik 29.11.2018 The surrounding Material Condition These are exactly the same words as the caption of the last post. With the help of rhizome.org and the software tool conifer- we captured and created an interactive capsule of all the materials, we came across within the investigation. These materials can be accessed on our webpage and the conifer software site by rhizome.org. While the visual structure is an important part of the proxy character, the underlaying tool for psychological operations are not solely depending on aesthetics and visual depictions of online content. In order to further the claim and understand the rational behind such activities, we contacted all the social media accounts named @ana_vik and asked for a witness testimony, in order to clarify the position and also give an in-depth access to the process. After, contacting all the account via the public social media platforms, we received an answer via email, where a person claiming to be ana_vik has agreed to give an interview but solely under the conditions to be disguise and anonymised. So therefore Worldwideweb iNews has visited the author of ana_vik in their studio based in Berlin, the following footage shows the fully anonymised interview, both the face and voice have been modified.
iCase: The Power-iMage, 2020 | Witness Testimony from the author of @ana_vik The Reasons “Well, it all started when I got flown to New York to be photographed in a Fashion Brands campaign, because I used a certain hashtag and got invited to take part in a campaign via Social Media. There I was, a working class no-one, no capital or cultural education but somehow through a glimpse of luck, I got half a foot into a world only capitalism was able to picture for me. The campaign images circulated online, on billboards worldwide and I started to see the value of my face rising and so did my reputation in my immediate social circles, of friends, schools, institutions and family. After this more and more commercial gigs would follow from French luxury houses and other commericial brands where interested and I knew it was because to them I represented the neoliberal post-internet unicorn but to me it was just another image. When I realised that this path could allow me to attend and elitist art school and the now internalised process of stylising, asetsticzing and comidfation of the supposed self was key but not because of simply the visual depiction but what I would come to represent to the network. Finally attending art-school, I was systemically made aware that my network will inform my career and that the network is relying on capital exchange. Since I still had not a lot of money the only capital I could offer was symbolic, which is why I made sure to perform for the network. I faked it all- I made sure that people never really knew who I was and what I was up to, but the ghost of an image was always there online, and lies, stores and myths would circulate due to this action and the more social media grew the more I knew how to modify the realities of low resolution. You need to stay in the minds of the head at least once per three days, to keep the representation alive. It was important to engage with the network, comment and be memorable. The capital of being unique was rising and the concept of authenticity was important to the claim. Everyone was sick of seeing the perfect archetype- self identification became key. Staged stories, and extreme outsider behaviour on events was important to gain traction. The more wild, the better the reach and it was important that people believed the claim- I basically repeated the Stories, time collapsed it is just a big now, and the short term memory made no-one really notice it, and I think people wanted to believe it regardless, it was more exciting then the reality. Who wants to see nerdy strategist post wordy memes. I mean it became super complicated, since I financed my life through brand partnerships and content creation. I was always at the mercy of the network and the boundaries between life and work, private and public blurred and it became bitter- I had no control over the situation anymore. The decision making process of telling people about the performance and them being a possible work opportunity became harder and harder. The prospects of everything being work, fake and a possibility of capital transaction, became the bitter sweet reality, I felt empty and hollow, everything was information and every piece of information will be commodified. And well, so what? Who promised me life was easy, and I just continued. I larped my way into jobs and institutions and the most horrific thing is I no longer could see the difference between sincerity and trolling. I no longer knew what came first my interests in art or the contempt for capitalist demands. Well I guess .. idk … I should overcome myself somehow and be nothing”
iCase: The Power-iMage, 2020 | Instagram Post @ana_vik 04.11.2019 The Future Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed dictum aliquam lectus vulputate eleifend. Praesent gravida, ipsum eget condimentum placerat, nisl diam mattis tortor, quis malesuada neque dolor ac dui. Nunc condimentum consectetur ipsum vel suscipit. In facilisis felis massa, eleifend scelerisque felis euismod et. Vestibulum fringilla sit amet arcu ultrices dictum. Nulla facilisi. Praesent aliquet sem lacus, a luctus ligula interdum sit amet. Aliquam nisl lorem, scelerisque nec velit et, pellentesque rhoncus dolor. Vivamus molestie orci a ipsum consectetur molestie. Donec accumsan magna et magna vestibulum iaculis. Quisque vel tempus neque, ac consequat ipsum. Etiam sit amet ultrices nisi, nec aliquet mi. Nullam commodo urna eu justo vulputate, a molestie quam aliquet. Vestibulum molestie nisi quis augue pulvinar blandit. Fusce eget posuere eros, quis maximus arcu. Cras eu dui ac diam placerat dictum. Nam pharetra rutrum lobortis. Aenean id tortor at lorem malesuada lacinia. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Sed ut molestie tellus. In euismod libero nibh, a mollis metus molestie auctor. Quisque ac ornare sem. Nulla a tincidunt urna. Suspendisse augue leo, iaculis id nibh nec, varius consequat tortor. Donec ipsum augue, facilisis in odio vitae, sollicitudin rhoncus dui. Integer id dignissim lectus, et feugiat lectus. Nulla lorem mi, eleifend et massa at, accumsan euismod mauris. Quisque venenatis molestie metus. Nulla ac libero ac quam tempor ullamcorper. Aenean pretium nunc ac enim bibendum, in viverra ante pharetra. Mauris aliquam egestas urna. Sed volutpat eu quam eu semper. Proin lobortis ligula sit amet risus cursus ultrices. Donec nisi ligula, pellentesque eget accumsan a, molestie eget odio. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Proin dignissim risus sed purus pretium sodales. Quisque in lorem dignissim, aliquet est eu, pretium turpis. In convallis nunc eu mi laoreet, placerat vulputate urna tincidunt. Proin sed tellus a est vestibulum faucibus eu a nisl. Nunc et ligula vel dui vehicula suscipit a nec arcu. Fusce sed tempus tortor. Vivamus efficitur eget urna luctus consequat. Integer sagittis diam porttitor elementum venenatis. Duis vitae finibus quam. Nam in mollis enim. Ut commodo nunc consectetur libero dignissim malesuada. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Maecenas egestas luctus augue, id rutrum dui suscipit et. Fusce convallis malesuada velit a aliquam. Ut egestas urna ac velit varius, commodo porta neque accumsan. Nam aliquet ex malesuada nisl aliquet, non cursus erat molestie. Praesent nec mattis elit. Donec lectus purus, laoreet vitae vehicula a, porttitor ut dolor. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia curae; Praesent molestie ut lorem eget placerat. Aliquam at ultrices velit. Mauris finibus ante sed mi semper pharetra. Nunc ac sapien sed tortor viverra porta a at urna. Mauris ex urna, tincidunt sit amet purus ac, hendrerit tempor massa. Pellentesque at euismod massa. Aliquam blandit dictum dignissim. Nulla sit amet erat molestie, laoreet libero non, mattis leo. Duis fringilla magna ex, ut congue ex suscipit nec. Nam quis pulvinar diam. Quisque venenatis purus quis molestie sagittis. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed dictum aliquam lectus vulputate eleifend. Praesent gravida, ipsum eget condimentum placerat, nisl diam mattis tortor, quis malesuada neque dolor ac dui. Nunc condimentum consectetur ipsum vel suscipit. In facilisis felis massa, eleifend scelerisque felis euismod et. Vestibulum fringilla sit amet arcu ultrices dictum. Nulla facilisi. Praesent aliquet sem lacus, a luctus ligula interdum sit amet. Aliquam nisl lorem, scelerisque nec velit et, pellentesque rhoncus dolor. Vivamus molestie orci a ipsum consectetur molestie. Donec accumsan magna et magna vestibulum iaculis. Quisque vel tempus neque, ac consequat ipsum. Etiam sit amet ultrices nisi, nec aliquet mi. Nullam commodo urna eu justo vulputate, a molestie quam aliquet. Vestibulum molestie nisi quis augue pulvinar blandit. EVIDENCE
 worldwideweb.iNews Team Principal Investigator Natasha Seidig Researcher in Charge Adam Hussain Research Supervision Florence Leveimaint Video Editor Victoria Gimenz Sound Editor Helena Alvin Project Advisor Moritz Islamovic  Collaborator dieinternet.org conifier by rhizome.org
THE POWER IMAGE: WEAPONIZED LOW RESOLUTION IMAGES