07 May 2009

The Ze World

The Show With Ze Frank was an independent online video blog that ran for one year. The program was unique, with Ze’s Marx Brothers-style running commentary and actively contributing viewers (the Sports Racers). Then there were Ze's songs and invented phrases... Especially with the latter, the never blinking Ze created an intimate world, where he shared with Sports Racers a common history, code language, inside jokes... and emotions.
The Show was an honest and spontaneous performance by the inhabitants of the Ze World. The Sports Racers even co-wrote the episodes and took equal risks of embarrassment.
“My most popular pieces were the ones I was afraid of releasing. How To Dance Properly I only released to 17 people. My stomach churned before I released it…” Imagine how Ze felt upon learning five days later that his invitation was read by millions.
This process was strangely mirrored in one of his most successful projects: remixing Ray’s song I’m about to whip somebody’s ass. Ray posted it online anonymously. Ze aired it and challenged the Sports Racers to make remixes. Upon a further challenge from Ze, the Sports Racers tracked Ray down – in a mere two days! Enter a puzzled Reverend Ray, suddenly an internet icon.
Among the most popular episodes by Ze are hindsight, work this and austrian arrows. The photographs posted here are from Ze’s recent project Color Wars.

The last Show aired on 17 March 2007. Exit Ze Frank, blinking and very, very sad. Not even realizing yet that the Sports Racers would remain in the auditorium, applauding the empty stage to this day. Encore...

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