Archive | New Media

Brian Solis and Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpins discusses “the End of Business as Usual”

I have a love/hate relationship, coupled with the outmost respect for Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins. At the same time brilliant and haughty, down to earth and incredibly snobby he here discusses the role of the artist in the future media landscape with celebrated author Brian Solis.

One of the things I took away from this interview was the notion of that  there is no turning back – artists have to embrace and make use of the tools that technology is handing over…

NOOG – digital collectibles

NOOG – a set of purely digital collectibles is a collaborative, purely digital art project that uses augmented reality technology in a fun and easy way. I just came across it and hope to be able to experiment with it a bit more. Above some of my first attempts using this fun tool that instatnly brings augmented reality into the hands of anyone…

“The NOOG Collection is the first set of purely digital collectables known to us. There have been different versions of existing material collectables that have transgressed into the virtual world of the Internet, but these are mere extensions to sets that predominantly populate the world in a material form. Digital Collectables define a pure immaterial set of desirable yet absent objects. Collectors begin their journey as curious and inspired amateurs. As their hunger for completion increases with every obtained fractal of a set, the collector steadily develops into a lover of NOOG.

They grow into masters as their desire for the entire set grows with the number of collected fractals of a set increases. The less pieces of the puzzle that are missing, the more a true collectors heart desires those missing and the warmer her love for the collected elements becomes.

Digital collecting demands a greater heart than material collecting, as the viral and virtual love is purer, it being disassociated from material and form. In digital collecting the intellect and passion must combine to heighten the imagination of the collector.

Pure love, desire and passion are entirely detached from a material form. Customization turns into a rewarding level of collecting, where the collector can interact with her set and become artist and curator of her own collection. 128 NOOGs are fully designed and styled, all of which have their own flavor. Another 128 NOOGs can be styled by you, the collector, using your own imagination.”

Gallery Stock RED DOT Issue #5 – MAN

My image licensing agency  Gallery Stock has published their 5th. on-line issue, making use of publishing platform Issuu
This time around it’s about men and images of men. My contribution above…

In a bit of a meta-ish discussion about publishing and the web 2.0 (remember?) I’d like to point out that this is again a confirmation of how everyone is doing everything and that You have to think like a publisher

I also would like to share this quote from Clay Shirky on publishing, taken from the ongoing series “How we will read” over at Findings

“Publishing is not evolving. Publishing is going away. Because the word “publishing” means a cadre of professionals who are taking on the incredible difficulty and complexity and expense of making something public. That’s not a job anymore. That’s a button. There’s a button that says “publish,” and when you press it, it’s done.”

- Clay Shirky

Heather Huey + Billy Kidd + Kickstarter

Via the my friend Lawrence who runs the excellent (and slightly risque) blog the QueitFront I got this tip on this collaboration between millner Heather Huey and photographer Billy Kidd on Kickstarter.

I’m constantly in awe of all the possibilities to empower yourself, market your work and get your story out that all the new media technologies places at Your feet these days.

Kickstarter - “Fund and follow Creativity” and other crowd-funding sites like IndieGoGo - “The worlds funding platforrm. Fund Your Passion” are just a few of these tools that has helped to bring on a complete powershift in media and in almost all other aspects of expression.

10Horses / 11Horses presents; VIRAL REALITY, an interview with Per Eriksson / Studio Total

VIRAL REALITY by Per Zennström

For a long time now I have been intrigued by the work of Studio Total and their work in communication, PR and advertising and especially their unconventional and highly successful methods using viral marketing and/or guerilla campaigns. Recently I had the privilege to be skyping with Per Eriksson from Studio Total on the realities of the New Media and I asked him do tell me more about their work.

“We don´t see ourselves as a typical advertising, or typical PR agency or even Marketing bureau for that matter. In fact we quite enjoy or somewhat diffuse position on this playing field, which gives us great freedom to do pretty much what we want”


“We as an agency are constantly trying to find out what we actually are, and we´re therefore constantly re-defining what we are. One of our main realizations and strong points is that we have truly understood, and acted upon, the fact that a lot of traditional advertising is a massive waste of the clients resources. There are countless of “non-traditional” ways of getting Your message across which have proven to be more effective (and more fun) and we tend to explore those avenues. I guess the keyword here is “effectivness” We see ourselves and our solutions as being very, very effective”

I came across Per and Studio Total through the very popular blog Black Ascot which shot to prominence and controversy in Sweden in just 4 short months and with just 100 posts managed to illuminate the creativeness, confusion and general “anything goes” attitude in todays freenzied new media landscape. Not so very long ago it was reaveled that the blog, chronicling the life of an orphaned teenager, Erika, living in the Stockholm equivalent of Upper-East Side, in an apartment with “750 dresses and doing my best to drink/shop my brains out” was in fact an advertising campaign for the Malmö Opera’s production “Vanessa” seeking to “expand their audience beyond the obvious core loyalists”
The blog with it’s hedonistic and sometimes very dark streaks, featured “Erika”, a privileged Stockholm teenager doing what a lot of young, urban women do… Postings of “todays outfit”, documenting sloppy kissing and casual sex and hang-overs, mixed with images of white lilies and the descriptions of the smell of certain perfumes… Other posts deals with popular drugs, what wine tastes best with semen, (Trimbach Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles) and references to certain boyfriends new Dior Hommes pants. Name-, and labeldropping on a very high level with that sort of expertise that only a certain media/pop-cultural/Stockholm elite possesses. All of it done with an absolute deadpan arrogance and delicious morbidity…

“Erika”, quickly developed a cult following with her observations and musings on fashion, sex, upper-class life and death, (sex, drugs & rock´n roll) and for me being a visual person I was jeaulously realizing the power of a text well written. Some of the comments reaveled a deep connection with this character, firmly in place on the dark side… Reading the comments I couldn´t help fantazicing that maybe some of them actually come from the writer’s team responsible for the blog, they were just to perfectly, lazily lingering over sensual details like the type of silk best used while masturbating. … or languidly examining dildos in a sexshop.
Per, on the cult following Erika attracted (Erika Ascot has at present 1601 Facebook friends) and the unusual intense relationship she spawned:


“One of my favourite blog comments from a reader was “ I don’t care that You’re not real ! I still want to have sex with You”

Once it was revealed that this was not a “real” blog some readers felt cheated that Erika was “just an” invention by a “lowly” PR agency. The teenage-angst ridden content had obviously put a hook in a lot of readers and some of them felt “betrayed” I assume. Fuming, moralistic “You cannot do this” type comments where mixed in with glowing “Thank You´s” I found it very interesting thing to see how readers struggled to make sense of something they couldn’t quite understand… OK, You know an ad when You se one and we all have gotten fed up by the endless ad´s on TV, but a blog ?

Erika, perfectly well aware of it, stuck her neck out, especially in Sweden with it’s political correctness and wall-to-wall-carpeted uniformity, with posts like:
“The european nobility. Seems nowdays everyone wants to join our little club. Some guidelines: spend at least one fifth of each year in a place beginning with “St” (At Anton, St Tropez) and if you are vomiting from panicanxiety, do it in matching underwear.” 


 Of course this wouldn’t go un-noticed. …or how about this one:
“Two new years resolutions. Stop fucking people in Acqua Di Parma and start blogging”

Consulting a prime example of this new (media) world order, Wikipedia on Viral Marketing, You get this definition:
“…viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet.[1] Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages. The basic form of viral marketing is not infinitely sustainable. The goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to identify individuals with high Social Networking Potential (SNP) and create Viral Messages that appeal to this segment of the population and have a high probability of being taken by another competitor.”

Now, viral marketing is nothing new, actually quite the contrary. Your basic Ponzi- and Pyramid schemes are very early examples of viral phenomenon where “a message” is spread from user to user, just like a viral infection. Super con-man Bernie Maddoff relied on this word of mouth effect to expand his rooster of seemingly happy investors… Some more recent pop-cultural examples are the marketing of The Blair Witch Project or the launching of email giant Hotmail. … or just take hugely popular CraigsList which managed to spread solely on the basis of word of mouth. What is new is the enormous power and potential in using all the new social media such as the obvious ones: YouTube, Facebook or LinkedIn, to more specialized, “less open/more focused” networks such as Vimeo (if Your into moving image / video) or Glossom “a social network for fashion style and creativity”, and to use these networks to virally spread the word.

Curtis Silver wrote this in Wired Magazine:
“The power of influence is ever present in this discussion, which is what social media tools add to viral marketing. The crowd mentality is heavier within a social-media community, which makes it easier for viral marketing to do its job. Honestly, it seems like marketing through social media is the new form of viral marketing. That’s the wave of the future in marketing, a new and improved marketing platform.”

Another successful campaign by Studio Total was the highly controversial launch of a new political party, Kulturpartiet ( The Cultural Party.) Announced at the annual political show-off and spectacle , Almedals veckan, where the absolute politico – cultural – media elite grandstand and network, the press conference headed by some of the swedish cultural heavy-weights, who with absolute perfect pokerfaces deadpanned into the TV lights that they intended to run for seats in parlament on a one-issue-campaign of more money for culture ! For a few intense days the speculations and media pressure was enormous until it was revealed that this again was an effort by Studio Total to gain some publicity for Riksteatern.

At some point in a viral campaign the creators need to accept that they give up control of the message and let it live it’s own life, changing and going through “mutations” as it’s being passed on word-of-mouth, or through the social media networks. This is a radical difference to a more conventional campaign where everything is researched in minute detail with focus groups, test panels and what have You…

Now, it may seem like the successful Viral Campaigns are created by a bunch of guys just goofing around, coming up with funny and outragous things that gets taped and uploaded on YouTube and subsequently passed around and at some stage reaching a tipping point but some rules seem to exist and there seems to be a method to the madness and anarchy:
When You talk about anything Viral it’s easy to get the impression that it’s a little bit like the Wild West ! I mean like “anything goes” and creatives relying on their gut feeling to put strategies together. Or are there theories, procedures or protocols to follow ?  How do You see this ?


To get the media attention in order to get people to talk about your brand it’s difficult to rely on theories. We’ll have to rely on our sense for what catches peopels interest.
The structure of stories is in one sense theoretical as constructed in classic litteratur and film and that might work as a theory that we could apply. We use basic story elements as finding an enemy, moving things around in order to create something new or not trying to blend in by looking good. Since we cannot predict exactly what part of our campanigns that will be retold we need to keep them simple. People aren’t stupid, if you interup them with a story that isn’t relevant or clearly speculative you will not get the viral effect. Anything goes applys better for traditional advertising where you don’t have to earn the attention.

At some point in a viral campaign the creators need to accept that they give up control of the message and let it live it’s own life, changing and going through “mutations” as it’s being passed on word-of-mouth, or through the social media networks. This is a radical difference to a more conventional campaign where everything is researched in minute detail with focus groups, test panels and what have You…
Any thought comments on this ?


We haven’t experienced problems with messages that mutates in a bad way. If you think of your campaign as a headline in a newspaper, for example as our iPod speaker for Brothers – the WOS, the headlines was “The worlds most powerful iPod dock” and this whas what people told each other and our client Brothers was there in the background as the manufacurer of WOS. In general we launch our campaigns in many different channels at the same time and this probably help to keep the campaigns together. In combinatin with a simple story I don’t see the risk of bad mutations as a problem when working viral. You’ll just have to accept that when using people for getting your story out it will be re-told in slightly different ways, but a simple story will keep on course.


… on the same thread about losing control.  Are You guys more about a “Happy Creative Chaos” or is it more a disciplined war-like campaign effort with flow charts etc etc ?


We’re not flow-charts guys, thats for sure. Not to say that there’s chaos in the office but a certain amount of impovisation is needed when launching our campaigns.

There seems to exist some rules to viral marketing like:
A successful viral campaign…
…gives away products or services, (Free)
…provides for effortless transfer to others, (the digital / mobile lifestyle)
…scales easily from small to very large
…exploits common motivations and behaviors,
…utilizes existing communication networks, (Social Media)
…takes advantage of others’ resources, (Let the consumer / prosumer do the heavy lifting)

Do You follow these rules, or is it done by gut feeling ?


Of course the precence of social media helps certain campaigns to evolve. The rules above might descibe parts of a succesfull viral campaign but it will not necessarily help you create one. In order to fulfill all the rules above you’ll have to start out with something that’s worth telling. Once you’ve got this you can utiliza social media and other means to get the story out. Focus on what matters, the story.

Please tell me more about the concept of, the strategy of, and the actual release of KULTURPARTIET ?
Have seen the press conference tapes and the chaos and pandemonium is total… Fun or scary ?


Haha, a bit of both I must say. The mission was to help The Swedish National Theatre (Sweden’s largest theatre, with a turnover of more than 40 million euros) to get the cultural issus on the political agenda. Theatres need public funding. How could we show the importance of culture to politicians?
The conclution was that everyone wants to get attention from politicians. So why not become politicians? We put together our own political party and baptised it “The Cultural Party” and invited famous writers, actors and musicians as spokespersons. Our fake party was featured as headline news in TV, radio and newspapers. A newspaper poll indicated that 16% of the population would vote for the party. After revealing the party was only an advertising hoax the chairmen of all the political parties liked the campaign (easy to say when the threat was gone). As a secondary effect the theatre experienced a 10% increase in ticket sales that summer.

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FourSquare

Per Zennstrom Photography on FourSquare, my brand new business page on FourSquare where I plan to provide fun, location based tidbits of hopefully useful info : )))
Brands are increasingly moving into location based platforms to interact with their networks and making use of any available avenue to tell their story…
To set up Your own business page on FourSquare, please go here 
At present a very limited stuff there but that will change.
The idea & theory behind FourSquare (and other location based platforms) is very solid in that users will get access to relevant “hyper local” info ( “ask for the secret sauce” )when the “check in” to a location and that coupled with the fact that mobile browsing will overtake desktop browsing within a year or two.
Trying to get my head around this but a possible use for me could be to give You tips on cool “hidden” street art project in Berlin.

the Printed Blog – Russian edition

The Printed Blog –  like the internet only flammable founded and edited by Joshua Karp, is a Chicago based magazine that has an original approach to publishing, sort of bucking the trend of media moving (partly) from paper to screen…
The Printed Blog, in effect goes in the opposite direction printing a magazine from blog and other digital content. The real story behind all this is of course that “old media”, faced with the digital challenge has to adopt and make use of the possibilities that digital offers. “Old Media” will never die , see this post about old technologies never going extinct, it will simply adopt and split up into different branches, like mobile/iPad publishing etc. The Guardian / Observer, faced with as staggering €37 million loss. is adapting a “Digital First” strategy to survive
The Printed Blog, like everyone else, is doing everything at the same time and publishes both a paper version and an on-line version.
Now the printed blog has launched their Russian Edition which I’m happy to be part of…

Telling a multi layered story about fashion designer Michael Sontag using QR code…

… above the larger-than-life triptych of Nastasia wearing MICHAEL SONTAG w. a QR code tattoo.

…this video piece is the second element of the 3 distinctive components in this multi-media piece 6 event.
Occupying the space where art, photography and digital technology meet and mix this event made use of both the latests digital technology such as QR codes as well as re-assuringly old-school technology such as flyers on the street & temporary tattoo’s…

Video by: Per Zennström / perzennstrom.com
Stylist: Christian Stemmler / Bigoudi
Hair&Make-Up: Tony Lundström / Mika’s
Model: Nastasia / Viva
Sound: Juliana Hodkinson
Solar flare imagery: NASA

… and here is the documentation of the event where You get the feel for how smoothly the QR codes added the on-line video as a “layer” on top of the event.

I was invited by iconic camera manufacturer LEICA to participate in a fashion photography show during the Berlin Fashion Week July 2011, which gave me the opportunity to work with their flagship S2 system…

Early on in the process I realized that I wanted to do a bit more than just hanging a picture on the wall and because of my interest in new media and technology I wanted to make use of QR codes and on-line video. My main idea was to try to transform this project into an opportunity for me to speak with a few different voices, but still tell the same story, via photography, video, modern interactive tech but also using PR and marketing as integrated tools to get our message across… In essence I became a creative director, photographer, video director, PR / Marketing and event producer, all rolled into one.

My stylist Christian Stemmler / Bigoudi proposed that we should approach fashion designer Michael Sontag who’s interest in new media & technology and proved to be a perfect match for this guerilla campaign.
Michael was very open minded and gave us all his support and thanks to our partnership with Michael this project became a bit more substantial and maybe also slightly subversive…
Modeling agency Viva was an valued partner and the beautiful Nastasia Koechy was a great choice for us, being a modern cutting-edge type girl who really fit into Michael Sontags universe.
My dear friend and longtime collaborator Tony Lundström, proved once again that his intrest in creating an image and telling a story goes well beyond hair & make-up and Tony was essential in every aspect of this project.
Anne Kotte at WeLoveArtbuying was overseeing the whole project together with Marc Lethenet from Leica providing support for all my different and sometimes “off the wall” ideas, Thank You !
A special Thank You to Lars Witmaak and Simon Geis at Recom Art who provided the gallery space and also was responsible for the postproduction and retouch of the images that were printed on beautiful Hahnemuehle paper. I’d also like to thank my colleague and friend Mark Garner for the use of his studio and his enthusiastic support all through the process…

Essentially this project have three distinct “stand alone” parts that still co-exist and support each other together as a whole. These three layer were variations on the same theme and they came together for one night, blending together for a very rich experience.

A larger-than-life size triptych of Nastasia, with an embedded QR code that visitors can scann with their smartphones linking to the on-line video…
… an on-Line video adds a virtual layer to the print.
Nastasia was also present at the event itself, wearing the same dress + a temporary tattoo (with the same QR code) linking to the same video adding a third layer and experience. Visitors could scann “the real girl” to experience the video…

Per Zennstrom is looking for a New & Digital Media Intern…

I’m looking for a Berlin based, Multi-media & Digital media intern that could help me streamline and develop Per Zennstrom Photographys & 10horses web presence…
With new & social media developing so fast I need someone with a deep interest and focus on this exciting field. Ideally You will have a very good knowledge of coding, Adobe Premiere, FinalCut, AfterEffects, WordPress…
I’d specifically would like to explore the possibilities of integrating streaming video, QR codes into my overall web effort.

This internship is not paid.

If You know of somebody who You think might qualify for this please do not hesitate to share this posting…