Most of those questions will be answered today, starting at 10 A.M., at the Fitzroy Gallery, on the Lower East Side. There, the creators of the two accounts, Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender, will prove that they are indeed human, appearing in a performance that is the final flourish in this suite of conceptual-art pieces, weaving together Horse_ebooks and Pronunciation Book. They will also launch the next installment of the project, a choose-your-own-adventure interactive-video piece called Bear Stearns Bravo. Bakkila and Bender have been working on the project for almost four years, keeping their identities secret from just about everyone, including their colleagues at Buzzfeed, where Bakkila is a creative director, and Howcast, where Bender, until about a year ago, was the vice-president of product development.
The beginning of Bear Stearns Bravo marks the end of both Pronunciation Book and Horse_ebooks. Bender and Bakkila say that they’ll miss maintaining those accounts, but there’s relief at not having to keep the secret anymore. In the past few weeks, plenty of people have noticed some synchronicity between the accounts, and have been scrambling to figure out their provenance. “No one wants to work on a painting forever,” Bakkila said the other day, as he and Bender and a small group of collaborators set up video monitors in the gallery for their day-long appearance. “When it’s done it’s done. We’re ready for the experience of whatever this next piece is.”
You mean every time that I send a heartfelt reply to Horse_ebooks, human eyes read it?