The Miha Artnak

Fake Good News

Information crisis
Fake Good News
Courtesy of The Miha Artnak
The Miha Artnak (Slovenia)
Newspaper, video (00:05:20)

Fake Good News consists of two episodes of Artnak’s series of projects dealing with fake news. In the first episode, Artnak trolls the art market and Slovenian media by creating an artwork painted with pigeon faeces, an expressionistic “masterpiece” that he allegedly sold for one million dollars to a Chinese bank. The story went viral in the national media and online, accelerated by a fake article from The Guadrain and fake Facebook videos, ultimately making it onto the front page of the Slovenian newspaper Slovenske novice and onto national television. In the second episode, Artnak went even further by spreading false information about a Bitcoin City (BTC City) in Ljubljana – a city that, according to the artist, was entirely run on Bitcoin, where its citizens would act as politicians and receive a basic income. The prank got him into trouble because Artnak used the trademark of a real shopping mall, whose officials ultimately used his idea of BTC City for their own gain, thus turning fake news into good news. In the end, the stories were debunked, but the project’s publicity sparked a discussion on fake news, which makes the deliberate spread of misinformation one of today’s greatest threats to democracy.