Mocked with GIFs, animated clips in video games and now via Images created by AI, the big bosses of Silicon Valley are the subject of caricatures embracing new technologies.
Mixed with the features of fallen actor Kevin Spacey or Jame Gumb’s character, the psychopath Bufallo Billelon in The silence of the lambs, Elon Musk has been the subject of a new form of caricature for several months. In the name of @hutzhoo, Twitter’s new boss is regularly the source of inspiration for the unpleasant images created by The middle of the trip who seem to want to underline the pathetic and dark character of Elon Musk. But beyond criticism and pastiche, this new form of imagery underlines that tech bosses have become more interesting targets than politicians and that the formats of these cartoons follow the technical and media developments imposed by these big platforms. Another hit from the watered sprinkler?
When Beeple shows the way
One of the first artists to use this “new tech” cartoon work is Beeple. In recent years, the latter has produced many images of Silicon Valley bosses in networks. Elon Musk is often described as a “giga Chad”, that is, an overly masculine man in underwear, walking the Dogecoin dog or taming the Twitter blue bird.
This ironic treatment is also found for a Jeff Bezos, represented as a rocket sperm leaving to fertilize space or a Mark Zuckerberg sketched in the guise of a zombie or a robot. Most of these works are sold at exorbitant prices in the form of NFTs, bought by rather complacent personalities such as podcaster Joe Rogan. What a question for Beeple’s critical purpose.
Zuckerberg, the creepy robot
If Elon Musk has been a target of choice since taking over Twitter, another boss has also helped to change cartoon formats. Mark Zuckerberg has gone from the image of a calculating and slightly punk character to that of a robotic billionaire imitating a human form. His appearance before the US Congress in 2018 during the Cambridge Analytica affair has a lot to do with it. PDF, glowing face and erratic gestures, had inspired many memes, as well as quite creative GIFs.
This image of a synthetic man was reinforced with the announcement of Facebook’s conversion to Meta and his company’s focus on the metaverse. From there, the cartoons will borrow exact codes from video games and virtual reality to make fun of “Zucky.” In November 2021, the YouTube channel surreal fun publishes a video titled Metaverse VR: Demo Experience in which Meta’s boss appears as a psychopathic video game character to kill you. Animated by a real video game engine, Zuckerberg is there in ragdoll format, a 3D model subject to certain physical rules that can be distorted to add comical and surreal effects.
This avatar representation will continue with the deviation of the interview given on CBS in early 2021 when Mark Zuckerberg presented the corporate possibilities of his metaverse.
How not to end with the fantastic song Bezos composed and performed by the American singer and comedian Bo Burnham ? Designed for his Netflix show within, this short musical interlude sings the praises of the Amazon founder, who beats his billionaire friends Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates to a pulp before drinking their blood and having sex with their wives. Of course, this is not the first time that parody songs have been created to mock important characters. The subtlety is in how netizens have captured this piece. Edited as “motivational” type music The eye of the tiger, Bezos will generate covers showing people doing their workout or this delicious animated version that has, coincidentally, 4.5 million views. As the song says: “I DID IT! »