Amanda ‘Oldphan’ Sukenick, was born in Long Island New York in 1983, and spent most of her childhood in Chicago. She received a BFA & an MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, in 2007 and 2015 respectively. Over the years, she has worked in a variety of video production positions, both behind the camera and in front, and in 2008 began producing her own videos on Youtube. First operating under the channel DragonaballToys as a toy reviewer, and later as Foreverwolffilms, she continues to produce videos about a variety of subjects, most specifically Art and Antinatalism. As an act of Antinatalist activism, Amanda has sought to combine what is often perceived as toxic subject matters, with humor, and art in a wide variety of mediums. Among the results so far have been a public access television show, Vloggerdome, as well as her first movie, The EFIList. Amanda was also recently a guest on the Comedy Central television show Tosh.0.
For my selection of curated video titles for Video! Video! , I have chosen a handful of response videos, all recorded sometimes between 2011-2013, and all produced by members of Youtube's once thriving Philosophy communities. Though Youtube is known for many types of videos and styles, one form of video that has all but died on Youtube in the last few years, is the response video. Once upon a time ago, a Youtube user could easily attach a response video to any video they wished to create a dialogue with, and while it’s still more that possible for users to create video responses on their own channels, once the mechanism to attach responses was removed from the interface of the site, most people simply stopped communicating in this fashion. This action, sadly killed a tremendous amount of the back and forth, philosophical, intellectual and political discussions that once existed on the site. As time goes on, many of these videos have been removed from the site for various reasons, and so I have done my best to try and restore these dialogues through various archival projects. I had the true honor of being heavily involved with this part of Youtube for many years, and I want to argue for their importance, as some of the very best material the site truly has to offer. Through a selection of only 5 videos, out of the many hundreds that this side of Youtube once produced, I hope to be able to provide a small, window into this world argument, debate, conversation and Vlogging.
1. Inmendham – EFIList:
The producer of literally thousands of videos both on and off Youtube, covering an incredible range of topics such as Economics, Atheism, Physics, Democratic reform, The Right To Die, and perhaps most importantly, Antinatalism/EFILism, Inmendham has arguably served as the center of much of the Youtube Philosophy debates for many years. Antinatalism, the belief that people should become extinct through a collective act of non-procreation, became a much wider known subject on the internet in large part thanks to Inmendham, and his evolution of the idea, EFILism, (Life spelled backwards.) which states that all sentient life should become extinct. This video, which was a response to a mutual friend of ours, (Pinkmoon), is perhaps one of the best videos even on the subject of EFILism, and in large part became the basis for the script to my own 2016 short film, The EFIList.
To see more of Inmendhams work, please visit his Youtube channel below, and/or my two currently in-progress video archives dedicated to his work:
2. WetlandsRemediation (Vox Neruda) – Cat Treat:
This is Cat Treat, by the now sadly departed artist Erwin Franke, better known as VoxNeruda or WetlandsRemediation. This video was originally uploaded to his channel, WetlandsRemediation channel, but in I believe 2011 or 2012, Wetlandsemediation was unceremoniously deleted from Youtube, effectively destroying hundreds of videos, for the accession of Hate Speech…. Erwin’s ‘crime’ had been simply reading a section of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, which included the N word. Like a living embodiment of Shockheaded Peter himself, Erwin had been engaged in a 15+ year long ’stinky strike’ against war, and the horrors of the world, which meant not bathing for that entire period of time, as well as living in rather appalling conditions. Cat Treat, was a response video to Inmendham, which in turn had been a response video to another Youtube called ProfessorAnton. Erwin was a dear friend, and an absolute treasure of a human being. Over the last few months I had begun to notice that he was missing from his usual social media haunts, and while that was not entirely unlike Erwin, I knew something was wrong… Sadly, in late December I was proven correct. Erwin Franke died sometime in August 2016, his home, which he had battled his city of Arlington Texas over for years had been bulldozed to the ground, taking with it all that remained of a man who had so little, yet continuously gave his very body and few remaining comforts, to the well fair of the very insects, animals and people around him.
If you wish to see more of VoxNeruda, please visit his Youtube channels listed below, as well as my currently in-progress video archives dedicated to his work:
3. Mike Bohl – All The People Are Gone:
The hugely talented, and criminally unknown & under appreciated, Mike Bohl! I was first introduced to Mike a few years ago, when he started making Youtube vlogs and response videos about Antinatalism/EFILism, to Inmendham and others. In addition to the vlogs, Mike also proved to be a truly exceptionally talented musician, and this is absolutely one of my most favorite songs of his. I wanted to make sure to include at least one example of a more artistic response to these philosophical ideas and discussions, to show that not all the discourse that has taken place in these circles taken the form of Vlogs necessarily. If you are interested in hearing more of Mike’s music, please check out his Youtube channels below, and also his album Black Lagoon which I highly recommend!:
4. DerivedEnergy – Philosopher's Roundtable (Doom to the Max!):
DerivedEnergy, whose real name was Kirk Elliot Neville, was a much beloved and influential British Youtube based Antinatalist, who in his real life, worked all over the world as an English teacher. In 2011, in a now absolutely haunting video, he announced that he would be started a new teaching job in Jakarta Indonesia – a country he would never leave alive. By the summer of 2013, it was quite clear that Kirk was missing, and after some digging, it was revealed that in taking the fall for a friend of his, Kirk had been arrested for a very small amount of marijuana. Due to Indonesia's draconian drug laws, the speculated time of his imprisonment was slated anywhere from 2 to an astonishing 20 years, and in one of the worst prisons in the world… The Antinatalist community exploded with support, and after much effort was made to contact him through the Indonesian embassy, we were finally able to at least reach him. Kirk was eventually able to negotiate his sentence, and was moved to a drug rehabilitation clinic in Jakarta, where though still technically imprisoned, he had much more freedom, and was even able to resume making videos on Youtube. He had no access to a video camera however, and of those later videos, this is the only one that includes a photograph of himself – an image that would prove to be his last know photograph. Kirk was found dead in his room at the clinic in 2013, where he had evidently drowned in a bucket of water used for bathing. In Indonesian news reports, his death was reported as a suicide, however those close to him in Indonesia at the time believe that it may actually have been an accidental death, as he had apparently been experiencing fainting spells. Others still believe he was murdered, however there isn’t really any evidence to point to that… We may never know how Kirk really died, but what is certain is that his loss was a terrible blow to those that knew him, and whose he inspired. If you would live to see more of DerivedEnergy, please go check out his Youtube channel, as well as my currently in-progress video archive of his work below:
5. TheModernMystic – Inmendham vs Professor Anton Debate:
TheModernMystic, also known as OverThePeak, BeardyMan and TheOldMystic, has been producing Youtube and Vimeo videos on and off for at least the last 9 years. Focusing mainly on the subjects of Economics and Free-Will/Determinism, a tremendous amount of his videos have been response videos, and more than often they have been back and forth with Inmendham. He sadly deleted his original Youtube account, TheModernMystic, some time I believe in 2013 or perhaps late 2012 – it is unknown to be exactly how many videos were permanently destroyed when he did, but precious few of them have any known backup. This is one of the few survivors. Aside from being an excellent video on it’s own, I think The Mystic does a great job here of summing up just why these conversations on Youtube are so valuable.
See more from TheModernMystic here: