Two weeks ago we released a film about the suit filed against the artist Ryder Ripps and others by Yuga Labs. The alleged neo-nazi themes underpinning the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection have fired a sub-section of the NFT community to band together in the name of ethics, morality and free speech. All of which came together behind the RR BAYC collection to make it briefly the number one project on OpenSea. There was of course a voice missing from that film.
Ryder Ripps. Well, we finally got to talk earlier this week and hash it out. This is a slightly cut down edit of that interview but I thought it was important to place what he was attempting to say with RR BAYC in the context of his other work, going all the way back to the beginning, Internet archaeology, Art Whore, DumpFM but of course into the recent. There are many who told me I shouldn’t have this conversation, that he’s a scammer and a troll, guilty of trashing a few innocent humans’ reputations in the service of profiting from his own copycat collection.
All of which might be true, or it might not. Just as BAYC might be a neo-nazi troll. Or it might not. Which is the incredibly frustrating part of all of this. Ryder’s homebase is meta-irony – that very 4Chan mode of being where everything is claimed to be a joke but it’s impossible to tell if it’s ironic or sincere. Or maybe, as you’ll see, it isn’t so hard after all. Humans being humans and all that. Nonetheless, while others preferred to throw shade from a distance I thought it better to actually just have the conversation.
I tried to remain impartial and just let the piece speak for itself. But as you’ll see. I failed. And even more frustratingly I came out of this with even more questions, particularly around a certain Mr Guy O’Seary.