• Germany's news in English
 

Video artist feels the Techno Viking's wrath

The Local · 29 Jan 2013, 18:57

Published: 29 Jan 2013 14:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Jan 2013 18:57 GMT+01:00

It all started on July 8th, 2000, when Matthias Fritsch was sitting on the back of float during an alternative techno music festival known as the Fuck Parade.

As he casually filmed people walking and dancing behind the float, Fritsch saw one man stand out from the rest of the crowd. Stripped down to the waist, his ripped chest, braided beard and stern visage made him look like a Nordic berserker taking his dancing and parade etiquette very seriously.

"He was just a normal visitor, like I was, to the Fuck Parade, which was a political demonstration," Fritsch told The Local on Tuesday. "It was coincidence."

Years later Fritsch posted the video footage of the man online and the rest is internet history: the Techno Viking was born.

Destined to become one of the best know memes on the web, the Techno Viking inspired people to dress like him, dance like him, or simply point in the air like him.

"It was extremely fascinating to see it develop. The diversity was astounding," said Fritsch.

But apparently the Techno Viking decided a few years ago he was not amused and sued Fritsch for invasion of privacy.

Nothing happened for three years, until last week. Shortly before the case would exceed the statue of limitations, the video artist was required to appear before a German court. The Techno Viking is seeking damages of €10,000 plus what the artist earned from the video and court costs.

"I should have asked after filming," Fritsch told Süddeutsche Zeitung's online magazine Jetzt this week. "But I thought I was allowed to film him because it was a political event in public. Besides, the camera wasn't hidden, he walked into the shot and looked into the camera several times."

After the video clip went viral, racking up tens of millions of views around the world, YouTube offered Fritsch advertising revenue. He also sold a few t-shirts, gave lectures on how memes spread on the internet and made arty videos about the phenomenon.

Fritsch said he make an effort to contact the Techno Viking, but was unable to track him down. His only personal contact with him was an angry early morning phonecall a few years ago.

"I offered him his share. If money flows everyone should get something," Fritsch told The Local.

He said he couldn't say if the Techno Viking was actually hoping to turn back the clock 13 years or simply thinking his internet fame could lead to financial gain. But Fritsch said he still couldn't understand why he was being sued for making someone so popular around the world.

"He's considered a kind of demigod," Fritsch said, who refuses to reveal the Techno Viking's real identity. "After all is said and done, people respect him."

Marc Young

marc.young@thelocal.com

twitter.com/marcyoung

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

06:54 January 30, 2013 by Wrench
Why is it, if I use the word fu%k in my comments it doesn't get posted? Besides the Techno Viking is hardly news worthy, he is probably dirt poor and needs a few bucks to travel back to his homeland where he is not chastised for his dance skills.
08:04 January 30, 2013 by hsbrodt
Meanwhile, in other news...
09:41 January 30, 2013 by Lykurgus
I thought he danced pretty good.
10:23 January 30, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
Seems like he spent too much time in the gym and none earning a living. He is broke now and wants money. So much for his FÜCK parade mentality.
13:49 January 30, 2013 by ichbines
that's more or less ape dancing
07:29 January 31, 2013 by Wrench
Maybe he can get the money from GEMA.
23:09 January 31, 2013 by mitanni
Ah, the Germans are so uptight that they strip down half naked in public at an event called the "F* Parade", but then claim their privacy has been invaded when they get filmed.
05:48 February 4, 2013 by RainerL
It's all about money and nothing else. This privacy thing is just a front to be used. In the Nutshell; If there was no financial gain he would not have even bothered.
Today's headlines
Champions League
Bayern get lucky in Champs League draw
FC Barcelona' Sports Manager Andoni Zubizarreta draws FC Bayern Munich during the draw ceremony for the UEFA Champions League group stage on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Bayern get lucky in Champs League draw

11 minutes ago

Bundesliga titans Bayern Munich were celebrating on Thursday evening after a Champions League draw that will see them the clear favourites in their group. Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach weren't so lucky.

Germans still love couch and TV in their free time
Sitting front of the TV - Germany's favourite pastime. Photo: DPA

Germans still love couch and TV in their free time

15 hours ago

A new study shows that Germans' best-loved activity is sitting in front of the idiot box - and when they're not doing that they're probably slumped in front of a computer.

This Week in History
The day that 'sealed East Germany's fate'
At 3am on August 23rd, MPs applauded as the People's Chamber set a date for reunification. Photo: DPA

The day that 'sealed East Germany's fate'

14 hours ago

After the Berlin Wall was destroyed in 1989, East and West Germany still had a long way to go before they could become one nation. But in August 1990, the date was finally set for the birth of reunified Germany.

Migrant crisis
Merkel: Austria tragedy a ‘warning’ for Europe
Forensic experts investigate a truck in which refugees were found dead as it stands by the Autobahn in Austria. Photo: DPA.

Merkel: Austria tragedy a ‘warning’ for Europe

14 hours ago

The "horrible" discovery on Thursday of between 20 and 50 dead migrants on a truck in Austria is a warning to Europe to get to grips with the migrant crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. Other leading German politicians laid out their plans for handling the influx of refugees.

Facebook to meet gov on Internet hate-mongering
Are Facebook keeping a close enough eye on hate speech? Photo: DPA

Facebook to meet gov on Internet hate-mongering

20 hours ago

Update: Facebook on Thursday accepted an invitation from Germany's justice minister to discuss doing more to purge the social network of racist posts after widespread complaints from users.

Berlin orchestra angers Israel with Iran concert
Renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim is under attack by Israel's government. Photo: DPA

Berlin orchestra angers Israel with Iran concert

16 hours ago

Israeli-Argentinian conductor Daniel Barenboim is hoping to take one of Germany's top orchestras to Iran to perform a concert there, the Berlin State Opera said Thursday, drawing angry protests from Israel.

Netzpolitik Affair
Merkel's office 'hid knowledge of probe'
The Chancellery. Photo: Heinz Albers

Merkel's office 'hid knowledge of probe'

18 hours ago

After digital rights blog Netzpolitik revealed that state prosecutors were investigating two of its journalists for treason, Chancellor Angela Merkel's office reacted with shock. Now Spiegel reports that the Chancellery knew about the investigation in April.

Internet surveillance
Spies 'traded Germans' data for US software'
Photo: DPA

Spies 'traded Germans' data for US software'

19 hours ago

Media reports on Thursday alleged that German spies traded access to information about the country to the US National Security Agency (NSA) in exchange for surveillance software.

Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million
Kevin De Bruyne. Photo: DPA

Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million

21 hours ago

Manchester City have signed one of the stars of last season's Bundesliga campaign. But he didn't come cheap.

NATO troops join in large German training exercise
NATO paratroopers training in Romania on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

NATO troops join in large German training exercise

22 hours ago

More than 1,000 NATO paratroopers jumped from aircraft above Germany on Wednesday in one of the alliance's largest airborne training exercises in Europe since the Cold War ended, the US army said.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,945
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd