[NetBehaviour] Gang of five (link to article)

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed May 25 11:23:33 CEST 2005

*The Times, London (UK), May 14, 2005*

Gang of five
By James Eve

Deep in the hills above Bologna a secretive band of writers has hatched 
a truly evil plot -- to overthrow the world of celebrity

If you believed everything that was written about the group of Italian 
novelists known as Wu Ming, you would think that they were red-toothed 
revolutionaries. Under their former pen name -- that of the former 
Watford and AC Milan footballer Luther Blissett -- they published Q, a 
sprawling, bloody spy story set in the religious wars of 16th-century 
Europe. It became a bestseller across the Continent, though the group's 
non-literary activities, which according to several breathless newspaper 
reports included hijacking a night bus in Rome, prompted as much 
interest as the sales figures.
The mystery surrounding the group is deepened by their refusal to be 
photographed. "Dear James, we can't have a photographer running around 
during the interview," reads an e-mail from Roberto Bui, otherwise known 
as Wu Ming 1. "No photographers and no faces -- those are our 
conditions." His promise to take me somewhere "in the hills" after our 
chat sounds faintly threatening. I wonder whether they might be 
considering kidnapping a journalist.
As it turns out, there is no need to worry. The only connection between 
the Roman hijackers and this Bologna-based writers' collective happened 
to be their choice of pseudonym. They can't explain the Luther Blissett 
tag, other than that it was a name used widely by artists and hackers in 
mid-Nineties, mostly for planting fake stories in the media. Besides, 
their involvement with the Blissett persona is history. The four 
original members -- Bui, Giovanni Cattabriga, Luca Di Meo and Federico 
Guglielmi -- discarded him at the end of 1999. Since then they have 
added a fifth member, Riccardo Pedrini, and assumed the name Wu Ming, 
which means "Anonymous" in Mandarin.

Recently found on 'interactivist.net'

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