[NetBehaviour] Gang of five (link to article)
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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