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The 4-minute video shot by experimental video artist Matthias Fritsch at the Fuckparade on 8 July 2000 begins with the title "Kneecam No. 1" and shows a bare-chested man wearing a Thor's hammer pendant grabbing the arms of and pointing his finger at another man who has just shoved a woman, drinking from a bottle of water offered to him inverted by another man, then dancing down the street to techno music. Fritsch intended it to raise questions of whether the action was real or staged.
Fritsch uploaded the video to the internet in 2001. It was posted on YouTube and went viral in 2007. After being posted on Break.com, it peaked on 28 September at more than 1 million views per day and was watched by over 10 million people over 6 months. More than 700 responses and remixed versions were posted. It was the #1 clip on Rude Tube's series-three episode Drink and Drugs. Mathew Cullen and Weezer wanted to include Techno Viking in their compilation of Internet memes for the "Pork and Beans" music video but were unable to. Techno Viking was also rendered in oils as part of a series on internet memes. By mid-2010, the video had generated over 20 million hits on YouTube alone. Techno Viking has a Know Your Meme page, which documents aspects of the meme, such as a picture of Techno Viking with his finger raised and the word "Obey", and formerly had an Encyclopedia Dramatica page.
Fritsch mounted an installation and the online Techno Viking Archive "to research the strategies of participatory practice in digital social networks" and presented lectures on the reception of the video. His Music from the Masses project was suggested by the Techno Viking experience: it explores web collaboration by providing silent films for artists to provide soundtracks. In response to legal action by the man featured in the video, access to the Techno Viking video itself has been restricted and annotations on YouTube blocked since late 2009.
Fritsch has not revealed the man's identity. Some have claimed he is a Munich bodybuilder called Hans Schlepkopper. A man calling himself "Harry the old Teuton" appeared on the "Bodybuilding" broadcast of the German television show Raab in Gefahr, and was interpreted by some to mean he was Techno Viking. Fans have claimed Keith Jardine is Techno Viking.