Techno Viking

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Techno Viking is an internet phenomenon or meme based on a video from the 2000 Fuckparade in Berlin.

The 4-minute video shot by experimental video artist Matthias Fritsch at the Fuckparade on 8 July 2000[1] 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.[2] Fritsch intended it to raise questions of whether the action was real or staged.[1]

A man offers an inverted bottle of water to the Techno Viking

Fritsch uploaded the video to the internet in 2001.[3] It was posted on YouTube and went viral in 2007. After being posted on, 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.[1][4][5][6] It was the #1 clip on Rude Tube's series-three episode Drink and Drugs.[7] 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.[8] Techno Viking was also rendered in oils as part of a series on internet memes.[9] By mid-2010, the video had generated over 20 million hits on YouTube alone.[3] 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",[10] 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"[11] 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.[1][3][5][11] 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.[1]

Fritsch has not revealed the man's identity.[5] Some have claimed he is a Munich bodybuilder called Hans Schlepkopper.[12] A man calling himself "Harry the old Teuton" appeared on the "Bodybuilding" broadcast of the German television show Raab in Gefahr,[13] and was interpreted by some to mean he was Techno Viking.[14] Fans have claimed Keith Jardine is Techno Viking.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Matthias Fritsch, The Technoviking Archive, Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe.
  2. ^ According to the Discogs forum, the two tracks are "Navigator" by Can-D-Music and "Save Change And Exit" by Winstan vs Noia.
  3. ^ a b c Astrid Herbold, "Youtube: 20 Millionen Klicks für den 'Techno-Wikinger'", Tagesspiegel 23 July 2010 (German) This includes an embedded version of the video.
  4. ^ KNEECAM No.1 at The Technoviking Archive
  5. ^ a b c Carmela Thiele, "Das Musik-Video Technoviking", Corso, DLF Cologne, 5 May 2009, interviewing Matthias Fritsch (mp3) (German)
  6. ^ We,TechnoViking at
  7. ^ Clip 16, position #1; E4 transmission 17 December 2008.
  8. ^ "Weezer's 'Pork & Beans' Director on the Band's Viral Hit, Plus Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Video", Rolling Stone June 16, 2008.
  9. ^ "Techno Viking in Oil – Painting Internet Memes", 11 March 2008.
  10. ^ Image 54 at
  11. ^ a b Judith Staines with Ghislaine Boddington, Interview with Matthias Fritsch, Excited Atoms: an exploration of virtual mobility in the contemporary performing arts, On the Move April 2010, p. 43 (pdf)
  12. ^ For example blogger Benoit Lelievre, "Analyzing Technoviking", Dead End Follies 5 May 2010. (This also includes an embedded version of the video.) The Encyclopedia Dramatica entry spelt it "Shlepkopper".
  13. ^ "Bodybuilding" (Sendung 8888), Raab im Gefahr 20 February 2009, TV Total, Brainpool, 2011, retrieved 7 February 2011 (German)
  14. ^ Technoviking on "Raab in Gefahr", uploaded to YouTube 1 October 2007, removed 25 December 2009; documented at YouTomb with screenshots; YouTomb presents him as being Techno Viking and says he calls himself "Harry the old Viking."
  15. ^ Keith Jardine Talks Thiago Silva Fight, Brock Lesnar, and Techno Viking", MMA Fighting, 25 August 2008, retrieved 1 February 2011.

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