Techno Viking

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

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


The four-minute video shot by experimental video artist Matthias Fritsch at the Fuckparade on 8 July 2000[1] begins with the title "Kneecam No. 1". The camera is on a group of dancing people with a blue-haired woman in front. A man stumbles into the scene grabbing the woman. A bare-chested man (known colloquially as the Techno Viking) wearing a Mjölnir pendant enters the scene while turning to that man. He grabs him by the arms and the camera follows, showing the confrontation. The bare-chested man pushes the guy back in the direction he came. He looks at him sternly and then points his finger at him, ensuring he behaves.[notes 1] Then the camera follows the bare-chested man as the techno parade continues. Another observer comes from the back of the scene offering an inverted bottle of water to him. As the situation calms down, the bare-chested man starts to dance down Rosenthaler Straße (52°31′33.8″N 13°24′13.2″E / 52.526056°N 13.403667°E / 52.526056; 13.403667 (filming location)) to techno music.[2]

Reception and release[edit]

Typical digital art based on the Techno Viking meme, 2007 by Flickr-User Valtteri Mäki.

Fritsch uploaded the video to the internet in 2001.[3] Fritsch intended to raise questions of whether the action was real or staged.[1] In 2006 an unknown user re-published it to YouTube, and it went viral in 2007. According to Fritsch, its popularity began on a Central American pornography site.[4] 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 edited versions were posted.[1][5][6][7] It was the #1 clip on Rude Tube's series-three episode Drink and Drugs.[8] 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.[9] Techno Viking was also rendered in oils as part of a series on internet memes.[10] By mid-2010, the video had generated over 20 million hits on YouTube alone;[3] as of January 2013, the original version had more than 16 million views.[4] 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][6][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]

Identity and lawsuit[edit]

Some suspected Keith Jardine was the Techno Viking before the actual man's lawyer stated this to not be the case.

Fritsch did not know the man's name at the time of filming.[4][6][12] A man who appeared in the 2009 "Bodybuilding" broadcast of the German television show segment Raab in Gefahr[13] was taken to be Techno Viking in a YouTube upload.[14] In 2008, fans claimed MMA fighter Keith Jardine was Techno Viking.[15] The lawyer of the Techno Viking asserts that his client had never been a public figure and that he did not want to become one.[16]

The unnamed man's court case against Fritsch concerning infringement of personality rights opened in Berlin on 17 January 2013.[4][17][18] In June, a decision was reached for the plaintiff and Fritsch was ordered to pay the man 13,000 in damages, almost all he had made from YouTube ads and sales of Techno Viking merchandise, plus €10,000 in court costs, and to cease publication of his image.[12][19][20][21][22]

Documentary film[edit]

Fritsch raised money with a crowdfunding campaign to make a documentary film about the case, The Story of Technoviking,[21] which was released in 2015.[23]


  1. ^ In the full video the offender is seen later, sitting on the back of a truck as the camera is turned to the side for a few seconds.


  1. ^ a b c d e Matthias Fritsch, The Technoviking Archive Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine, Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe.
  2. ^ The two tracks appear to be "Navigator" by Can-D-Music, and "Save Changes And Exit" by Winstan vs. Noia; Fritsch, The Technoviking Archive.
  3. ^ a b c Astrid Herbold, "Youtube: 20 Millionen Klicks für den 'Techno-Wikinger'" Archived 2010-07-26 at the Wayback Machine, Tagesspiegel 23 July 2010 (in German) This includes an embedded version of the video.
  4. ^ a b c d Kevin Morris, German court to decide the future of Technoviking" Archived 2013-03-05 at the Wayback Machine, The Daily Dot, 17 January 2013.
  5. ^ KNEECAM No.1 Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine at The Technoviking Archive
  6. ^ a b c Carmela Thiele, "Das Musik-Video Technoviking" Archived 2016-04-22 at the Wayback Machine, Corso, DLF Cologne, 5 May 2009, interviewing Matthias Fritsch (mp3) (in German)
  7. ^ We,TechnoViking Archived 2012-11-14 at the Wayback Machine at
  8. ^ Clip 16, position #1; E4 transmission 17 December 2008.
  9. ^ "Weezer's 'Pork & Beans' Director on the Band's Viral Hit, Plus Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Video" Archived 2017-08-06 at the Wayback Machine, Rolling Stone June 16, 2008.
  10. ^ "Techno Viking in Oil – Painting Internet Memes" Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine, 11 March 2008.
  11. ^ a b Judith Staines with Ghislaine Boddington, Interview with Matthias Fritsch, Excited Atoms: an exploration of virtual mobility in the contemporary performing arts[permanent dead link], On the Move April 2010, p. 43 (pdf)
  12. ^ a b Leonhard Dobusch, "Interview zum erstinstanzlichen Urteil im Technoviking-Prozess [Update]" Archived 2013-08-03 at the Wayback Machine,, 20 June 2013, retrieved 1 July 2013 (in German)
  13. ^ "Bodybuilding" (Sendung 8888) Archived 2011-03-19 at the Wayback Machine, Raab im Gefahr 20 February 2009, TV Total, Brainpool, 2011, retrieved 7 February 2011 (in German); the man calls himself "Harry the old Teuton".
  14. ^ Technoviking on "Raab in Gefahr" Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, 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" Archived 2010-03-06 at the Wayback Machine, MMA Fighting, 25 August 2008, retrieved 1 February 2011.
  16. ^ Dennis Kogel, Richard Diesing (2017-07-27). "Die Geschichte des größten deutschen Memes: Was der Fame mit dem Techno-Viking machte". Motherboard. Archived from the original on 2017-08-04. Retrieved 2017-08-03. Anwalt Alexander Paschke gegenüber Motherboard: "Er will einfach keine öffentliche Person sein, das war er auch nie"
  17. ^ "All Heil Technoviking! Der Technoviking verklagt seinen Schöpfer" Archived 2013-01-23 at the Wayback Machine,, 18 January 2013 (in German)
  18. ^ Leonhard Dobusch, "Der Technoviking-Prozess: Urheberrecht und Internet-Memes" Archived 2013-01-23 at the Wayback Machine,, 21 January 2013 (in German)
  19. ^ Ana Samways, "Pronunciation Sought" Archived 2013-07-09 at the Wayback Machine, Sideswipe, New Zealand Herald, 1 July 2013.
  20. ^ Olivia Solon, "Filmmaker gagged by the Technoviking, bankrupted by legal bills" Archived 2016-05-16 at the Wayback Machine, Wired, 27 June 2013, retrieved 1 July 2013.
  21. ^ a b Kevin Morris, "Technoviking prevails in court, still can't erase Internet fame" Archived 2015-09-26 at the Wayback Machine, Daily Dot, 26 June 2013.
  22. ^ Henry Steinhau and Till Kreutzer, "Technoviking: Ein Internet-Mem vor dem Berliner Landgericht" Archived 2013-07-02 at the Wayback Machine,, 25 June 2013, retrieved 1 July 2013 (in German), with link to verdict Archived 2013-07-21 at the Wayback Machine (pdf) (in German)
  23. ^ Attila Nagy, "Here is the Crowdfunded Film about Technoviking, One of the most Popular Memes" Archived 2017-08-30 at the Wayback Machine, Gizmodo, 20 October 2015, retrieved 23 October 2015.

External links[edit]