Drugs, Rape, Massacres: How AI Is Exposing Children to the Worst of Humanity

Totsploitation is in a sense grounded in the same grand tendencies in the history of innovation in the arts. By recombining motifs associated with “pure” children’s entertainment and themes connected with adult situations, the artist provokes a reaction not unlike that invited by Manet’s Olympia. The unconventional brushwork, sloppy from a neoclassical perspective, is even paralleled by the sketchy and unfinished quality of these videos. But while Manet explored the fine line separating pornography and portraiture in nude images of women branded “Venus,” the modern Totsploitation artist elicits a shocked response by dwelling on the ambiguous boundaries that distinguish different types of children’s entertainment.

Totsploitation’s closest cousin is another genre featuring mashups of stock cartoon characters, jump cuts, starling soundtracks, and disturbing hypnotic juxtapositions of kid-friendly content with adult violence: the unfortunately named Youtube Poop. It involves “absurdist remixes that ape and mock the lowest technical and aesthetic standards of remix culture to comment on remix culture itself.” Hurricoaster’s The Sky Had a Weegee is a classic example of the genre, incorporating clips from Spongebob Squarepants and the horrendous DOS version of Mario is Missing. Trajce Cvetkovski drew attention to the video when he wrote about it in 2013 because Viacom claimed a copyright infringement against it. Now, it has over 16 million views on Youtube. One of these days, Disney or Marvel might just immortalize a Totspolitation classic in the same way.

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