The owners of the Twitter account @Horse_ebooks and the YouTube channel Pronunciation Book have finally revealed their identities. Long-thought to be algorithmic spambots rather than the product of human ingenuity, the accounts have enjoyed a more-than-cult following as two of the stranger corners of the mainstream Internet. Pronunciation Book provides short explanations for how to properly enunciate words like "Megan Fox" and "27." Horse_ebooks tweets snippets of text from frequently unknown sources. This morning, at Manhattan's Fitzroy Gallery, Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender claimed credit for the two accounts. The two have maintained secrecy working on the two accounts for nearly four years.
Bakkila, who works at Buzzfeed, and Bender, a former employee of Howcast, announced today (along with New Yorker writer Susan Orlean) that the projects were part of an online art project. The next installment of the project is a new site and identity, called Bear Stearns Bravo. In a New Yorker blog post, Orlean describes Bravo as a "choose-your-own-adventure interactive-video piece." When he was asked why he was ending the project, Bakkila said, "No one wants to work on a painting forever."
Although @Horse_ebooks will now be retired, Bakkila and Bender have added one last component to it that they're calling Horse_ebooks 2. They posted a phone number that people can call and have a @Horse_ebooks tweet read to them by Bakkila, Bender, and apparently Orlean, too. They also posted a video to the Pronunciation Book channel, explaining how to pronounce Horse_ebooks and announcing, in the stilted language characteristic of @Horse_ebooks, the Bear Stearns Bravo project. (The New Yorker)
Photo: Via Twitter.