From a surprising storytelling perspective—that of an algorithm—in equally striking visual language, New Gods tells the story of LonerWolf58, a member of the online incel movement. Incel, a portmanteau of “involuntarily celibate”, is a subculture of predominantly men who describe and share their experiences in online user groups, often accompanied by misogyny and incitement to violence. Over the past decade, a number of deadly attacks have been linked to the incel community.
The more data the algorithm detects about LonerWolf58, the more clearly the young man behind the username comes into view. Abstract computer-generated images develop into an ominous and haunting tale of loneliness and hatred. In his videos, LonerWolf58 talks about his life, in which the inability to form relationships plays a central role. When the content he has posted on the internet is classified as terrorist and violent, the algorithm is tasked with detecting and removing the videos and hateful texts.