Will the real Phill Bender please stand up? Phil Bender on Facebook: real or performance art?

Categories: Visual Arts

Late last week, the unthinkable happened. Phil Bender -- founder of Pirate gallery and the generally accepted godfather of the Denver co-op scene -- mysteriously appeared on Facebook. Anyone who knows Phil even the least bit knows that he does not compute: doesn't trust a computer or a tweet, is belligerently disinterested in either and has no e-mail address. Phil does have a phone. Those were invented before he was born.

But, whatever. At 10:41 a.m.on January 12, Phil announced: "No one thought i would get on the interweb jokes on you." And he sent out invitations to a local-arts who's-who of potential FB buddies. Never mind that the invite came from someone named "Phill." It was possible -- Phil is computer-illiterate, remember?

At first, the welcoming friends poured in:

"Congrats on the Facebook page Phil!! :) did u get an email too??"

"Phil Bender is on Facebook! Unbelieveable!"

"oh my god, phil bender on the internet? what is this world coming to?"

"Holy Crap!! can it be true??? PHILL BENDER IS ON FACEBOOK????????"

"Is this a sign of the end of the world?"

Says Phill: "this facebook thing is so strange and new i hope i will not get people mad at me i'm just learning"

And: "this face book thing is crazy i don't know hated the interweb for so long"

Phill discovered YouTube.

"just found out about a thing called youtube it's crazy. if you haven't heard of it check it out."

"thank you all for helping me into facebook this is for you"

Photo-sharing commenced.

"facebook is putting pictures of me up i didn't have anything to do with i love this interweb"


But it wasn't long before the doubters started to surface:

"How does a guy without an email address show up on facebook? With an extra L, no less? Is this the real Phil? Or is this the nefarious Bill Phender?"

Phill: "my name is not phender it's bender get it right. i have an email"

"you fake!"

Phill: "i went to your show"

"fake..for sure. i've always wanted to start a webpage of bender's voicemails...epic."

Phill: "i'm the real bender and got there first"

"There are rumours that this is not the real Phil Bender. What says ye matey?"

"It's an FB mystery. Who IS Phill Bender?"

There were - are - factions.

Phill: "This facebook thing isn't as much fun as I thought. I think I'm going to leave the interweb and go back to the way my life was."

"the real Phil wants you to continue his fb page for him"

"Ok, who is this and what have you done with Phil?"

Phill: "I got a lot of phone calls today from people telling me not to leave Facebook. I don't mean to cry wolf, but I was so touched I decided to stay. My fans need me."

"The real Phil Bender would be on Farmville by now."

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