Ze Frank is an American online performance artist, composer, humorist and public speaker based in Los Angeles, California. In 2001, Frank created an online birthday invitation and sent it to seventeen of his closest friends. Forwarded wildly, the invitation soon generated millions of hits and over 100 gigabytes of daily web traffic to Frank’s personal Web site. The site grew to include interactive group projects, short films, animations, and video games, many Flash-based, including children’s educational videos featuring handy tips such as “Don’t vacuum your face.”
Frank won a 2002 Webby Award for Best Personal Website and In 2005, he was featured in Time Magazine’s “50 Coolest Websites”. Frank debuted onstage at the Gel conference in 2003, and later spoke at the TED Conference in 2004 and 2005.
Frank has served as an adjunct professor at ITP/NYU, Parsons School of Design, and SUNY Purchase.
Discussing his work in the digital medium, and the potential of new platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, Frank said, “For me, experimentation is not about the technology. In an ever-changing technological landscape, where todayâ€™s platforms are not tomorrowâ€™s platforms, the key seems to be that any one of these spaces can use a dose of humanity and art and culture.â€
On March 17, 2006, Frank launched the daily video program The Show With Zefrank. The format of the program combined commentary on media and current events with viewer contributions and activities. Each tightly edited three-to-five-minute episode combined Daily Show-style commentary on world events with songs, observations, and occasional games or challenges for his viewers to participate in. Thousands of photos, videos and music files were contributed by the audience, including over 1,000 photos in one 20-hour period. The show appeared each weekday until its final episode on March 17, 2007, exactly one year after its start.