July 16, 2013


WiFi-SM by UNbEhAGEN.COM (Christophe Bruno and Valéry Grancher) is an internet connected wireless device that connects your body to current events based on keywords.

It automatically detects the information from approximately 4,500 news sources worldwide updated continuously and analyses them looking for specific keywords such as death, kill, murder, torture, rape, war, virus etc.. Each time the text of the news contains one of these keywords, your WiFi-SM device is activated through the Wi-Fi network and provides you with an electric impulse. This impulse is calibrated so that you can feel a certain amount of pain, but is completely safe.

It is ten years old and the device resembles a nicotine patch (way too small for the time) so quite obviously a parody. The work isn’t the device per se but the idea of the device and the way it’s presented online as a product (see also FuckU-FuckMe from 1999).

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:33 pm
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July 4, 2013

Memopol by Timo Toots is a series of two interactive installation works, Memopol-1 and Memopol-2, that maps visitor’s personal information.

By inserting an identification document such as a national ID-card or passport into the machine, it starts collecting information about the visitor from (inter)national databases and the Internet. The data is then visualized on a large-scale custom display. People using the machine will be remembered by their names and portraits.

The Cyrillic spelling of the installation’s name refers to George Orwell’s concept of Big Brother from his dystopian novel 1984. Over the past decades [sic], technological means have transformed the surveillance of society. When surfing on the Internet, paying with an ATM card, or using an ID card, people leave their digital traces everywhere. Internet and social networks gather and provide a great deal of personal information, and a person’s profile is no longer constituted by his or her physical being alone, but also by the person’s digital information, over which he or she sometimes has little control. Background checks through Internet search engines and social network sites have become routine when we meet somebody new or apply for a job. Memopol enables us to make a thorough background check of ourselves, mirroring back to us all the data about us that is recored [sic]…

By logging in the government portal, citizen can see information from prescription drugs to high school exams, from tax reports to driving licenses. All recorded for unlimited time…Memopol is a reaction to these developments and uses contrasting aesthetics. It’s big and evil, dark and scary. It projects present-day technology into the retro-futuristic times. The tools of 1984 are already here, but the question is how do we use them. In the time of peace these tools add a lot of comfort to every-day life, but what happens when the political winds change.

Posted by: Garrett @ 10:38 am
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May 27, 2013
Pure Flow (mobile edition)

Pure Flow (mobile edition) by Katy Connor is an mobile application for iOS and Android which reveals:

the noise generated between GPS data systems and multiple satellites, 3G networks and Wifi hotspots as a tangible presence in the environment

in both sonic and visual form.

The APP visualises the instability and fragility of Live signals, passing through cloud cover and urban architecture; absorbed by bodies, reflecting off concrete and refracting through glass. The user can directly manipulate the outcomes, by touching the visual and sonic patterns triggered by fluctuations in the data. Once activated, PURE FLOW reveals these signals as a sliver of fluctuating white noise, responding directly to the movement and immediate environment of the device.

PURE FLOW subverts the use-value of GPS as a surveying and navigational tool; revealing these invisible data streams and highlighting their increasing ubiquity, as sophisticated military technologies become key components in daily life.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:49 pm
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May 6, 2013
GIRLS vs. _root

GIRLS vs. _root by Addie Wagenknecht is a browser add-on (in development I think), which highlights p2p (peer-to-peer) male dominated culture.

Why? There is a death of women contributing to open source software. This plugin is presented as a “filter” to challenge assumptions about gender roles in software, and to “rewire” your brain. The actual goal is to present such a ridiculous “plugin” that people get frustrated and start a deeper discussion and argument about gender and open source…Currently the add-on works by replacing every username on sites such as github.com with a female username (example: Sarah212) and female avatar. Additionally, Pirate Bay becomes ‘Princess Bay” and the typical breast laden-porn ads while searching are replaced ads for ‘David Beckham for H&M’.

To contribute code to the project visit the GitHub repository.

Posted by: Garrett @ 8:09 pm
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March 26, 2012

HEXEN 2.0 by Suzanne Treister is a series of works with strong network related concerns spanning across a number of forms including alchemical diagrams, a Tarot deck, photo-text works, pencil drawings, a video and a website. The works investigate:

histories of scientific research behind government programmes of mass control, investigating parallel histories of countercultural and grass roots movements. HEXEN 2.0 charts, within a framework of post-WWII U.S. governmental and military imperatives, the coming together of scientific and social sciences through the development of cybernetics, the history of the internet, the rise of Web 2.0 and increased intelligence gathering, and implications for the future of new systems of societal manipulation towards a control society…Treister’s body of work presents a unique critical overview of modern intellectual and scientific history. Key to her artistic strategy is her decision to represent her visions of past interrelated histories by employing alternative systems for divining meaning or creating knowledge: alchemical drawings, tarot cards, gematria and the seance. She writes, ‘By representing these subjects and histories through the lens of the alchemical and the occult, HEXEN 2.0 offers a space where one may use the works as a tool to envision possible alternative futures.’

HEXEN 2.0 is currently showing at the Science Museum in London. Originally seen on the E-Flux announcements list.

Posted by: Garrett @ 2:04 pm
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