Integrated Circuit aka Chip (Punkdrillard is dead)
March 19, 2007, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Archive, News



Tactical Media Seminar/Vilnius – Lithuania
March 19, 2007, 12:41 pm
Filed under: News

Alexei Krivolap (first from the left)

(Report from

The second session of VMS (Vilnius Media Seminar) has taken place in
Vilnius Art Academy on 19th of February (2007). The topic this time was
“Strategies of tactical media: noise makes sense”. At first during the
seminar the tactical media as a concept was presented and then the
significance of tactical media in Eastern Europe was discussed. The key
speakers were Alexei Krivolap [BY] and Benjamin Cope [UK, PL]. The
moderation was held by Vytautas Michelkevicius. At the moment we are
publishing audio files and pictures from the seminar and in a meanwhile
we are going to publish the presentations as a working papers here as

There were around 30 participants in this seminar. Alexei Krivolap
presented the situation of tactical media in Ukraine and Belarus. He
screened two tactical media pieces: the serial from Belarus “Web-master
& Margarita” which is a remake of very popular russian soap opera
“Master & Margarita” and tactical media pieces from Ukraine –
“Funny Egs”.

Benjamin Cope has presented his experience in making radio shows to
Polish radio stations. His experiences in travelling all around the
country and interviewing local people without having good polish skills
was very much of the tactical nature. You can listen to these
presentations and discussion here.

Is technology turning privacy into an endangered species?
March 17, 2007, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Archive, Articles, News

(from this link)
Posted by Kerry B Collison

Friday, October 20. 2006

During the last few months, we have seen controversial cases involving the unauthorized dissemination of photos from celebrities’ private handphones. But this is only the beginning of the privacy-loss phenomenon, and our generation is doomed to see more.The handphone camera is one of the most visible examples, but there are plenty of other new gadgets and tools that will contribute to the loss even more. They include the ubiquitous video monitoring in airports and shopping malls, satellite imaging and the proliferation of electronic cash such as credit cards and debit cards.

One of the most striking developments is the use of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. An RFID tag may function as a barcode, and is connected to a network where information about the tag holder is stored. This chip tag has been used to track lost animals and has been implanted in humans to replace magnetic cards.

Mohamad Mova Al ‘Afghani, Bremen, Germany

But that’s not all. Consider the development of sensors, which are getting smaller and can detect everything from heartbeat to glucose level and blood type. There are also those handy gadgets that help you find your way up a mountain or down the freeway. If you use the Global Positioning System (GPS), your latitude and longitude could be available to others on the main server. If you use a GSM handphone, your location is trackable through the nearest Base Transceiver System (BTS) antenna.

These chips, cameras, sensors and magnetic cards all contain information about you, including anything from billing statements, to glucose levels and blood types, to data on your purchases, or your current location.

In addition to using all these devices, people nowadays also share their private lives through the internet, blogs, video streaming and podcasts. The information in blogs varies from the kinds of gifts people receive from their loved ones to how old their kids are, which schools they attend and their pictures. And let’s not forget the words we query in search engines.

All of this cyber-sharing yields trackable information that is stored in mainframes. It can be used to figure out your political affiliations, religious background and consumption preferences. It must be underlined that unlike conventional surveillance mechanisms, these activities that threaten privacy are all things the potential victims do voluntarily.

How well-prepared are societies to safeguard this information? The strictness of privacy protection differs from one jurisdiction to another. Internationally, privacy is protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; however, this Article may not be as strongly binding as a positive law. In the United States, privacy is stringently protected through the Fourth Amendment and several Supreme Court rulings. In other societies it may be only loosely protected.

There are some other laws related to privacy, such as those that protect medical records and trade secrets and those that obligate disclosure. Medical records are a patient’s right, and it’s a crime to publish them without proper authorization. Trade secret laws protect, for example, the secret ingredients of a commercial beverage.

Disclosure laws are normally imposed on public companies and other companies that have public stakeholders, or on food and cosmetic producers to ensure they are complying with consumer laws. These laws essentially deal with the management of information.

In the future, it is likely that privacy protection will be severely eroded and things which are considered privacy violations today will no longer be categorized as crimes. There had been several court cases which hold that privacy protection is irrelevant.

We can use legal history to predict the future trends of privacy regulation. During the Roman age, there was a maxim which held, “Cujus est solum, ejus est usque ad coelum et ad inferos (Whosoever has the soil, also owns to the heavens above and to the center beneath). The value of land ownership was absolute, and no one had the right to trespass it, above or below, without the consent of its owner.

However, this maxim was abandoned when it became inconsistent with technological development; specifically, during the first years of aviation history. Planes now have the right to fly in the skies, irrespective of any property below them. That is also the case with the “to the center beneath”.

The erosion of privacy will carry several consequences. The first problem, surveillance, raises the classic issue that “power tends to corrupt”. If we are all being watched, then who supervises the supervisors? What will they do with our data?

Another problem is identity theft. This is often carried out on the Internet, since digital identity is vulnerable to fraud.

A growing “privacy gap” is the third problem. In the future, privacy is going to be expensive. You can protect an RFID tag, for example, by using passwords to make access difficult. You can do something similar with satellite imagery. If you do not want your roof or swimming pool to be photographed, you need to shield them, but it will cost you money. This means privacy will eventually belong only to the wealthy.

The fourth problem is the rise of sentience (things with autonomous sensory capability) and its contribution to personalization. Today, web pages, news services, desktop and handphone features can be personalized in order to better meet our needs.

Sentience development opens the door to highly targeted marketing. If I use sentient mechanisms to find about somebody’s reading habits, his spending patterns, his political affiliations, what toys his kids want, where he usually has dinner, which roads he uses and what his health problems are, I can advertise a particular book on the billboards he passes, send campaign volunteers to the restaurant where he’s eating, or woo him for a business deal by bringing his kids’ dream toys to the meeting.

Personalization tends to prevent people from being exposed to different realities and allows them to become preoccupied with their own world. Personalization could direct us into “the matrix”, as it confuses people between true reality and artificial realities.

It is high time we consider the mandatory unbundling of information. There will be a high risk of moral hazards when personal data from banking, health and politics is administered by a single institution or company. As for the corruptive power of surveillance, some have proposed making every aspect of governance transparent and accountable so that people can supervise the supervisor. These steps and more must be weighed in order to keep privacy from becoming as outdated a concept as that old Roman maxim on property.

The writer ( is a lawyer and lecturer, and is currently studying in Germany.

Related RFID journal entries visit this link.

The Big Brother State
March 16, 2007, 6:23 am
Filed under: Video/Animation

The Big Brother State is an educational film about what politicians claim to be protection of our freedom but what we refer to as repressive legislation.

Since terrorism has become a global threat, especially after 9/11, governments all over the world have started enforcing laws which, so the governments say, should increase national security.

These laws obviously aim at another goal: the states gaining more and more control of their citizens at the cost of our privacy and freedom.

Created by David Schart

March 16, 2007, 5:57 am
Filed under: News


For further information:

Erik Pauhrizi
Buton Kultur 21
Jl. Buton 12
Rt.07/03, Kelurahan Kebon Pisang, Kec. Sumur Bandung
Bandung, West Java
Phone: +62.22.423.4927
Mobile: +62.813.2126.4018
E-mail: /

The Pace of New Media
March 16, 2007, 2:58 am
Filed under: Articles


I’ve been thinking about “new media” (blogs, RSS, online video, etc.) quite a bit lately, and trying to conceive of how this relates to the evolution of society at large. How does one influence the other? More specifically, I’ve been thinking on how our modern information distribution mechanisms are now so instant and pervasive (I’m thinking of the immediacy of RSS and/or the availability at our fingertips via mobile phone/laptop).

I for one, find it difficult (as my frustrated girlfriend will attest to) to maintain very grounded in “real life” when I immerse myself in the clutches of online media consumption — there is just too much to read, and learn, always. The Twitter (an app I refuse to approach for I feel it crosses a line of over-invasiveness) craze is just the latest manifestation in our continued drive towards always-on, always-connected read/write voyeurism that began with the launch of the web itself some time ago. As the fruits of our own labour (i.e. Humankind begat Twitter) demonstrate, there is no limit to how far we will try to push ourselves in terms of inter- (and I might say in this case, over-) connectedness.

I guess this has been referred to in the past as “information overload” or “access management” but what I’m getting at here is how this affects us socially, rather than simply the troubles we experience at the individual level. It’s important to keep in mind that thought in this area is not new. Marshall McLuhan was swimming around in these topics back in the 60s, quite undeniably decades ahead of his time. He immediately perceived the dangers and possibilities of the “electrification” of media, and wrote at length on the subject for most of his life. As I read his Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, I’m constantly asking myself – what would this man think of the technologies we’ve created today? Would he be awe-struck at the brilliance and simplicity of RSS, or would he be frightened by its power? But I digress — I will have more to say about Marshall once I’ve finished reading his book, and had more time to digest the many kernels of thought.

Returning to the topic at hand, social adaptation to the pace of new media, Margaret Meade, in a Time Magazine piece from September 1954 (yes, 1954) said:

“There are too many complaints about society having to move too fast to keep up with the machine. There is great advantage to moving fast if you move completely, if social, educational and recreational changes keep pace. You must change the whole pattern at once and the whole group together — and the people themselves must decide to move.” (I’ve taken the quote from McLuhan’s book, incidentally)

Amazing that these thoughts are from over 50 years hence! Applying Margaret’s thought to the current media landscape makes me wonder if all our social institutions are moving at the same pace as the Web? It seems impossible to expect so, given the sheer size and bureaucratic weight of something like the education system. And thus, if the rest of society cannot keep up with the web (and its associated new media) my question is: what dangers are we exposing ourselves to? Will we raise a generation that is ill-equipped to reconcile past and present forms of knowledge and learning? What will this mean? Can we learn to recreate (as in, have fun) online in ways that we all accept and respect? We will find it all fulfilling?

If Meade is right, we must either accelerate the adaptation of our social institutions to “Internet time” or slow the rate of change of the Net itself to let society catch up, lest we have to deal with some heavy fallout from the myriad questions raised by the gap unreconciled.

March 16, 2007, 2:19 am
Filed under: News

Maxwell City – an artistic investigation into the electromagnetic urban environment

Two consecutive workshops:
Workshop I Wednesday 9th of May – Saturday 12th of May 2007
Workshop II Wednesday 30th of May – Saturday 2nd of June 2007
Where: Atelier Nord Lakkegata 55D N-0817 Oslo
Directors: Erich Berger and Martin Howse
Guest: Armin Medosch

Participation is free of charge
Application deadline Friday 13th of April
Send application for participation with CV to
Further information:


In 1864 the English physicist James Clerk Maxwell presented a set of mathematical equations to the Royal Society. These equations which are now known as Maxwell.s equations describe the behaviour of electric and magnetic fields and their interaction with matter – electromagnetism. Maxwell showed that his equations predict waves of oscillating electric and magnetic fields that travel through empty space – electromagnetic waves.


Almost 150 years later, the practical applications of Maxwell.s mathematics are deeply and indispensably entwined with our everyday lives. Radio, Television, Mobile phones or wireless networks, all are based on wireless data and information transmission utilizing electromagnetic radiation as a medium. Every wire, cable and electrical device leaks electromagnetic waves during operation. The electromagnetic spectrum which is the range of all possible electromagnetic radiation is a hotly fought over private, commercial and political territory.


Every city with its uncountable electric facilities, devices, senders and receivers has an unknown and invisible man-made twin; the Maxwell City. It is an alien kind of architecture and landscape composed from the electromagnetic emissions of its substantial sibling; a truly spectral double resonating across bodies, vehicles and an architecture of embedded conduction.


Maxwell City is an artistic investigation into electromagnetic substance within the city of Oslo and its surroundings. Naturally these investigations will happen in the city itself, including possible originating artworks, situations or interventions. Short lectures, presentations and discussions within the group will provide the workshops with the necessary theoretical and practical background. Maxwell City is interested in both the theory and praxis of electromagnetic waves, politics of technology and the electromagnetic spectrum, electromagnetic waves as artistic material, artistic strategies in the urban environment, invisible and alternate realities and how to make these perceptible.


Participating artists do not need to have practical or theoretical knowledge about the electromagnetic spectrum. They need to bring a keen interest to work as a group with unusual artistic material within the urban environment. As the workshops build upon each other it is preferable to participate in both workshops.

Further information about the workshop, the content and the directors is available at:


The workshop is produced by Atelier Nord
Lakkegata 55D N-0187 Oslo
Phone: +47 23060880
Fax: +47 23060884