O S A H    P R O J E C T S   


  O S A H    C O N T E X T   
_What is OSAH?
_Conversation: Jenny Marketou and Steve Dietz
_Josephine Berry, "Bare Code: Net Art and the Free Software Movement"
_Micz Flor, "Hear Me Out: Free Radio Linux broadcasts the Linux sources on air and online
_OSAH Press

  C R E D I T S  



OSAH: A Conversation
Jenny Marketou + Steve Dietz

posted by curators on Tuesday May 07, @08:46PM   

A conversation between Jenny Marketou and Steve Dietz, curators of Open_Source_Art_Hack. This discussion was initiated after an invitation from the Breeder as a special project, and it will be featured in the upcoming edition The Breeder #6, in June 2002.
"The selected works in Open_Source_Art_Hack (OSAH) are by media artists, collectives,designers, hackers, activists, filmmakers. Some of the artists write their own tools and software, some open source their code, some create game interfaces, some visualize digital data or use information in a very "improper" manner, while others hack with existing cultural systems of power and control. But independently, from the electronic and computing tools they use, the ultimate motivation of the artists is social concern and tactics of subversion, which have been addressed by proposing radically alternative uses of virtual and real space, the museum or the street."--JM

jenny marketou osah new museum Jenny Marketou

Steve, for several months now we have been spoofing, spooking, hacking, cracking, searching, constructing, extracting, exchanging, collecting, open sourcing; keeping our conjoined ideas and energies alive through many strands of conversation, emails and meetings to organize the exhibition Open_Source_Art _Hack. I do not think it is very important to give a full account of how all this came together. I am sure historians and new media critics will give a full account in the years to come.

What made me do this? Open Source_Art_Hack draws from a wider research interest in hacking and net art in which I got engaged with a grant from MECAD in Barcelona, Spain, last year, and particularly from my own interest and practice as a new media artist using the Internet.

It has been my understanding that always the social, cultural and political structure of the works of artists are credited to the technology which they are using but although most of the works in this exhibition are on line Open_Source_Art_Hack is not only about net art, connectivity and tactical media. I see as one of the goal of this exhibition to explore a broader phenomenon, where the free "e-conomy" of software as a social object meets with the extreme skills and tactics of hackers in order to construct a virtual platform for creative production. It is the nature of hacking to be destructive and constructive as well as "to discover freely, to invent freely, to create and to produce freely,” to quote McKenzie Wark. This reminds me of David Cox, who suggests that Joseph Nicephore Niepce (creator of the first fixed photo) was a light hacker by using cameras, chemicals and surfaces.

The selected works in Open_Source_Art_Hack (OSAH) are by media artists, collectives, designers, hackers, activists, filmmakers. Some of the artists write their own tools and software, some open source their code, some create game interfaces, some visualize digital data or use information in a very "improper" manner, while others hack with existing cultural systems of power and control. But independently, from the electronic and computing tools they use, the ultimate motivation of the artists is social concern and tactics of subversion, which have been addressed by proposing radically alternative uses of virtual and real space, the museum or the street.

A good example of an artist group that lies in this intersection of meaning and beauty is Knowbotic Research the collective based in Zurich, established in 1991, which does an excellent job of weaving together notions of tactical media, software aesthetics and pop culture in their web-based installation project Minds of Concern :: Breaking News.

Knowbotic_minds_of_concern The installation is made out of constructions of Rubbermaid red, white and blue plastic containers reminiscent of a wall-flag and scattered on the floor in an arbitrary way opening up, according to the artists, "a control space for the network processes and connoting as well the unstable structures of daily life." Through a "Public Domain Scanner," visitors can trigger a set of network processes by port scanning software, which evaluates the vulnerability of a particular server to hacking attacks. The network processes are simultaneously transformed and externalized through light and sound signals in the space of the gallery. The result is a dramatic visual and acoustic experience, which activates the gallery space, augmenting the sensorial experience of data visualization.

What attracts me to this work is the irony and contradiction between the beauty of everyday life--i.e. the Rubbermaid containers--and the subversive tactics of hacking intersecting with the appropriation and abstraction of digital data, which is then dynamically transformed and materialized into a bodily light and sound experience for the user.

And since it has been so much discussion lately about the magic of "new media aesthetics" the question that can be posed here is what kind of meaning and beauty can be produced by the intersection of art and tactical politics nowadays? What kind of communities and artistic generations have been created by a pop-oriented attitude, which is less tied to ideologies and more to the politics of software economy and data visualization?

Steve Dietz

It is for several years, actually, as the kernel of Open_Source_Art_Hack was presented at Medi@terra 2000 in Athens, albeit as conjoined shows--"Game Patching and Hacking Sublime" and "Outsourcing Creativity? The Audience as Artist"--rather than the greater integration of our show at the New Museum. Nevertheless, I think we are approaching the topic of OSAH from oblique angles, which has been extremely fruitful. This is not a show that I could have done by myself.

I like the metaphor of Niepce because he was what the media historian Dieter Daniels refers to as an amateur. Dieter makes this argument in relation to radio as initially a point-to-point medium that amateurs hacked out of the ether, so to speak. And to reference another favorite trope of my, Jon Ippolito has argued that the fundamental relation of the artist to technology is one of misuse (however skilled). So, for me, there is a whole other history of hacking that relates to amateurs and networks and conscientious misuse, but which is not necessarily or overtly tactical.
Hackers create the possibility of new things entering the world. Not always great things, or even good things, but new things. In art, in science, in philosophy and culture, in any process of knowledge where data can be gathered, where information can be extracted from it, and where in that information new possibilities for the world produced, there are hackers hacking the new out of the old.
McKenzie Wark, Hacker Manifesto 2.0
carnivore pe clients, osah Perhaps the counter example to Knowbotic's project, which proves the rule, so to speak, is RSG's Carnivore. Knowbotic builds up a structure out of everyday materials--Rubbermaid containers. RSG disassembles the guts of the computer, hanging them on the wall like silicon hides. In both cases, the artists are subverting the normative presentation of their materials. In both cases, the process is like a question. Why the scanning/sniffing? To (mis)quote George Bush, is it for good or evil? Knowbotic scans Internet-connected web servers for weaknesses. RSG's Carnivore sniffs the packets of the internal LAN traffic. In both cases, visualization is critical but Minds of Concern uses the data scanned to trigger sensory overload in the gallery environment as a kind of alarm. The Carnivore clients create visualizations of the data itself, divorced from the meaning of its content. Neither is explicitly tactical in the manner of, say, Electronic Disturbance Theater's Floodnet software, but both, I would argue, are creative hacks, and it is the process of their art that is tactical/political and potentially radical, not its content per se.

This may seem inadequate to some viewers, and I'm not even sure the artists would agree with me about this, but just as you say you come to OSAH through a wider interest in hacking and net art, I come to OSAH through a burgeoning interest in the notion of a public domain as instantiated in a digital commons. It is important--to me at least--that such an idea support a wide range of tactics from the overt to the covert, from the tactical to the conceptual, from open source to self-determination, and yes, including the aesthetic.


JM: Steve,

I found very interesting while I was reading your views and comments about the OSAH the reference you make to the hacker as "amateur" and the misuse of the medium in relation to the radio. There is a long history of the improper use of the radio by amateurs going back to Major Edwin Howard Armstrong inventor of FM frequencies in 1936, the GI Pirate Radio in the War in Vietnam, to today's free pirate radio online networks around the world, the mp3 search engines, and napster, which operate based on the concept of open source and free distribution of software. Obviously they are all advocates of radio as the medium for freedom of speech, social connectivity, sharing and free distribution in the public domain of "ether" as you said.

I wanted to begin with this summary becomes it contains some common grounds with projects such as r a d i o q u a l i a's Free Radio Linux, an online and on-air radio station and one of the projects in OSAH. Adam Hyde and Honor Harger founded the online art collaboration r a d i o q u a l i a in Australia in 1998 as a means of experimenting with the intersections between broadcasting, music, sound and new media. The sound transmission consists of a computerized reading and distribution of the code used to create the Linux operating system. In their OSAH installation, visitors will hear the sound as soon as they enter the museum.

I find certainly very intriguing the transmission and the dynamic reading of the entire Linux kernel which contains 4,141,432 lines of code, translated by the artists into an audible stream and making apparent what is usually invisible and not heard. In the same way that I find extremely intriguing Artaud’s radiophonic creation "To have Done with the Judgment of God" (in which America has been denounced as a baby factory, war-mongering machine) and in the audible sampling and remix culture of DJ’s jamming and clubbing, as all three are subverting the norms of their mediums. What I am arguing here is that the "art" is located less in the individual website or radio project and more in the collective manipulation of all aspects of the network.

Which brings my thread of thought to what German media theorist Siegfried Zielinski said during the symposium "Mediations: Archaeologist and Transformations in the Electronic Sphere" at The Austrian Cultural Forum in New York on April 20. To paraphrase, he defined new media civilization in relation to activity and deep time, and as an example he used The Three Princes of Serendipity to define the importance and the complexity of variation and accidental discovery as opposed to a direct and specific dimension of coherence, which brings us back to the notion of the "amateur" as "hacker" of new possibilities.

Frankly this also makes me think of the art of "pranksters" which is embedded in serendipity, as they both subvert the established system of coherence, reclaiming imagination and fantasy in the accidental and in the misuse of the public domain and mediascape.

Perhaps also relevant to today's conversation about innovative methods of distribution by radio and Internet is to look into the streets and the dynamics of accident in the French Situationists' derive and detournement. As we all know, there is an important legacy of artists who have been concerned with the public domain and The Surveillance Camera Players (SCP) is one of these groups.

SCP were formed in November 1996 by a New York-based group of Situationist-inspired pranksters who manifest their opposition to the installation of surveillance cameras in public places by performing silent, specially adapted plays realized with puppets and signs directly in front of the cameras. The group also organizes walking tours in New York showing the locations and different types of surveillance cameras in the streets around them.

The aim of SCP as social activists and performers in front of the surveillance cameras shares, to a great extent, the tension to reconnect (through the accident of detournement) art with life and by doing so to subvert the norms of the public domain into a mis en scene for intervention. The most interesting thing about SCP in my opinion is that their performances bring out through jokes and free play an alternative use of the city. At the same time, the social nature of their artistic production directs our attention to the tools of surveillance and control and our fundamental right to privacy.

In the end, I do wonder how useful it is to apply the label "hacking" to qualify and limit our understanding only of the diverse ways that artists are using hacking tactics and strategies. Thus, the more relevant question for me is less whether the artists in the OSAH are making enough innovative hacking strides at the moment, but rather how has hacking and "open sourcing" altered their artistic production?

This is not to dismiss that behind the imagination--the creativity of each amateur--there is not also meaning. We all want to say something about the world and the culture which is around us. So the subject for me in OSAH is not only to examine distribution as an end to itself, but as well the distributed political or social critique that comes from each project.

SD: Jenny, It is interesting--and quite correct, I think--to think of SCP in relation to the Situationists, although you could also say, I suppose, that their route through the city is completely overdetermined by the mapping of a distributed and disembodied panoptic gaze. Yet where a project like the Institute for Applied Autonomy and Hactivist's Maptivist literally maps a "route of least surveillance," SCP is in effect turning the gaze into a kind of unwilling yet complicitous audience.

This is one of the tensions that interests me a great deal--the role of the institution vis-a-vis the hactivist artist. There is a rich history of artists hacking "systems," whether it is SCP and the surveillance grid or Cornelia Solfrank's Female Extension or Graham Harwood's Mongrel Tate or Keith Obadike's use of eBay to sell his blackness or Rachel Baker's TM Clubcard or RTMark's Whitney Biennial 2000 free-for-all to name just a few important projects.

Part of the lesson of these projects, to my mind, is that many artists understood much earlier than most institutions what was going on with the Internet. They were able to produce amazing leverage by presenting hoaxes--sometimes very elaborate ones--as the hype-come-true. The functioning of this practice was not unlike a traditional avant garde, except that any investment in the authority of the conventional artworld was underwhelming at best.

But even as institutions are incorporating these artists' work into their own practices of commissioning and presenting, artists such as Knowbotic Research and Critical Art Ensemble are raising the stakes. For them, it is inconceivable to "pretend" to simulate the scanning of computer security or to release a transgenic organism. It has to be the real (mediated) thing. Frankly, this forces institutions to scramble; to weigh the remote possibility of legal entanglement with the desire for integrity; to balance artistic freedom with institutional survival--or self-interest, perhaps.

What results is a kind of 21st-century replay of the tragedy of the commons. Corporate and government imperatives are marking the "digital commons" as either anti-individual--e.g. Napster taking away the means for individuals to profit from their efforts--or anarchic and in need of greater control for the greater good. In this light, Knowbotic's Minds of Concern, for instance, is a kind of early warning system of just how unrobust is our public discourse, forcing Knowbotic to change its motto for the installation from "United We Hack" to "/OPEN_LEGAL BUG _ARTISTIC_SELF-CENSORSHIP" for fear of the possibility of retaliation, essentially.

The real tragedy is that the discourse is all around legalistic interpretations of vaguely worded law compounded by an economics of risk management. The arts can claim nothing new in this regard, perhaps, but many if not all of the artists in Open_Source_Art_Hack are presciently and creatively pointing to the loss of a public domain that may only be crushingly obvious when it is too late.

JM: Steve,

I agree with the issues which you have just brought up regarding the role of the institution and the hacktivist net artist. I would like to continue by pointing to another issue which interests me regrading the relationship between the institution and the hacktivist.net art, which from the artist’s point of view I find very relevant in the premise of Open_Source_Art_Hack.

My question is what are the conflicts in creating and presenting radical net artwork that has been commissioned, supported and filtered through corporate funding and art institutions?
"As hackers become politicized as activists become computerized we are going to see an increase in the number of cyber-activists who engage in what has become more widely known as Electronic Civil Disobedience." Stefan Wray, 1998
There is no question that net artists understood very early the creative manipulation of networks and how to use information over the net in a subversive way against the grain of the art system. However, without being nostalgic, net art has changed very drastically since 1997, the summer when I met for the first time in Banff, Canada, Alexei Shulgin, Vuk Cosic, irational.org (Rachel Baker and Heath Bunting), ®TMark, and CAE; when art was mailing lists, spam, email, websites, links, web rings and mirrored sites--all devices for hacking into and parasiting networks for alternative action.

Of course, there is a large number of net artists whose work continues to adopt creative and subversive uses of the net and reaches wide audience and mainstream media such as Mongrel, Etoy, 0100101110101101.org, and plagiarist.org , to name a few in addition to those Steve that you have already mentioned before and whose work falls in between net art and net hacktivism.

However as you know the mainstream institutions and conventional art world have absorbed this kind of net art very soon. I wonder if this happened only because this kind of work acts as disturbance rather than as an act of enactment and internal critique within the museum.? My argument here is what happens when the institution comes to radical, hacktivist net.art aesthetics, when there is more emphasis on direct action, transparency and agency?

Because action, unlike the hoaxes, is impregnable. Heath Bunting's seed kit can be displayed on the wall of the ICA in London, but just let the ICA try to spread genetically modified weeds.

For the same reasons, institutions show for their online exhibitions only the documentation of political net.art work such as EDT's Zapatista Flood Net.

I would like to refer back to Knowbotic and CAE .It is very obvious that Knowbotic’s Minds of Concern is not only about disturbance but it is in fact an enactment of hacking or direct action, which the institution has difficulty to support. As a result Knowbotic had to change its motto in their installation from UNITED WE HACK to OPEN_LEGAL BUG _ARTISTIC_SELF_CENSORSHIP. And Critical Art Ensemble, a direct action collective, could only perform GenTerra in the museum once they jumped through a number of hoops. The institution would prefer the simulation to the original. Both incidents suggest that the forces of the institution have not been able yet to balance artistic freedom for action with an actively internal critique from within the museum space, which has as a result that some artists in OSAH censor themselves in order to show their work.

Knowbotic disturbs and critiques in a way that is not bound only on hacking the net but points directly to the public domain. It alerts us of the presence that we should acquire inside the programs, the systems, the technological models as in public life "which will shape the potential of effective fields of action," as Christian Huebler, one of the members from Knowbotic, said to me during our negotiations with the institution a few days ago. Which describes fiercely our relationship of artists and institution till today and which always the avant garde has been dealing with.

Frankly I would like to add here that the artists in Open_Source_Art _Hack visibly and artistically demonstrate their concern for the future of a digital and public domain connecting the street and the virtual as place for direct and free action and unless the institution supports this kind of voices unfiltered it won't be long that the "digital domain," as you refer to it, will be privatized and wasted away into user interfaces.

SD: Jenny,

I think the issue of radical art practice is an important one to understand. From my point of view, something like rtmark's Whitney Biennial 2000 project, in which they used their "slot" in the Biennial--the first time it presented net art--as an open network for anyone to participate in not only was specific and appropriate to net culture, but it also hacked the biennial system of curatorial choice and artistic "stardom" in a funny yet challenging and equally appropriate way. On the other hand, it's not clear to me that it would make the same sense to stage a FloodNet action against the Mexican government, say, as an exhibition strategy. Perhaps the NEA server or even the exhibition server with the right framing, but my point is that a "public domain" would and should support a wide range of activities, some of which would make sense--without being "domesticated"--in a museum setting and some of which would not.

I'm interested in the ways that institutions--and curators--can and should lend themselves to being hacked. Doing this, as you point out, is an extraordinarily delicate balance, which may be gotten "wrong" as often as it is pulled off. Does this mean it shouldn't be tried? Even so, it is not the same as saying that the institution is even an interesting place for all radical art practice. It's not.

The other thing that I think we have debated constantly and tried to keep in mind in pulling this show together is an expanded or at least not-exclusive definition of hacking as direct political action. As Micz Flor points out in his excellent essay on r a d i o q u a l i a's Free Radio Linux:
"In a unique blend of contemporary academic and legal debates as well as technological possibilities, Free Radio Linux is formulating questions to do with the relation of language and code, technology and art, the history of community radio and computers, as well as the battle of freedom of speech and copyright protection. And how is it doing it? Simply by reading thousands of lines of source code on the air and on the web."
As he points out, while the Linux kernel may seem arcane to many, this issue of whether code is a language and hence subject to constitutional protection is a critical issue for the existence of a robust digital public domain. Micz refers to 70s and 80s radio broadcasts of computer code for compilation as one of the important historical contexts for Free Radio Linux and the whole idea of convergence of media. I think another interesting antecedent is the "pirate radio" of poetry readings in a seminal show like Jack Burnham's "Software" at the Jewish Museum in 1970. This show, which included the likes of Hans Haacke, Joseph Kosuth and Ted Nelson, could be said to be an early precedent for low power transmission as an alternative means of dissemination and reception. Both histories, at the community level and the institutional level intersect at the notion of public domain, outside of or at least orthogonal to government and corporate control.

Or take Josh On's Anti-wargame. One example of "direct action" would be Rtmark's videogame intervention, in which they switched the code of a shipping commercial game to include gay soldiers and homoerotic storyline. Josh's ultimate aim is just as radical, I would argue, but he is taking more of a DIY approach and creating an anti-wargame that hacks the cultural meme of war, so to speak, Anti-wargame is explicit in the sense that "winning the war" is losing the game and that by creating a society that protests and ultimately shuts down the war effort and topples the president, you've won. This is both an overtly politicized storyline, but it also hacks at the hidden assumptions behind hugely popular games like "Sid Meier's Civilization" or "SimCity". By changing the rules so drastically, Anti-wargame makes us reconsider the more hidden and often unquestioned rules of other games.

Similarly with LAN's TraceNoizer project. There is a purely fun moment of recognition when the user understands how TraceNoizer utilizes ubiquity to ensure privacy. With this move, however, LAN hacks the meme of "information at your fingertips" to highlight it as a privacy issue without hitting you over the head, so to speak, with the need for strong encryption that is not considered a munitions, etc. etc.

To me, these are all examples of creative hacking and part of the curatorial goal of Open_Source_Art_Hack is not to argue for a hierarchy of hacking or a purity of hacking but to highlight a diverse yet not comprehensive set of tactical responses, which can be deployed appropriately and effectively in a wide variety of contexts--but not necessarily every context (of course).

JM: Steve,

I agree with you of @TMark ‘s Whitney Biennial 2000 project as a good example of imaginative and creative radical art practice in the same way that I find fascinating the hacking and cloning of HELL.COM by 0100101110101101.ORG in February 1999. HELL.COM was born as a conceptual piece a container for net art sites and art galleries in which it is possible to get in only if you are invited and whom list of members is kept secret. When HELL.COM organized "surface" a show with several superstar net artists, which was opened exclusively to RHIZOME subscribers for 48 hours. 0100101110101101.ORG downloaded all the files of the site and the clone has been put on line, this time anti-copyright, visible, reproducible and easily downloadable. According to 0100101110101101.ORG, they did this under the conviction that information must be free and accessible, but HELL.COM threatened them with legal proceedings on the grounds of copyright violation and plagiarism, which points to another creative use of tactical media.

In The Practice of Every Day Life, De Certeau analyzed popular culture not as a domain of texts or artifacts but rather as a set of practices or operations performed on textual or text like structures and how do we as consumers use the texts and artifacts that surround us. He described the process of consumption as a set of tactics by which the weak make use of the strong. He characterized the rebellious user as tactical and the presumptuous producer (in which he included authors, educators, curators and revolutionaries) as strategic. Setting up this dichotomy allowed him to produce a vocabulary of tactics rich and complex enough to amount to a distinctive and recognizable aesthetic.

CueJack--a free software developed by Cue P Doll and hosted by rTMark--subverts and parodies the CueCat concept by allowing Cue Cat’s scan to dig out information on the web about corporate mechanisms. CueJack is a parody software of the Cuecat bar code reader, which "hacks" into closed systems of information. This software turns CueCat's freely available bar code scanner--which was meant to aid shopping from home and to help keep messy information away from consumers--into a tool through which users regain control by learning about corporate behavior and abuse or boycotts against them.

On the other hand, there are artists who recognizing the necessity for collective action demanded by the media such as film and electronic tape to expose and to explore the power of media images as artifacts of our culture for public consumption. Harun Farocki's Eye/Machine puts the emphasis on the poetics of simulation, transparency, mass media, sampling and the moving image, which is bound to the social beyond the digital domain. Farocki, like Josh On's Anti-wargame deals with war but instead of a DIY game, Farocki adopts rigorous and subversive approach to filmmaking by hacking or misusing images from the Gulf War of 1991 to bring to our attention to the fact that what was brought into play during this conflict was not the weaponry but rather a new policy on images, such as early warning systems, area surveillance and other monitoring devices that created the basis for electronic warfare. The Gulf War saw the loss of the "genuine" picture, as it became impossible to distinguish between the photographed and computer-simulated image, thus making redundant existing notions of historical witness and challenging our assumptions about the meaning of images in our culture.

Finally I would like to mention the following code from an anonymous "hacker," which I found on a Situationist list.

  • Hackers share and are willing to teach their knowledge.
  • Hackers are skilled. Many are self-taught, or learn by interacting with other hackers.
  • Hackers seek knowledge. This knowledge may come from unauthorized or unusual sources, and is often hidden.
  • Hackers are tinkers. They like to understand how things work and want to make their own improvements or modifications.
  • Hackers often disagree with authority, including parents, employers, social customs and laws. They often seek to circumvent authority they disagree with.
  • Hackers disagree with each other. Different hackers have different values, and come from all backgrounds. This means that what one hacker is opposed to might be embraced by another.
  • Hackers are persistent, and are willing to devote hours, days and years to pursuing their individual passions.
  • This Code is not to prescribe how hackers act. Instead, it is to help us to recognize our own diversity and identify.
  • Every hacker must make his or her own decisions about what is right or wrong, and some might do things they believe are illegal, amoral or anti-social to achieve higher goals.
  • Hackers' motivations are their own, and there is no reason for all hackers to agree.

    One of the fascinating things about Open_Source_Art_Hack is the excitement of discovering of each other's different points and existing differences, which had as a result to bring together diverse and distinctive artistic voices and aesthetic practices by artists from different cultures, backgrounds and social concerns. Their propositions have challenged our perception about art when art meets with the tactical, direct action, public, digital domain and traditional, formal aesthetics.

    SD: To quote from the introduction to the exhibition:

    According to the Jargon File—-part Bible part open source dictionary for net culture--hacking has many different and often opposing meanings, from the mundane to the esoteric, from "research" to mischief to crime.
    Originally, a quick job that produces what is needed, but not well. 2. n. An incredibly good, and perhaps very time-consuming, piece of work that produces exactly what is needed. 3. vt. To bear emotionally or physically. "I can't hack this heat!" 4. vt. To work on something (typically a program). In an immediate sense: "What are you doing?" "I'm hacking TECO." In a general (time-extended) sense: "What do you do around here?" "I hack TECO." More generally, "I hack `foo'" is roughly equivalent to "`foo' is my major interest (or project)". "I hack solid-state physics." See Hacking X for Y. 5. vt. To pull a prank on. See sense 2 and hacker (sense 5). 6. vi. To interact with a computer in a playful and exploratory rather than goal-directed way. "Whatcha up to?" "Oh, just hacking." 7. n. Short for hacker. 8. See nethack. 9. [MIT] v. To explore the basements, roof ledges, and steam tunnels of a large, institutional building, to the dismay of Physical Plant workers and (since this is usually performed at educational institutions) the Campus Police. This activity has been found to be eerily similar to playing adventure games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Zork. See also vadding.
    At first glance, Open_Source_Art_Hack presents an equally broad array of practices from tactical portscans by Knowbotic Research to the "data aesthetics" of RSG’s Carnivore to the gameplay of Josh On’s Anti-wargame. In every case, however, while the content of a work may be more or less overtly political, the process of its creation intersects with the ideology of open source to suggest and model a world view that is often referred to as the public domain and the digital commons.

    Today, as more and more of the world of ideas--from everyday phrases to irreplaceable genomic data--is copyrighted, trademarked, patented, licensed, and otherwise legally controlled by corporations and governments, the curiosity and daring of the hack combine with the ethics of open source to challenge this "fencing" of the intellectual commons to try and promote a robust public discourse that is a minimum requirement for a creative and flourishing society.

    First posted May 8, 2002.
  • Bare Code: Net Art and the Free Software Movement
    Josephine Berry
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      R E L A T E D _ L I N K S   
  • Carnivore
  • Jenny Marketou
  • New Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Cue P. Doll
  • Knowbotic Research
  • CAE
  • Harun Farocki
  • LAN
  • Surveillance Camera Players
  • Linux
  • NetArtCommons
  • Futurefarmers
  • r a d i o q u a l i a
  • OSAH
  • Steve Dietz
  • spoofing
  • hacking
  • cracking
  • searching
  • extracting
  • open sourcing
  • Open_Source_Art _Hack
  • new media artist
  • McKenzie Wark
  • David Cox
  • Knowbotic Research
  • Minds of Concern :: Breaking News
  • Medi@terra 2000
  • Jon Ippolito
  • Hacker Manifesto 2.0
  • RSG's Carnivore
  • Electronic Disturbance Theater's Floodnet
  • Major Edwin Howard Armstrong
  • GI Pirate Radio
  • Free Radio Linux
  • To have Done with the Judgment of God
  • Siegfried Zielinski
  • Mediations: Archaeologist and Transformations in the Electronic Sphere
  • The Three Princes of Serendipity
  • The Surveillance Camera Players
  • specially adapted plays realized with puppets and signs directly in front of the cameras
  • Institute for Applied Autonomy
  • Hactivist's
  • Maptivist
  • Female Extension
  • Mongrel Tate
  • Keith Obadike's
  • TM Clubcard
  • RTMark's Whitney Biennial 2000 free-for-all
  • Critical Art Ensemble
  • Minds of Concern
  • Stefan Wray, 1998
  • Banff,
  • Alexei Shulgin
  • Vuk Cosic
  • irational.org
  • ®TMark
  • CAE
  • Mongrel
  • Etoy
  • 0100101110101101.org
  • plagiarist.org
  • Heath Bunting's seed kit
  • Jack Burnham's "Software"
  • Anti-wargame
  • TraceNoizer
  • the clone has been put on line
  • CueJack
  • Eye/Machine
  • http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jar gon/html/entry/hack.html
  • Breeder
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    OSAH: A Conversation
    Jenny Marketou + Steve Dietz
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    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

    Ornithology is for the birds as criticism is for the artists. -- trude. ;-)

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