Andreas Broeckmann on Fri, 21 Jun 2002 19:23:40 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> How We Made Our Own "Carnivore"

>1) artist-made diagnosic clients created by leading net artists around
>the world

what do these carnivore clients do? the engine replicates network
surveillance technology and the clients turn them into pretty images. is
there any level of agency involved? these 'diagnostic clients' come across
as _pure illustration_ and work best as screen-savers. what will be the
therapy that follows _this_ diagnosis?

i've said this before: i believe that it is grossly negligent to pretend
that somebody who looks at such an illustration understands anything about
the political background and impact of network surveillance systems. it is
all too slick and too pretty. in fact, the project would in my eyes first
have to prove that it is not exactly the kind of applied art project that
the FBI would commission in order to show how benign and in fact
_beautiful_ such control systems can be. i realise that the technology that
you have developed may be smart and differ from the fbi-carnivore - but
what are the chances that the clients will ever do anything more than what
they are doing now, in this important and prize-winning period? (maybe the
success should have been delayed?)

alex, you have to realise that it would be irritating and politically
counter-productive if somebody hyperbolically pushed a project called
ECHELON that would take feeds from all sorts of data streams and turn them
into ear-candy.

'Carnivore' - are we talking lions, wolves, dinosaurs? unfortunately and so
far, the flock of rsg-carnivores looks like dinosaurs on prozac, painted
pink and blue. the system may have teeth, but at least for the moment, it
has a digestive problem, for what comes out are not farts from hell, but
baby-poops. 'xcuse the language.



>instead of stumbling over technical details, perhaps the nettime
>community can engage in a deeper critique of the software and its uses?

if you are really interested in this critique, why then use this
feature-happy promo-language of 'leading net artists around the world'
pasted over the layer of stardom-bound 'rsg' anonymity instead of 'engage
in a deeper critique of the software and its uses'?
(maybe you could also point out the ratio of artists living in
NYC/USA/beyond of this 'around the world' artists group? out of the 11
projects mentioned, 2 seem to be from outside the US - belgium and italy;
i'm sure both these failed imperial powers will be glad to represent 'the
world' ;-)

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