Pervasive Connections- Instructions included

Pervasive Connections was an event organised by SPACE Media Arts and Iniva 'focusing on opportunities for artists to work with new social technologies'. The day comprised of presentations, workshops and panel discussions and tickets were sold out, mainly to artists, arts organisers and producers. Let's Do Lunch by Take2030 which 'tracks Hackney's public access wireless nodes and its lunch menus along bus route 26 in the form of a series of documentary videos' was also installed in the Space gallery.

A recurring theme was artists' arguably halting adoption of wireless and locative technologies and the lag in their response to the cultural questions and opportunities they give rise to. Peter Chauncy, Space's wireless specialist and organiser of Bow Wireless Festival, pointed out that artists working with new and networked media are not necessarily in communication, either with each other or with the technical development communities, who have been hard at work in the capital for many years now.

Alexie Blinov (one of the Take2030 crew) expressed his frustration at many artists' reluctance to engage with the technology on a practical level, to even start to read technical instructions and more generally their defeatist and phobic attitudes in the face of unfamiliar terminology.

Torrent’s Effect on Hollywood

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently in the process of determining how people around the world will be using digital technology for file sharing. The case MGM v Grokster was heard in the court on 29 March, but its outcome isn't expected until June. The case has arisen from an ongoing bitter debate between the legality of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, which allows users to share the content of their personal computers. The people in favour of technology are concerned because if the court votes in favour of the entertainment industries, many new technologies that have nothing to do with file sharing may never be discovered.

Bit Torrent now devours more than a third of the Internet's bandwidth, and Hollywood has taken notice. The FBI’s Cyber Division claims that the theft of copyrighted material has grown substantially and has had a detrimental impact on the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, the MPAA and its international counterpart, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), estimate that the U.S. motion picture industry loses in excess of $3 billion annually in potential worldwide revenue due to piracy.[1]

Networks and Complexity

It seems clear that the first epoch of the 3rd Millennium, the Network Age, was already asserting itself in increasingly powerful ways by the early 1990s, if not sooner, through the literal reorganization of the social, political, and economic infrastructure around electronic networks.[1] Samuel R. Smith

Ideas and discussions about networks and complexity are increasingly important among the most diverse communities. These range from hippies to hard-nosed business people and from radical activists to right wing reactionaries and all shades of opinion in between. The discussions range from visions of a collaborative heaven to a hell filled with terrorists, paedophiles and copyright pirates.

Whatever the vision, most seem to start from the assumption that networks are in some way a new phenomenon or at least that they are much more significant now than ever before. They are seen as either the product of, or at least encouraged by, the recent explosive growth of digital media and particularly the internet. Few commentators on the subject explore the nature of networks, except to provide a small number of examples that suit their argument.

Feral Trade Coffee: A New Media For Social Networks

Feral Trade Coffee is imported by Kate Rich from Sociedad Cooperative de Cafecultores Nonualcos R.L. in high altitude El Salvador and traded along social networks. Whilst never actually calling itself art, this project reveals the social-context, texture and aesthetics of this venture in ‘new international trade relations’, with coffee as its medium.

I drank my first cup of Feral Trade coffee at the Risk Academy media lab at the CCA in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago. Every morning it cheered and revived academicians recovering from the previous nights’ excesses of Balvenie and Laphroaig. We’re told that this third shipment is a milder roast than the previous batches and having purchased a bag to drink at home, I can still taste the green in the bean at the top of my palate in this young, light bodied coffee,

New Blog to 'Shop' Tesco

New blog criticises growth of Tesco. Interview/news story with founder Dave Miller

The astonishing growth of Britain’s biggest supermarket has become the focus of a new blog. Supermarket-sweep-up.com was launched earlier this week by a non-affiliated “concerned consumer” who says he is worried by the rise and rise of Tesco.

The new blog, dedicated to the UK-based retail juggernaut, hopes to place greater public scrutiny on the company, which recently posted record profits and now accounts for nearly 30% of the UK retail food market.

Digital Government – Win or Loss of Privacy –

by Kalle Kormann

A the moment we are in a situation where information and communication technologies enter more and more the governmental world - not only for their internal use. In the future we will all be able to communicate - get in contact with the government easier, directly through the Internet. The term E-Government or Digital Government is used to describe this “new way”. The use of such E-Government Services and Systems should simplify and fasten the access to governmental information and data. We can listen, watch, vote, fill out forms, order, request things, get in touch, e cetera with/to our government. The whole body of the state becomes more transparent but also the citizens. All our personal information will be stored; now, everybody could know everything about the others. The information could be used against, for or by oneself or by the state. The question of security and trust needs to be solved, policies that protect our privacy, the control and accessibility of our personal information have to be defined.
With this essay I will talk about the question if Digital Government will increase or decrease the personal freedom belonging to the personal privacy issues. I won’t talk about every aspect of the Digital Government topic, because this would be too much for this essay.

Thank You: Networked Art in South Africa and New York

Thank you is an HIV awareness project which took place in Khayelitsha, South Africa, New York City and on the web. In early December 2004 the works were displayed on 2 computer monitors in 2 remote project spaces.

The Picture of Tony Blair

This website is a database-driven digital narrative experiment based on the classic Oscar Wilde book: "The Picture of Dorian Gray". In the original story, a young man, charmed by his own portrait, sells his soul to the devil in exchange for eternal youth and beauty. He is drawn into a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces, and over time it becomes monstrous. Finally he sees his portrait and is confronted by the horror of his actions.

The project explores how this classic story can be re-told in our times using new technology. In this new version of the story Tony Blair makes a deal with the devil, and hangs a portrait of himself in the attic of 10 Downing Street. Charmed by his own portrait, he exchanges his soul for eternal power, indulging his desires in secret, while remaining the trustworthy prime minister in the eyes of the public. Only his portrait bears the traces.

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