Hacking as Artistic Practice

!Mediengruppe Bitnik about their recent works

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!Mediengruppe Bitnik are contemporary artists. In their talk they will show two examples of their work, illustrating the translation of hacking from the computer field into an artistic practice. Bitnik will show how to hack the opera in ten easy steps and what happens when you send a parcel with a hidden live webcam to Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Using the strategies of hacking, !Mediengrupppe Bitnik intervenes into settings with the aim of opening them up to re-evaluation and new perspectives.

«Opera Calling» was an artistic intervention into the cultural system of the Zurich Opera. From March 9th to May 26th 2007, audio bugs, hidden in the auditorium, transmitted the performances of the Zurich Opera to randomly selected telephone land-lines in the city of Zurich. In proper style of a home-delivery-service, anyone who picked up their telephone, was able to listen to the on-going opera performances for as long as s/he wanted through a live connection with the audio bug signal. The Zurich Opera launched a search for the bugs and in a first reaction threatened to take legal action if the transmissions were not stopped and the bugs not removed.

«Delivery for Mr. Assange» is a live mail art piece. In January 2013 !Mediengruppe Bitnik sent Wikileaks-Founder Julian Assange a parcel containing a camera. Julian Assange has been living in the center of a diplomatic crisis at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012. Through a hole in the parcel, the camera documented and live-tweeted its journey through the postal system, letting anyone online follow the parcel's status in real-time. !Mediengruppe Bitnik regard this work as a SYSTEM_TEST. Would the parcel reach its intended destination? Or would it be removed from the postal system?

Talk ID
Saal 6
7 p.m.
Art & Beauty
Type of
!Mediengruppe Bitnik
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Last revision: 2 years, 1 month ago