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Art has long been celebrated as an important frame for critical reflection upon contemporary life. In the post-industrial era however, complex tools, formal languages and hidden infrastructure increasingly influence how we communicate, move and remember; now an inextricable part of our Environment.
So it follows that to ignore the languages and ideas that comprise engineering - from Computer Networking and Programming to BioTechnology and Electronics - is to become unable to describe, and thus critically engage, the world we live in. While this presents a challenge for the traditional artist, it is one that an engineer not working in service to science and industry - a <i>Critical Engineer</i> - is able to meet.
In this lecture Julian will introduce projects and interventions made by himself and others that foreground Engineering, rather than Art, in the creative and critical frame, offering highly public insights into the hidden mechanisms and power struggles within our technical environment. Projects such as the invasive <i>Transparency Grenade</i>, <i>Packetbruecke</i> (a location-distorting tree of 802.11 radios) and <i>Newstweek</i> (a wall plug that allows the owner to manipulate news headlines read on wireless hotspots) will be introduced in detail.