new museum exploration
From May 2 to June 30, 2002, the New Museum in New York city presents
the exhibition Open_Source_Art_Hack. Hacking practices, open source
ethics, and cultural production are explored in Open_Source_Art_Hack.
"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
In mainstream culture, hacking has many-mostly negative-connotations.
Acts of hacking can range from relatively harmless pranks, to those
that have economic consequences, to criminal actions. The activity
itself elicits both fear and fascination, and its aura of anonymity
and inscrutability makes it ripe for media exaggeration. Especially
after September 11, 2001, the usual official response to any kind
of hacking has been to indiscriminately codify it as 'cyber-terrorism,'
diverting attention from its significant social implications.
In an age of increased surveillance, rampant commercialization,
and privatization of everything from language, to biological entities,
to supposedly personal information, hacking -as an extreme art practice-
can be a vital countermeasure. Particularly when combined with the
ethics of the 'open source' movement, hacking represents an important
form of institutional critique. Originally devised as a process
for the community creation and ownership of software code, open
source offers abundant applications for artists -and the public-
because of its transparency and communality. Open source allows
artists to become providers of functional tools with which users
can create new forms of information aesthetics, modes of activism,
and content. Within this hybrid domain, they can intervene on- and
off-line, operating in public and hacking the private, alternating
or combining digital and analogue.
A group show of artists from the United States, Australia, Denmark,
Switzerland, and the United Kingdom who openly undermine the programming
of everyday software tools, Open_Source_Art_Hack features performances
by the Surveillance Camera Players and Critical Art Ensemble <http://www.critical-art.net/>;
an installation countering invasions of data privacy by Knowbotic
Research and LAN; an anti-war game by Josh ON of Future Farmers
omnivorous packet sniffing by RSG <http://www.usdept-arttech.net/release_04-24-02.html>;
a streaming media workshop by Superflex <http://www.superflex.dk/>;
a Radio Free Linux broadcast by radioqualia <http://www.radioqualia.net/>;
and an 'ad-busting' project by Cue P. Doll/®TMark <http://www.rtmark.com/cuehack/>.
Organized by Steve Dietz, Curator of New Media, Walker Art Center,
Minneapolis, and Jenny Marketou, artist, New York City, in collaboration
with Anne Barlow. >from *New
art in technological times. 2001