[spectre] Newstweek at Aksioma Project Space, Ljubljana

Aksioma aksioma005 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 17:33:06 CEST 2012

Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, presents:

*Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev*
*Media-hacking intervention*

*Aksioma **|** Project Space*
Komenskega 18, Ljubljana

11 - 26 April 2012
*Opening of the Newstweek Bureau Slovenia: Wednesday, 11 April 2012, at 7

“ *Media is the nervous system of a democracy. If it’s not functioning well
the democracy can’t function.”*
(Jeff Cohen, Director of the Park Center for Independent Media)

*Newstweek* is a device for manipulating news on major news portals in the
country. In public places with free wireless access to the Internet, the
artists will build a small device into a wall plug, making it appear as
part of the local infrastructure. During the public intervention, the
gallery will be turned into a press center where visitors and agents will
remotely edit news read on laptops, phones and tablets without their users
knowing. Hotspots manipulable by *Newstweek* include cafes, libraries,
hotels, universities and city-wide wireless networks. In the Ljubljana
edition of the project, wireless hotspots with *Newstweek** transmitters
built in them will be at the **Bi-Ko-Fe** bar (Židovska steza 2, Ljubljana)
and **Kavarna SEM | Slovenski etnografski muzej** cafe (Metelkova ulica 2,

*Newstweek* * is one of the most insightful socially-engaged hacking
projects of the year. Last year it won the authors the prestigious Golden
Nica Prix in the Cyberarts category at the *Ars Electronica festival in
Linz, Austria. This year the authors will install the device into the Ars
Electronica Center as part of its festival collection, and before that they
will perform their public intervention in Ljubljana.

*Newstweek* emerges as a symptom of our increasingly corporatized and
mediated democratic reality. While news is increasingly read digitally, it
still follows a traditional, top-down distribution model and thus often
falls victim to the same political and corporate interests that have always
sought to manipulate public opinion. *Newstweek* intervenes in this model,
providing an opportunity for citizens to have their turn at manipulating
the media, “fixing facts” as they pass across a wireless network. In this
way *Newstweek* can be seen as a tactical device for altering public
reality on a per-network basis.

*Newstweek* also signals a word of caution, that a strictly media-defined
reality is always a vulnerable reality; that along the course of news
distribution there are many hands at work, from ISP workers, numerous
server administrators and wireless access point owners. Moreso, with the
increasing ubiquity of networks and their devices comes greater ignorance
as to their function, offering a growing opportunity for manipulation of
opinion, from source to destination (from server to screen).

*Julian Oliver* is a New Zealander based in Berlin. He has been active in
the critical intersection of art and technology since 1998. His projects
and the occasional paper have been presented at many museums, international
electronic-art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern,
Transmediale, Ars Electronica and the Japan Media Arts Festival. His work
has received several awards, ranging across technical excellence, artistic
invention and interaction design. Julian has given numerous workshops and
master classes in software art, augmented reality, creative hacking, data
forensics, object-oriented programming for artists, virtual architecture,
artistic game-development, information visualization, UNIX/Linux and open
source development practices worldwide. He is a long-time advocate of the
use of free software in artistic production, distribution and education.
Find out more at: *http://julianoliver.com*

*Danja Vasiliev* is a Russian born computer artist currently living between
Berlin and Rotterdam. Working with diverse methods, technologies and
materials Danja ridicules the contemporary affection for digital life and
questions the global tendency for cyborgination. Works of the artist often
described as *technological interventions*, be those hardware, software or
conceptual pieces. Famous recent works include a mechanical web-server that
is accessible over the Internet (“m/e/m/e 2.0”, 2009), Linux distribution
that joins and questions the concepts of Turing machines and Singularity
(“RE:buntu”, 2009), human-puppetry installation that disconnects bodies and
consciousnesses of its users (“Master/slave”, 2007). Network and Internet
technology, especially in regard to the *Network as the new World*, is the
latest affection of Danja Vasiliev. He is currently developing several
special devices that will become the new tools of a digital
interventionist. Find out more at:* **http://k0a1a.net/*

*In partnership with: *
Kavarna SEM, Metelkova ulica 2, Ljubljana

Bi-Ko-Fe, Židovska steza 2, Ljubljana

*Acknowledgements: *Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab www.ljudmila.org

*Production: *Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2012

Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Executive Producer: Marcela Okretič
Assistant Production: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Mojca Zupanič
Technical Director: Valter Udovičić

*The programme of Aksioma Institute is supported by the Ministry of Culture
of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.*
*Sponsor: Datacenter d.o.o.*

Marcela Okretič, 041 250 830, *aksioma4 at siol.net*
*Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana*
Neubergerjeva 25, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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