[spectre] DailyPaywall.com Hacks major Financial Newspapers and
Pays You To Read them - Press Release
press.paolo.cirio at gmail.com
Sat Dec 20 03:44:27 CET 2014
Press Release, December 20th 2014. NYC - London.
Artist* Paolo Cirio* has hacked the paywalls of the most influential
financial newspapers - Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and The
Economist - breaking through their checkpoints every day to liberate over
60,000 pay-per-view items published over the course of 2014.
*Now, he redistributes this copyrighted content for free and pays everyone
to read it.*
His paid-to-read schema is a circular economic model in which profit
generated from huge amounts of pirated content is invested into informing
and educating the public about institutional crime and corruption, while
offering rewards to critical journalists.
With the massive amount of appropriated content, the artist has created his
own online and printed newspaper called Daily Paywall. He has edited 15
issues of his paper covering the main topics of our time. For each issue he
has selected featured articles which expose major economic injustices and
contradictions. Readers receive $1 for responding correctly to simple
questions relating to these articles, thereby incentivizing analytical and
critical thinking around the story.
The Daily Paywall newspaper is distributed on the Internet and in printed
versions disseminated in undisclosed spots throughout NYC in unauthorized
racks for free papers. See Daily Paywall newsracks in NYC.
Beyond advocating the open circulation of knowledge, the project proposes a
creative economic model designed for social and educational aims. The
visionary concept behind the artistic performance and these socio-economic
matters are introduced in his essay.
Don’t miss another recent project by* Paolo Cirio,** Global Direct*, which
outlines and campaigns for a new creative political philosophy:
*A few shows featuring Paolo Cirio in 2015:*
- Exhibition at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in U.S.
- Lecture at FutureEverything in Manchester, UK
- Incubation at NEW INC. studio in NYC
- Exhibition at Centre Culturel Bellegard in Toulouse, France
- Solo Show at NOME, contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany
- Exhibition at Apexart gallery in NYC
- Exhibition at ISEA2015 in Vancouver, Canada
*Current exhibitions with Paolo Cirio’s works:*
- Open Society Foundation in NYC
- DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague
- Palazzo del Governatore in Parma
*Critical text about Daily Paywall by Paolo Cirio*
A functional democracy needs an informed public. However, today access to
knowledge is controlled by for-profit industry, while information is
manipulated in its distribution and organization to maintain undemocratic
Daily Paywall proposes a provocative and conceptual economic model for the
media and publishing industry, in which the for-profit scheme of
information selling and consumption is reversed for democratic and
educational purposes, by paying readers to access and understand the news,
while directly rewarding critical content creators through bypassing the
interfering middleman’s agenda.
In creating Daily Paywall, tens of thousands of articles covering
developments in finance, economy and business have been stolen from the
mainstream corporate media in order to redistribute them for free,
ultimately extracting their value for reinvesting into motivating
socio-critical analysis. The articles are made available both online and in
print to those who would not typically have access to or be exposed to such
material, due to their inability to afford a subscription, or because of
how the media ranks the articles or simply as a result of the exclusionary
language employed by these news sources. At its core, Daily Paywall
proposes that access to this content should be more horizontal and
democratic in scope, encouraging and incentivizing consumption and
participation by those who are struggling financially, or who occupy a
lower class status, as economic volatility and increasing wealth disparity
ultimately impacts them the most.
Beyond promoting open access to knowledge, the project also makes a direct
provocation regarding the one-directional flow of capital in our current
information economy. This is achieved by incentivizing readers to read,
absorb, and respond to articles that expose flaws in corporations,
governments or other institutional entities.
The newspaper, Daily Paywall, provides a window into our modern time of
institutionalized economic exploitations, crimes and conflicts neutralized
in the global complexity and super power stakes. The articles are often
highly ideological and deceptive, yet they contain facts and details that
aren’t presented in popular mainstream culture, showing once again how
context can alter the intrinsic value and significance of information. This
project, in fact, aims to reconfigure structures of knowledge to unleash
new meanings, as well as their social and cultural functions.
By enticing citizens to become informed in exchange for money, Daily
Paywall radically shifts the current media paradigm of economic exclusion
by providing access and effectively engaging people in a form of public
discourse, disrupting contemporary social, economic and media orders, and
exploring alternatives to systems of distribution of knowledge. Besides
alluding to the media’s role in informing the public, Daily Paywall also
addresses the modern speculative industry of education, as paying high
tuitions discourages citizens from educating themselves. In opposition,
this new paid-to-learn model would empower everyone with financial means
and knowledge for greater human progress.
Daily Paywall integrates the highly exploitative and precarious
socio-economic order and radically reverses it with a visionary idea about
reformulating access to education and motivating social change. As a direct
provocation, with subtle ironies woven throughout, Daily Paywall does not
seek to redefine the media business, but rather presents a constructive,
artistic model for an alternative approach to the distribution of
information, education, income and labor. Even though business model logic
guides the structure of the project, sustainability and profit are not the
goal and have been sacrificed or challenged in favor of ethical,
philosophical and social revelations.
Today information flow is the means of exchange for valuing any economic
and social entity. Knowledge as an asset and information as currency
determine the current economic hegemony and social order. Thus, the
creative reconfiguration of the information flow is the ultimate political
and artistic practice which can transform and address modern society at
*The Media Performance*
The critical aspects of this experiment are recalled as a conflict over
information and social control. This conflict is reenacted as a performance
through the staging of a striking interaction amongst the actors that the
artist involved in the artwork, the corporate targets, the readers, the
journalists and the art world. During this temporary setting of the
performance, the participants are left to confront and discuss the
validity, legality and finality of the artwork.
With the proper timing and preparation, the performance eventually reaches
its apex with the social conflict becoming unresolvable, ending with the
dramatic suppression of the artwork itself which in turn reveals the real
power structures in place. Here, the artistic provocation of Daily Paywall
is most explicit and the media performance truly takes place, showing a
powerful rupture to the current restrictions over information concerning
the important issues that govern society.
Daily Paywall questions contemporary socio-economic dynamics and how they
can be rearranged as a form of art practice. This project proposes a direct
intervention into the power relations between corporations, media,
authorities, individuals and communities. As a mode of engaging and
participatory artistic performance, the project has the potential to create
symbolic and veritable ruptures within the operations of the financial and
information economies, and challenges our complicity with corruption and
inequality. As such, the project carries the ability to impact society at
large, which is what all socially engaged art, and we as citizens, must
*Essay by Paolo Cirio. 2014*
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