The world of devices that screen flows - of light or sound, of water or information - their attraction, their impact, their strengths & vulnerabilities
NETS Project CoordinatorsValerie Kirk
SUBSCRIBING TO NETWURKS
Up to 100 participating artists/students can dialogue here about Nets - with their posts and comments - by joining Netwurks.
A post doesn't need to be too polished in the first instance. It is a simple matter to return to radically edit it later if desired.
It is a simple process to add images and videos, however, to avoid clogging the blog, an accessible image gallery can also be maintained on a personal website, the link to which can be included in a relevant post.
Ongoing help with using Netwurks can be provided. Difficulties encountered and general queries can be posted to the blog.
THINKING ABOUT NETS
The function of any net is to separate defined items of interest from a specific flow. They are intrinsically mysterious.
Is the function of a facial veil to screen out or to invite the external gaze?
Blinds and net curtains are covert street surveillance systems, sometimes revealing pretty images, other times odd behaviour. If insiders leave the light on, they are exposed and the outsider hidden from view.
When do those nets that are being strung across the flows of cyberspace - the 'firewalls' - change over from being defensive (stopping 'incoming') to being aggressive? How can the misdeeds of their creators be detected by the outsider?
Nets of lies and half-truths are woven over events, winding up as 'history'. Before becoming spoken words, means of expression are continually modified by a host of personal and institutional restraints.
Micro-nets block contagions. Fishing nets haul in 'by-catch' (marine 'collateral damage') with their targeted prey. Good nets, bad nets?
June 9, 2009
'GREEN DAMS' - THE NEW CHINESE 'NETS'?
China's authorities currently block overseas-based sites they disapprove of, such as those relating to Tibetan independence, or the Falun Gong spiritual movement, with a mesh of filters and keyword restrictions, widely known as the 'Great Firewall'. Control over domestic servers is applied through instructions to content providers and search engines, which must self-censor to stay in business.
Computer makers in China have now been instructed to pre-install blocking software on every PC hard drive from next month, under a government push to control access to the internet. A new software – called 'Green Dam Youth Escort' – potentially adds a powerful new tool at the level of the individual computer. It updates a list of forbidden sites from an online database, much as network security programs automatically download the latest defences against new worms, trojans and viruses.
The related software developing companies have long-term working relationships with the Public Security Bureau and the People's Liberation Army.
For more, see:
My 'Nets' project work includes control and prevention of the flow of information by various surveillance systems - including the above. More generally, I'm intrigued with metaphors and analogies that derive from connections between all types of working nets.