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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathSociety
BIT PLANE (Bureau of Inverse Technology [bit]), 1999makrolab (Peljhan, Marko), 1997UCOG-144; Urban Colonization and Orientation Gear-144 (Peljhan, Marko), 1996
insert_coin; Verborgene Mechanismen und Machtstrukturen im freisten Medium von allen (Espenschied/Freude), 2001VOPOS (0100101110101101.ORG), 2002

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the «Bit Plane,» a converted remote-control model spy plane, equipped with a video camera so that it can fly out over ‹enemy› territory and take pictures there. The first surveillance flight was conducted over Silicon Valley, California's «glittering heart of the information age,» in 1997.

But in the second half of the 1990s—at the latest after the publication of Duncan Campbell's ECHELON[56] report for the European Parliament in 1998—it also became clear that there are now many forms of surveillance and control other than video surveillance. The main things to be mentioned here would be data surveillance in particular, on the Internet among other places[57] («Dataveillance») and the use of biometric control techniques.[58] Various artistic projects have examined these new «post-visual»[59] surveillance options: they deal with revealing power structures in the sphere of electronic communications. For example, Marko Peljhan has been running his «makrolab» mobile research station since 1997. This works as a kind of private ECHELON system using all kinds of technical apparatus to map the «topography of signals»[60] across the electromagnetic spectrum. «makrolab» is equipped with broadcasting and receiving aerials that


pick up signals at various frequencies and record the data streams circulating there. In his GPS-supported, psycho-geographical performance «UCOG–144 (Urban Colonization and Orientation Gear–144)» (1996), Peljhan referred directly the dérive concept used by the Situationists. In the course of their «insert_coin» project (2000–2001), Dragan Espenschied and Alvar Freude manipulated the Merz-Akademie's proxy-server, successfully gaining full control of all its web and mail traffic and inserting their own material into it. The fact that the experiment remained completely unnoticed despite conspicuous manipulation suggested that the users had a low threshold of problem awareness. The Italian Net art duo, which for simplicity's sake also answers to «zero one dot org,» ceaselessly collects information about the two members and make it publicly available uncensored. For the project «VOPOS» (January 2002), the duo wore GPS (Global Positioning System) transmitters. These sent information about the artists' location to their website, which is available to the public at all times, at regular intervals. The data were transferred to city maps, thus constantly showing where the two artists were at the time.

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