Sam Kronick presents at LABoral The Slow Internet Cafe

The winning project of the call Next Things 2014, announced jointly by LABoral and Telefónica I+D, will be showcased from September 26 to October 19 at the Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial de Gijón

Published: Sep 26, 2014
Sam Kronick presents at LABoral The Slow Internet Cafe

Kronick offers those visiting LABoral free WiFi connection and recommends visitors to bring their own smartphones or laptops with with access to WiFi networks in order to fully enjoy the Cafe. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

The American artist and technologist Sam Kronick invites the public to connect at The Slow Internet Café, a space installed at LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial where it is possible to see what happens to information when it travels from one device to another in a global network of unthinkable magnitude.

Kronick’s proposal has been selected as the winning project of Next Things 2014 – Personal, The Third Global Challenge on Art and Technology, a joint call by Telefónica I+D, an R&D firm of  Grupo Telefónica, and LABoral. This call is aimed at combining art and technology and unleash the huge potential of mixing creativity and the vision of artists with the powerful open hardware technologies.

Sam Kronick proposed, with the organisation that he founded in 2013,  The Consortium for Slower Internet, developing a series of wi-fi routers that run a firmware that intercepts and alters in a creative way the information flow that passes through them. In addition to modifying the software that runs in each router, during its production residency at LABoral and at Telefónica I+D in Barcelona, he has re-designed the casing of each device using materials and shapes that present them as visually appealing objects to furnish our homes. The resulting objects will be showcased at LABoral in The Slow Internet Café, a space where visitors can see what happens to information when it travels through the network through several devices.

According to the artist, “Eventhough we prefer to assume that everything that is communicated on the network in a conversation between two people simply fades away and disappears in the murmur of cyberspace, we have recently heard news that prove that our data are actually manipulated by governments and great corporations”. However, in his opinion, a high speed Internet, spectacular and subject to obscure corporate control can be avoided.

In The Slow Internet Café one can choose between several open WiFi networks. Each of these enhances, filters and alters the flow of information in a different way. The algorithms defined by the equipment processing the information between users are far from neutral. The wifi network of the Installation amplifies this political and social conflicts with the purpose of allowing us realise that other virtual worlds are possible.

Kronick offers those visiting LABoral free WiFi connection and recommends visitors to bring their own smartphones or laptops with with access to WiFi networks in order to fully enjoy the Café.

Workshop on Micro Web Sites
Moreover, on Saturday, September 27, from 10 a.m to 7 p.m., Sam Kronick will be conducting a workshop under the title Micrositios web. Pequeñas redes con pequeños dispositivos, where participants will analyse situations where it could be possible to choose tools of applications of networks of a smaller scale than the Internet.

The modern computing tools offer extraordinary possibilities, but often they force us to accept a communication speed and scale that can only be generated by the internet.

Participants will learn how to use OpenWRT, an open firmware for routers and simple and low cost WiFi access points. This way is possible to create micro web sites and applications accessible only for users that are physically located within the reach of the WiFi signal.

During an intensive day participants will learn the knowledge needed to set up the hardware, and then develop the micro-sites individually or working in teams. This will enable the development of blogs, newsletters, services for sharing files or shared calendars for houses, businesses, associations or networking spaces.

More information:
http://www.laboralcentrodearte.org/en/education/micrositios-web?set_language=en

Dates:
Exhibition: 26.09.2014 – 19.10.2014
Workshop: 27.09.2014
Coproduction: LABoral Centro de Arte and Creación Industrial (ES), y Telefónica I+D
With the collaboration of: Cogersa

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