Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ricardo Dominguez - Floodnet - Electronic Disturbance Theatre

Electronic Disturbance Theatre
An electronic company of cyber activists, critical theorists, and performance artists 
organize and program computer software to show their views against anti-propagandist and military actions. They believe that the internet should not be used purely as a means for communication and data exchange. Instead it is also a forum for direct action.

Why Electronic Disturbance THEATRE?

Basic idea taken from street theater practices/political rallies/protest/sit-ins but present it on a much larger and international stage, with the facilitation of macro-networks and non-digital forms of action

Electronic Civil Disobedience (ECD)
Term coined by Critical Art Ensemble - seeks to continue the practices of non violent, yet disruptive protest in electronic means

Ricardo Dominguez
Member of Critical Art Ensemble --> founded EDT --> principal investigator at Calit2 (California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology) at UC San Diego --> Associate professor of visual arts at UC San Diego (now)

The Flood Net 
- A computer-based program (available for download) and participatory website-jamming network, which allowed anyone with an internet connection to gum up the official sites of the US Border Patrol, White House, G8, Mexican embassy, and others, rendering them inaccessible.
- Works on the same basis as a real sit-in, where the protesters block the entrance to a public building of their oppressors and preventing access to the building.

Virtual Sit-In against Zapatista's oppressors
(Zapatista: a Mexican revolutionary leftist political and militant group)
Distributed Denial-Of-Service attack (DDOS)- during a virtual sit-in, hundreds of activists attempt to access a target website simultaneously and repetitively. If performed correctly, this will cause the target website to run slowly or even collapse entirely, preventing anyone from accessing it.

In response to the political assassination of Zapatista teacher Jose Luis Solís López, EDT's web browsers sent mass amounts of page requests to the server of the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, filling their error logs with lines of text drawn from Don Quixote, communiques from the Zapatista Communities, as well as from texts authored by the Critical Art Ensemble

Transborder Immigrant Tool
- By augmenting a low-cost Motorola phone with GPS and a battery of applications, EDT's goal is to help illegal immigrants complete safe border crossings by directing heavy-footed immigrants to safe routes, shelter, food, water, and friendly sympathizers. 
- "There's another teacher here at UCSD, Brett Stalbaum, who really enjoys traveling in the desert, but he has no sense of direction, so he developed what we call a Virtual Hiker Tool—a GPS you can wear on your wrist that always coordinates the most beautiful view, the most beautiful way to go, on the day you're traveling."

- Pay phone connected to a free Skype system - when Homeland Security drops Mexican laborers back over the Mexican border, the pay phone is right there for them to call home or wherever they want

"It's all interconnected—from the Critical Art Ensemble, to electronic disturbance, to the work I'm doing at BANG Lab today. It's all a single matrix of investigation and performance, which is quite fruitful in its horizons in an unexpected way."

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