Archive for May, 2021

Workshop SelfHosted by Critical Engineering Working Group

SelfHosted by Critical Engineering Working Group

10-11 December 2021 – 15:00-17:00 hours.

To attend you have to register. Please send us an email to piksel21(at)piksel.no
The workshop will be online through a BBB video chat. We will send the information on how to connect.

Decentralise! This 4 hours walks participants through the process of setting up their very own server on the Internet, complete with webmail, cloud, VPN, gallery and website services, scalable to hundreds or thousands of users.

Those interested in serving from home can bring in a PC to wipe and re-purpose as a low-bandwidth server on the Internet. Others wanting a high-traffic, media-rich solution will be encouraged to choose and register a geographically-local server package in class such that they can be guided through a complete install (typical monthly fees are 5 to 15 EUR).

Good server-side security practices are covered, from disk-encryption to password-management and firewalling. The basics of the UNIX command line are also taught such that participants can securely log into their server and administer it regardless of their physical location. It takes just one in a community to give the gift of high-quality, low-carbon Internet infrastructure – to free yourself and others from centralised and privacy-eroding services (like GMail, DropBox and Flickr).

No prior experience is necessary, although attention to detail and note-taking skills are important.


Workshop Hotglue by Danja Vasiliev and Sarah Grant

Hotglue by Danja Vasiliev and Sarah Grant

3-4 December 2021 – 15:00-17:00 hours.

To attend you have to register. Please send us an email to piksel21(at)piksel.no
The workshop will be online through a BBB video chat. We will send the information on how to connect.

Hotglue workshop
Building websites using Hotglue is fun – and a great, hands-on way to learn about visual design, markup language and hyper-links that power the web. But to do so, one – more so than ever – needs proficiency in the language of the web (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) in order to participate.

Hotglue is a FOSS “What you see is what you get” editor for the web.  At the workshop a free-to-use grass-roots service Hotglue.me will be used to allow quick hosting of webpages.

HOTGLUE Content Manipulation System is a unique tool for DIY web-design and Internet samizdat. System design is based on several fundamental rules primarily aimed at preserving visual homogeneity between editing and viewing modes. This structural transparency of HOTGLUE UI permits its users to disregard any separation of Content and Design and /ultimately/ to remove Design as such from their creative practice.

Danja Vasiliev and Gottfried Haider believe that modern web-users shall be given an easy yet powerful, online (in-browser) authoring tool for making exciting, personally distinct and otherwise odd web-pages. Page contents suddenly become something more then only text blocks and images; user begins to construct web-pages as multi-layered collages where textual is visual and vice versa. Web-pages made with HOTGLUE never look the same – each page is a new creation of its author.

HOTGLUE is written in PHP and Javascript (jQuery), it uses flat-files for storage and is compatible with Apache2 HTTP server.

Type: workshop
Length: 4h
Language: English
Additional considerations: max. 12 participants

Material and Technical Requirements
Participant materials: Laptop, internet connection


Piksel KidZ – STRØMFØRENDE TEKSTIL OG MYK ELEKTRONIKK

Piksel KidZ – STRØMFØRENDE TEKSTIL OG MYK ELEKTRONIKK

Oct 4th – 8thth – 10h-13h | 16-19h
Gratis verksted for barn/unge i alderen 8-18 år for påmelding: piksel21(at)piksel(dot)no

Vil du lage en t-skjorte med lys som blinker når noen gir deg et klapp på skulderen? Eller en veske som lyser opp når den blir for tung? Går det egentlig an å bygge elektroniske kretser med nål og tråd? Eller strikke en sensor?

Et introduksjonskurs for alle aldre i elektronisk tekstil og hvordan man kan designe egne enkle kretser.

Deltagerne får grunnleggende innføring i krets-tankegang, blir presentert for tekstile strømførende materialer og tekstile teknikker for å bygge enkle sensorer før de planlegger og lager en egen tekstil krets med LED-lys på t-skjorte eller veske.

1: Introduksjon

a) Hvorfor kalles det en “krets” og hvordan beveger strømmen seg i strømførende materialer

b) Bli kjent med materialene vi skal bruke, både tekstil og tradisjonell elektronikk

c) Hvordan kan man lage en tekstil sensor?

2: Eget design

a) Deltagerne tester materialene og prøver seg på å lage en sensor

b) Planlegging av eget design: tegne krets: både teknisk (hvilke komponenter hvor) og designmessig (hvilke materialer, broderi eller applikasjon, estetisk uttrykk på krets på t-skjorte)

3: Lage krets

4: Felles presentasjon av resultater

Hillevi Munthe

Hillevi Munthe er tekstilkunstner og lærer i grunnskolen. Hun har jobbet med elektronisk tekstil i eget kunstnerisk arbeid siden 2009 og som prosjektleder for det workshop-baserte prosjektet “Soft Technology” på Atelier Nord (2010-2013). I eget arbeid jobber hun med programmerbar bevegelse i tekstile materialer.

Elisabeth Schimana

Elisabeth Schimana has been working as a composer, performer and radio artist since 1983. She studied electro-acoustics and experimental music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, computermusic-composition at the IEM, Graz and musicology and ethnology at the University of Vienna. Her work concentrated for many years on space / body / electronic. She has ongoing cooperations with the Austrian Kunstradio. She also focus on research in the field of woman, art and technology. Elisabeth Schimana gives lectures and holds composition workshops all over the world.

Duration: 5 day – 3 hours/day
Age: 10-18 years old.
Exhibition: Bergen City

Piksel KidZ Lab is supported by the Norwegian Cultural Fund and Vestland Fylkeskommune.

2nd – 6th November – 10h-13h | 16-19h
Gratis verksted for barn/unge i alderen 8-18 år for påmelding: piksel20(at)piksel(dot)no

STRØMFØRENDE TEKSTIL OG MYK ELEKTRONIKK

Vil du lage en t-skjorte med lys som blinker når noen gir deg et klapp på skulderen? Eller en veske som lyser opp når den blir for tung? Går det egentlig an å bygge elektroniske kretser med nål og tråd? Eller strikke en sensor?

Et introduksjonskurs for alle aldre i elektronisk tekstil og hvordan man kan designe egne enkle kretser.

Deltagerne får grunnleggende innføring i krets-tankegang, blir presentert for tekstile strømførende materialer og tekstile teknikker for å bygge enkle sensorer før de planlegger og lager en egen tekstil krets med LED-lys på t-skjorte eller veske.

1: Introduksjon

a) Hvorfor kalles det en “krets” og hvordan beveger strømmen seg i strømførende materialer

b) Bli kjent med materialene vi skal bruke, både tekstil og tradisjonell elektronikk

c) Hvordan kan man lage en tekstil sensor?

2: Eget design

a) Deltagerne tester materialene og prøver seg på å lage en sensor

b) Planlegging av eget design: tegne krets: både teknisk (hvilke komponenter hvor) og designmessig (hvilke materialer, broderi eller applikasjon, estetisk uttrykk på krets på t-skjorte)

3: Lage krets

4: Felles presentasjon av resultater

Hillevi Munthe

Hillevi Munthe er tekstilkunstner og lærer i grunnskolen. Hun har jobbet med elektronisk tekstil i eget kunstnerisk arbeid siden 2009 og som prosjektleder for det workshop-baserte prosjektet “Soft Technology” på Atelier Nord (2010-2013). I eget arbeid jobber hun med programmerbar bevegelse i tekstile materialer.

Elisabeth Schimana

Elisabeth Schimana has been working as a composer, performer and radio artist since 1983. She studied electro-acoustics and experimental music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, computermusic-composition at the IEM, Graz and musicology and ethnology at the University of Vienna. Her work concentrated for many years on space / body / electronic. She has ongoing cooperations with the Austrian Kunstradio. She also focus on research in the field of woman, art and technology. Elisabeth Schimana gives lectures and holds composition workshops all over the world.

Duration: 5 day – 3 hours/day
Age: 10-18 years old.
Exhibition: Bergen City

Piksel KidZ Lab is supported by the Norwegian Cultural Fund and Vestland Fylkeskommune.


Critical Engineering Working Group EXHIBITION

Decoding Black Magic. Interventions in Infrastructure

Piksel Festival 2021
15th of November to 12th of December

Critical Engineers Working Group exhibition “Decoding Black Magic. Interventions in Infrastructure” will take place from the 15th of November to 12th of December 2021, showing well known artworks plus new works in progress by the artists Bengt Sjölén and Danja Vasiliev.
Black Book of Wireless (2020), Unintended Emissions (2019), Vending Private Network, WannaScry! [work in progress] and FakeDeeper – Portrait of three critical engineers (Bengt Sjölén, 2021)

Black Book of Wireless

The Black Book of Wireless is intended to be a book of the dark magic that antennas and radios is, with pages that are circuits and PCB trace antennas (copper traces on PCB material) and of which some examples are shown in this iteration. The piece tries to describe the physical connection between form and function in high frequency electronics such that all the traditional passive electronic components can be implemented with just the shape of copper on a substrate: a resistor being the thickness and length of trace, a capacitor a gap in a trace, a coil literally being a spiral or coil shaped trace and more obscure shapes like filters, couplers, transmission lines. The more obscure parts of this is things that are not fully understood or even if you can model and simulate how you think they will behave you have to try them out to see how they actually behave. For examples in the pictures see e.g. the UWB antennas that look like little faces or funny cartoon shapes and the fractal antennas with funny shapes and turns trying to maximize their length in a finite space or the Vivaldi antennas curved shapes where the maximum and minimum gaps between the copper bodies define the range of frequencies the antenna is tuned for while not even being connected the input – the input is on the opposite side of the PCB being coupled and in that way conveying the received signal.

Black Book of Wireless receives and decodes radio signals present in the local environment such as Air Traffic transponders for airplanes flying past, AIS transponders from ships, GSM communication between local cell towers and phones, Wifi communication between devices and base stations. Decoded information as well as description of other artefacts such as pcb trace antennas and a software radio system that can be a rogue GSM baase station (the white beagle bone and the white usrp software radio board with gsm antennas) is continuously printed on terminal style min screens distributed across the table.

Unintended Emissions (2019)

Wireless (802.11) Citizen Surveillance Investigation

https://criticalengineering.org/projects/unintended-emissions/

Inserted into urban environs, Unintended Emissions captures, dissects, maps and projects radio emissions invisibly shared by our portable wireless devices.

Unintended Emissions reveals meta-data such as make of device, networks the device previously connected to and Internet connection requests transmitted by the device out into the air, employing two arrays of directional Yagi antennae the project attempts to determine positions of Wi-Fi devices in the vicinity.

Similar to surveillance and tracking systems such as StingRay, Unintended Emissions places mobile Wi-Fi users on a 2D map indicating the kind of device user has, time of appearance, user’s network activity and other user-specific meta data. This information can be further analyzed to determine the user’s identity and movements within a locality and the Internet.

Using methods and technologies known to be deployed by federal, surveillance initiatives, the intervention seeks to engender a “healthy paranoia” in the interests of an increased techno-political subjectivity.

Vending Private Network

A vending machine for selling VPN internet access via gateways located four countries not involved in FIVE- NINE- ELEVEN-EYES internet surveillance program.

https://criticalengineering.org/projects/vending-private-network

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have come into increasing demand in recent years, providing route encryption through hostile networks. In China, Vietnam, Turkey and Pakistan they also serve to mitigate government censorship, such that foreign sites otherwise blocked by state firewalls are made available to VPN users (Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, activist sites and digital libraries being the most common).

Vending Private Network takes the form of a condom vending machine, such as those typically seen in public toilets, nightclubs and bars. Equipped with mechanical buttons, a coin-slot and USB ports, it offers 4 VPN routes, each with an animated graphic depicting the route as a fantasy destination.

Audiences are invited to insert a USB stick into the slot, a coin (1 pound or euro) into the machine, and to select a VPN destination by pressing a mechanical button. In doing so, a unique VPN configuration file is then written to the USB stick. Special instructions (in the form of a README.txt) are also copied, explaining how to use the VPN in a special ‘sheathed’ mode that evades detection methods (namely Deep Packet Inspection, or DPI) used by corporations and state-controlled infrastructure administrators. This is the only means known to work against state controlled firewalls.

Vending Private Network is especially designed for use in wealthy countries; only then can its ulterior motive come into play: leveraging economic and cultural privilege to benefit those less fortunate. With each VPN config paid for, another ‘shadow config’ is generated, to be later shipped to dissidents, activist organisations and others in Turkey, China, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iran (other countries to be confirmed) such that those that need it most can enjoy protection and access to the open web.

The coins inserted into the vending machine also directly fund the VPN running costs, whose tally is displayed on each screen of the vending machine. Should a particular VPN not have enough money deposited to pay for monthly server hosting costs, it is shutdown, with a white on black notice on the display that it no longer functions due to insufficient public funding. Should money sufficient to cover costs be donated the dormant server will boot back to life and public service continues.

Just as one might expect to see on a condom vending machine, Vending Private Network is adorned with the sticker “Get Protected”.

WannaScry! [work in progress]

WannaScry! is a video-conferencing server that operates from an exhibition venue and publicly displays and stores video calls conducted through it. Real-time and recorded video-chat are projected inside a Palantir*-like scrying ball.

*Palantir is a Techie Software Soldier Spy, Big Data’s scariest, most secretive unicorn in Silicon Valley1

https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/523667524

FakeDeeper – Portrait of three critical engineers (Bengt Sjölén, 2021)

Photo manipulation has existed as long as photography has existed. Recent research has leveraged machine learning to do things such as face swap to replace the face of a person in a video with another persons face or to be able to drive one persons face with the motion of another face thereby e.g. making it look like a persons says or a reacts in a way that they didn’t do.

With our visual culture, in news, politics, social media etc, the ultimate proof of that something actually happened, or what someone actually said, has for many decades been the moving image documenting the event – what used to be perceived as the unquestionable absolute truth.

We have now rapidly moved into a time where this is no longer the case, where images and videos are malleable and easily edited to misrepresent events, to literally put words in someones mouth that they never uttered, or place people at a scene in which they never were.

This obviously has far-reaching implications in a society that puts the ultimate trust in the image be it a surveillance camera, a news coverage or a video posted on social media. FakeDeeper demonstrates this in a simple and direct way by having the face of a visitor drive the faces on 3 still images making them move their mouths, pose and facial expressions as the visitor does in front of the camera in real time. The live situation also allows for weird deformations and glitches and the possibility to easily break the illusion in ways that a deliberate fake video production would of course edit away but then also hints at artefacts that can reveal the fake while also emphasizing how much can be done easily with readily available code, machine learning models and only still images and a webcam.

Current variant:

3 screens (or a projection) shows 3 faces. A camera tracks faces of visitors in the space in front of the three screens. As the system locks to your face the 3 faces on the screens start moving in concert as your face does – you control all 3 faces in concert, if you smile they smile, if you lean your head to the right they do to, if you open your mouth they open their mouths mimicking you. The faces can be glitched and deformed e.g. by hiding part of your face, make strange faces or turning it almost away from the camera making it hard for the machine learning system to catch the pose and expression on your face. This also means that typically as you turn and walk away from the camera the last frame would typically be a weird deformed and glitched triptyc of faces.


Critical Engineering Working Group

Critical Engineering Working Group

Piksel is glad to announce a special collaboration program with the Critical Engineers Working Group within the next 3 years. As a result, Piksel will host several exhibitions, workshops, and presentations led by CE components. The program will be developed within the Piksel Festival and Piksel Fest Spill activities along the years 2021-2023. Starting in November with an exhibition and 2 workshops. Stay tuned!

In 2011, a group of artists and engineers published the “Critical Engineering Manifesto”, since translated into 18 languages. In true avant-garde fashion, the “Manifesto” launches by describing Engineering as “the most transformative language of our time, shaping the way we move, communicate and think”, thus, it is the work of the Critical Engineer “to study and exploit this language, exposing its influence”. Further, a Critical Engineer “recognises that each work of engineering engineers its user”, considering “any technology depended upon to be both a challenge and a threat”. And so the manifesto unfolds.

https://criticalengineering.org/

Nearly ten years later, the relevance of the “Critical Engineering Manifesto” has only become more evident, as an ever-growing public becomes aware of the techno-political implications of using – and depending upon – integrated systems and complex, networked technologies. Today, one can find its 11 points listed on the walls of hacklabs, museums, engineering and media-art academies, and in a great many texts, the world over.

Around the manifesto, originally written by Julian Oliver, Gordan Savičić and Danja Vasiliev, gathered a larger group – the Critical Engineering Working Group – now including also Sarah Grant, Bengt Sjölén and Joana Moll.

Piksel will start a series of works inviting some of the representatives of the group Critical Engineering Working Group to work in Bergen.


  • 2 days ago

    Piksel
    For the first time, the Critical Engineering Working Group are opening their workshops to the online realm. It is a unique opportunity to join Danja Vasiliev and Sarah Grant this Friday and Saturday for the hands-on workshop using Hotglue. On the 10th and 11th of December Bengt Sjölén and Danja Vasiliev will work together again to lead the workshop Selfhosted. Join us sending an email to piksel21(at)piksel(dot)noWeb-pages made with HOTGLUE never look the same - each page is a new creation of its author.Hotglue by Critical Engineering Working Group / Danja Vasiliev and Sarah Grant3-4 December 2021 – 15:00-17:00 hours.piksel.no/2021/05/19/hotglueBuilding websites using Hotglue is fun – and a great, hands-on way to learn about visual design, markup language and hyper-links that power the web. But to do so, one – more so than ever – needs proficiency in the language of the web (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) in order to participate.Hotglue is a FOSS “What you see is what you get” editor for the web. At the workshop a free-to-use grass-roots service Hotglue.me will be used to allow quick hosting of webpages.HOTGLUE Content Manipulation System is a unique tool for DIY web-design and Internet samizdat. System design is based on several fundamental rules primarily aimed at preserving visual homogeneity between editing and viewing modes. This structural transparency of HOTGLUE UI permits its users to disregard any separation of Content and Design and /ultimately/ to remove Design as such from their creative practice.Danja Vasiliev and Gottfried Haider believe that modern web-users shall be given an easy yet powerful, online (in-browser) authoring tool for making exciting, personally distinct and otherwise odd web-pages. Page contents suddenly become something more then only text blocks and images; user begins to construct web-pages as multi-layered collages where textual is visual and vice versa. Web-pages made with HOTGLUE never look the same - each page is a new creation of its author. ... See MoreSee Less
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    2 days ago

    Piksel
    Did you know that you can still visit the Critical Engineering Working Group Exhibition `Decoding Black Magic; Interventions in Infrastructure´ at Kulturhuset 2, C Sunds Gate, every day 13-18h (apart from Mondays)?We will also allow private visits at other times with selected appointments. Let us know when is a good time for you to visit, and the bogeyman will be here waiting for you.Email for more detailspiksel21(@)piksel(.)no ... See MoreSee Less
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    2 days ago

    Piksel
    3-4 December 2021 – 15:00-17:00 hours.Web-pages made with HOTGLUE never look the same - each page is a new creation of its author.JOIN us at the HOTGLUE workshop by Danja Vasiliev and Sarah Grant this Friday and Saturday! We will learn to build decentralized websites using Hotglue. It is fun - and a great, hands-on way to learn about the otherwise hidden structures and exchanges that power the web. HOTGLUE developers believe that modern web-users shall be given an easy yet powerful, online (in-browser) authoring tool for making exciting, personally distinct, and otherwise odd web-pages. Page contents suddenly become something more than only text blocks and images; user begins to construct web-pages as multi-layered collages where textual is visual and vice versa. Web-pages made with HOTGLUE never look the same - each page is a new creation of its author.To attend send us an email to piksel21(at)piksel.no. The workshop will be online through a BBB video chat. We will send the information on how to connect. ... See MoreSee Less
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    3 days ago

    Piksel
    “Samizdat: I write it myself, edit it myself, censor it myself, publish it myself, distribute it myself, and spend time in prison for it myself”, Vladimir BukovskyThe term ‘samizda’ was coined as a word game by the Russian poet Nikolai Glazkov in the 1940’s. He included the note ‘samsebiaizdat’ (self-published) in the copies he types of his poems. HTML SAMIZDAT is a web creation proposal made directly from the browser, collective, open and instantly visible. Using the web as a support and canvas, it is proposed to create a joint site, a samizdat, through the appropriation of html code and multimedia objects. To do this, we will use the Hotglue tool, developed by Gottfried Haider and Danja Vasiliev, and worm.org.You only need a computer with Firefox browser installed to participate. Programming and code skills are not required.To attend send us an email to piksel21(at)piksel.no. The workshop will be online through a BBB video chat. We will send the information on how to connect. ... See MoreSee Less
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