Paranoid dot-matrix printers

0azaprint12.jpgLittle Feet Bureau LLC is a Kafkaesque corporation named after Mao-Zedong’s army of gossipy old ladies recruited to eavesdrop and rat on potential enemies of the state.

From the press release: Four paranoid dot-matrix printers output endless text on paper. The system combs internet traffic looking for people linked to “dangerous information”. Every time a machine finds keywords that seem to threaten the stability of a client government, it crafts an individualized letter addressed to the offender. Sometimes, the letter accuses and threatens legal action. At other times, it summons the offender “in for questioning.” All letters warn of the legal consequences of telling anyone the letter they are reading exists at all.

Each printer focuses on its own area of surveillance. By studying a given machine, a pattern emerges– a pattern of paranoia. In its obsession to uncover hidden meaning, it will, invariably, confirm its own fears.

The piece attempts to situate itself at both extremes of the privacy/surveillance debate. One little foot is firmly planted in the hysteria of paranoia and conspiracy theory while the other is just as firmly rooted in the land of denial where benevolent governments “try the best they can”– with only the public good and safety in mind. Where the thought, “it can’t happen to me” still flows without repudiation.0azaprint.jpg

“Three printers are connected to a data-surveillance system,” told me Mushon Zer Aviv, one of the developers of the project. “Each printer is assigned to a different government and combs the same data-set in search for suspicious keywords, and so the Chinese printer searches for keywords like: falun gong falun dafa tibet tienamen square massacre freedom of speech human rights news western spy 007 free playboy …

The American printer searches for keywords such as: terrorism terror suicide saddam chemical biological anti-american mexican illegal immigrationdodging Tax intelligent life-form ufo e.t. space visitor french…

Our 3rd printer is assigned to the WTO, a super power in it’s own right: mayday socialist fair trade creative commons anarchist peer to peer hacker activist pollution anti-capitalism anti-global indimedia green no sweat free chavez squat…

We are hoping to include a 4th printer the next time we install little feet, this time for an ultra-liberal government not many people have heard of (since it’s fictional), we will serve it it’s own fears and paranoias.

The printers print an accusation letter or a summon to further investigation, mostly based on real documents and real keywords used by information agencies.”

0exampleoflettr.jpgExample of LFB letter

A project by David Nolen, Toshiaki Ozawa and Mushon Zer Aviv.

More print action: Wearable inkjet printer for street art, The Universal Digest Machine, Player Printer; De ponk‘s Printball, Video print installation, 3D printing, Corporate Sabotage, Office Live.