Naked bandit/here, not here/white sovereign

Global information technologies are producing new territorial principles of order and new logics of space, as well as constituting forms of transnational power and sovereignty. They have created zones in which legal status can be suspended, in which citizenship is invalidated, in which the assumption of innocence is thrown away.

OrleansInstall7_300.jpgNaked bandit/here, not here/white sovereign allows visitors to symbolically intervene in the process.

In the installation, an autonomous flying robot (a helium filled blimp)controls and attacks black balloons, the naked bandits, without any technical control devices, which are detained and kept captive, floating in space. They serve as well as targets and as orientation and navigation patterns for the sovereign robotic logics characterized by processes of zoning, scanning, filtering, profiling, detecting and targeting. Visitors can contaminate the logics of this autonomous flight machinery through constructing obstacles in space via their physical presence (serving as additional targets) and making the sovereign space more and more un-navigable.

But my favourite work by Knowbotic Research has to be Minds of Concern: Breaking News which investigates the borders of what is and what is not legal in the (US) public domain after patriot act, and they try to seek out the areas of friction between an active construction of the public domain, the expansive US legal system.


Visitors can select Minds of Concern —groups, artistic media activists, movements, or NGOs such as Oxfam, Freedom from Debt Coalition, or COSATU— that are engaged in critical global activities inside our networked society. By clicking a name in this list —either in the installation or on the website, visitors trigger a set of network processes that investigate the security conditions of a different server and evaluate whether it is secure or open to hacking attacks. The software processes are transformed and externalized through light and sound signals in a kind of “Alert Zone” in the gallery space, as well as through textual data flows in the installation.