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The Art of Revealing

Artistic response on surveillance and the deep web in the post-Snowden era

The Internet as we know it is just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath there lies another dimension of data, the ”deep web”. The deep web is that part of the world wide web not indexed by standard search engines. Since the Snowden revelations we know that intelligence agencies commonly use the Internet for mass surveillance, so this deep web has become the only ”free net”.

In parallel existence to the deep web is the ”darknet”, a term often used by the press to describe an anonymous peer-to-peer network, only accessible via certain software (e.g. Tor), which uses encryption to hide the user's identities. The darknet gained a lot of media attention when the virtual marketplace for illegal goods “Silk Road” was seized by the FBI in 2013.

Whistleblowers and journalists rely on the anonymous channels of communication offered by the structures of the dark web. Such technology is becoming a necessary tool for activists who fight political censorship and the repression of free speech.

These two facets of the global data network that we call the “Internet” have sparked a public discourse about Internet censorship and net neutrality.

More and more Internet artists are making use of the hidden potential of the deep web, engaging with themes of surveillance, privacy, code, anonymity, hacking and journalism. With a focus on the intersection of art, technology and politics, they deliver a creative response to recent events which are changing our world.

In this event, Addie Wagenknecht reports on the ”Deep Lab”, the traces of cyberfeminism and how to use drones to make art. !Mediengruppe Bitnik and hacktivist/artist Jacob Appelbaum, who recently collaborated with Ai Weiwei, speak about their position as artists and their creative response to new media. Both Appelbaum and Weiwei experienced direct political repression at the hands of the secret service because of their work.

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