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Carnivore
Alex Galloway, United States and
Radical Software Group (RSG),
Carnivore, 2001
Mixed media
Selected by: Christiane Paul and Benjamin Weil
Carnivore is a networked art project that takes its name from the software DCS1000, which is used by the FBI to perform electronic wiretaps and was known by its nickname “Carnivore.” The project consists of two parts: the Carnivore Server, a Windows application that performs packet-sniffing on a specific local area network and serves the resulting data stream via the Net; and an unlimited number of client applications created by artists, which tap into the data stream and interpret it in creative ways. While issues of surveillance are at the core of Carnivore, the project defies a simple classification of surveillance as either “good” or “bad.” As opposed to the original FBI software, it is an open system, allowing everyone access to the code and creation of a client that “aestheticizes” the data stream. The collaborative and open-source nature of the project embodies a central issue in Internet art.
Alex Galloway
ag@rhizome.org
www.rhizome.org/carnivore
Radical Software Group (RSG)