Herrema, R, Armitage, G, Kirves, M and Clark, G (2014) $echo.

Item Type: Artefact
Creators: Herrema, R, Armitage, G, Kirves, M and Clark, G
Official URL: https://www.thespace.org/artwork/echo
Date: June 2014
Funders: The Space

$echo was a web art application developed by Guy Armitage, Gavin Clark, Marko Kirves and Ron Herrema as part of the Hack The Space event (an ‘art hack’) at the Tate Modern on 14 June, 2014. Herrema did the sound design using Pure Data (Pd). The project was awarded first place in the event.

Hack The Space was run much as a conventional hackathon, involving the impromptu formation of teams after a series of one-minute concept pitches at the outset. However, in this case, the organisers (https://3-beards.com/) invited not only hackers but also a variety of creatives. The brief from The Space was to use data to create art. As the winners, $echo were awarded £4,000 in R&D money and an additional £12,000 for further development of the original artwork.

The web-based artwork involved leaving several servers unprotected and monitoring incoming attacks. Any attack originating from China triggered the display and sonification of one of the 5,196 names of the school children killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake - a dataset donated to the hackathon by artist Ai Weiwei. (Ai Weiwei has in the past read the names as part of a protest against the Chinese authorities, whose failure to construct safer school buildings he believed rendered them culpable in the tragedy.) The scrolling information on the left side of the screen shows the information regarding each attack. The project was also meant to raise awareness of government censorship and control of the internet, and of hackers’ ability to resist these forms of control. On a process level, the project raised issues of artistic vision that arise when authors from distinct domains (tech, IT, business, and the arts) collaborate on a single artistic project.

Keywords: hackathon, Ai Weiwei, commemorate, data, Tate Modern, The Space, cybersecurity, art hack
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Divisions: Bath School of Design
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2019 09:45
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 12:09
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