[artinfo] is there an art to corruption?

leon leon at c6.org
Mon Apr 26 16:43:06 CEST 2004

Now there is!


N.E.S.T - Network Examination of Serendipitous Transfer, 2004

The internet is an ordered place of ones and zeros, a logical exchange of
packets of data. Math exists everywhere in bytes, bits, addresses and code.
C6 has been creating chaotic content online for several years, and now
focuses attention on to the raw materials of earlier transmissions: The
search and interpretation of chaos online captured with a binary palette.

NEST is a network cooperation that examines the corruption of data transfer
in virtual space. This is achieved via a community of users passing an audio
file around in a ring. Connected by an unreliable method (UDP), the
communication becomes prone to corruption, much like the children's game of
‘Chinese Whispers’, where each client is linked to their closest
geographical neighbour. Passing a ‘virtual whisper’ around the internet,
each link in the chain can create new versions with each imperfect cycle. 

NEST evolves new audio and cartographic visualisations through errors in
data transfer. The constant re-occurrence of corruption causes a progressive
audio-visual creative process that the public can capture and upload to the
NEST web site. The software will be made open source later in the year to
allow artists to develop their own visualisations of the NEST data
structure, and these plug-ins will be further distributed via the web site. 

NEST is specifically designed for the poorly connected, its target being low
bandwidth users, rather than high bandwidth commercial connections. There is
an increasing technological gap between these two which is reflected in
available online content. Often technological or economic factors can limit
that bandwidth resulting in a compromise in the experience for both artist
and viewer. NEST uses lower bandwidths and the faults caused by them to
create new sound, open to the possibilities of random intervention.  

Users of all bandwidths are invited to experience NEST, however it is the
home users connecting via modems on out dated telephony networks that will
make the most essential contribution by causing the first corruptions to
filter around the NEST ring.

NEST consists of two software elements: A server that maintains users within
the ring and a client program that runs on the users’ machines passing the
audio data and updating the server with findings (the client is cross
platform). The server identifies the strengths of connections between each
user visualizing a map of quick and slow transfers within the ring. 

 “C6 is collective of artists who share a decisively anarchistic view of
life and sense of humour, C6 creates events from a heady mix of digital and
physical performance, anarchic stenciling campaigns and fine-art
propaganda.” 'Deep Sites' Intelligent Innovation in contemporary web design,
Max Bruinsma, Thames and Hudson, 2003. 
C6 - Creating chaos in an ordered world.

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