CS: At this point, Jenny, I would be interested in learning more about your work.Can you give me an example of your way of hacking?
JM: In my my most recent work, I am creating artificially intelligent agents, bots, with hacking and tracking behaviors, which vary from IP snatching and reappropriating codes, to getting personal information from privately networked environments such as CUSEEME chat rooms. My goal is to develop website controlled, electronically based installations and environments that use transformational imagery to explore the fluidity of personal, cultural, and historical identity, and what kind of new coinage can be created through the open source agency of information hacking, classification, and snatching.
What has always interested me is the body, embodied and disembodied, its relation to space and time as well as the potentiality and meanings of embodiment within an environment built around and within communication technologies, with a special regard to the relationship between technology, body, and subjectivity - the alienation, dislocation and liquidation of subjectivity all experienced within networked environments.
CS: Can you give me a concrete example ?
JM: A good example of IP snatcher and code hacker is the artificial intelligence of CHRIS.053 the protagonist in my web based project SMELL.BYTES TM. SMELL.BYTES TM was originally conceived and produced as an on-line project, since the internet has become a fantasy generating dream machine for the wired man.
The project can be experienced part on-line and part as a hybrid physical environment through three panoramic streaming video projections. Through the hacking virtual persona of Chris.053 , SMELL.BYTES TM explores human subjectivity on the net. Chris.053 is an invisible bot and has been programmed to be driven by its insatiable olfactory desires, relentlessly lurking, and sniffing on the net and gaining unauthorized access to servers and IP addresses of participants in CU SEE ME teleconference environments and chat rooms on line.
Visitors can enter the "odor lab" on the SMELL.BYTES TM website to witness Chris.53's hacking virtuosity, peruse graphics based on the molecular structures and data of 7,000 odors and witness the constant downloading and processing of grabbed unaware human portraits. Accordingly, those with the most beautiful faces-the most symmetrical-are assigned seductive odors. The narrative of the interface scripting and design was based on my research on current studies at The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Urban Ethology, Vienna. The studies support that beauty and symmetry in humans is correlated to body odors. In other words,if you are symmetrical you are beautiful therefore you have beautiful body odors.SMELL.BYTES TM of course takes a critical stance on this kind of biological classification and Frankensubjectivity.
CS: What happens to the information ?
JM: The information from each CU SEE ME hacked participant has been processed and classified in the 'stinky gallery' as a series of numbers and corresponding odors.However the viewers do not not have access to the code. I do.
I created the video projections by appropriating Chris.053's hacking skills, and as an invisible agent, I can hack into IP addresses and access codes of teleconferencing networks, and also log on onto CU SEE ME chat rooms. Invisible and anonymous, I can join these chat rooms and download patches of live video streams from those teleconferencing participants on line. These patches are recorded, processed, manipulated and projected. As the viewer interacts with the website of Chris.053, the artificial intelligence simultaneously is surrounded by these stolen processed profiles of unaware participants. In SMELL.BYTES TM I have always felt that the author/artist of the project is really Chris.053.
Jenny Marketou is a new media artist who works with the net, video, installations and other media related artforms. She was born in Athens,Greece and is based in New York City where she has taught at Cooper Union School of Art and The New School.
Jenny Marketou currently is co curating with Steve Dietz, Walker Art Center , 'Open_Source_Art_Hack' at Z Media Lounge , New Museum of Contemporary Art, NYC which opens on May 2,2002. She has been part of the TRANSdance - e-lab / e-body research laboratory E-phos Festival 2001, Athens,Greece organized by Scott deLahunta (UK/ Netherlands) and she has collaborated with John McGormick artist, choreographer (Australia), Andreas Angelidakis, architect (US/ Greece) and most recently with Lev Manovich (US) The BREEDER #5 project.
Recently her net based installation project about surveillance was commissioned by Cornerhouse Gallery and Futuresonic, 2001, Manchester,UK and she represented Greece, in Sao Paolo Biennial 1998, Sao Paulo, Brazil She has been part of 'CTRL [SPACE], 2001 : the NET_CONDITION, 2000, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; the series in CalArts and MOCA in L.A. and Borderhack 02 in Tijuana, Mexico.
Shas received a grant project development from MECAD/the Media Center of Art and Design, Barcelona for research on Hacking and Net.Art, 2000-2001.
Published in: Catalogue 'terr@media - Game Patching and Hacking Sublime', FOURNOS, Center for Art and New Technologie, Athens, Greece, 2000;