Newstweek by Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev is part of the exhibition “Print error / publishing in the digital age” proposed by Alessandro Ludovico, for the Jeu de Paume virtual space.
The work of Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev has evolved through the domains of « hacking » and « art », co-authoring the manifesto of « critical engineering » (which fosters the importance for contemporary society of using and manipulating technologies). Both the artists have developed their own careers with a solid knowledge of technologies and networks, showing multiple instances of their illusory power in representing reality.
« Newstweek » is the peak of different attempt by them to penetrate the world of art with the insecurity of networks (namely the Internet) and its huge potential repercussions. After a few partial previous projects it focuses on a specific aspect: deceiving the user while he’s consulting news updates in real time on major press websites in a public space, hijacking its wireless connection and then replacing the original pages with forged but perfectly plausible ones. The compulsive checking of updates is grounded on trusting professional journalist that should verify what can be read on the screen. But the fragile nature of the programmable and networked medium is reveled only between the lines, leaving the user wondering if the reality he’s reading about is the one he usually trusts.
Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev
Julian Oliver is a Critical Engineer and artist based in Berlin. His projects and the occasional paper have been presented at many museums, international electronic-art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern, Transmediale, Ars Electronica, FILE and the Japan Media Arts Festival. His work has received several awards, most notably a Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica 2011 for the project « Newstweek ». Julian Oliver has given numerous workshops and master classes in software art, creative hacking, data forensics, computer networking, object-oriented programming for artists, augmented reality, virtual architecture, artistic game-development, information visualisation, UNIX/Linux and open source development practices worldwide. He is a long-time advocate of the use of free software in artistic production, distribution and education.
Danja Vasiliev is a Critical Engineer currently residing in Berlin. Starting from year 1999 he was involved in many exhibitions, seminars and computer-art events around the world. Recently he has received a number of awards and mentions at Ars Electronica, Japan Media Art Festival, Transmediale. « … when a person gives self-control over to a computer and accepts the default options without a question, that person becomes a cyborg… »
Danja is studying Systems and Networks through experimentation with hardware and software. Using GNU/Linux platforms he engages in re-examination and exploitation of Network paradigms in physical and digital realms. Based on his findings Daniil creates and exhibits works of Critical Engineering, gives public workshops and talks.