FLOSS & ART - Blower


BLOWER - a reactive installation that takes webserver logfiles and represents search terms by fan airflow and so transforms abstract notions into a corporeal medium.

BLOWER deals with statistic logfile analysis and data representation. The installation is connected to the internet and automatically determines through a perl script the search terms employed to find a a specific web host. The first 150 search terms are connected to 300 stacked fans. Popular search terms create stronger airflow than less popular. Starting from the question what are the terms people search for, one finds oneself in one of the rare situations where visitors disclose their wishes and desires. Thus the motivation for the website visit can be identified quite easily. Through BLOWER the exhibition audience can experience this statistical data material directly. Additionally the data is send by Bluetooth to the visitors' mobile phones.

Every user of a website leaves behind data traces, no matter if they are human or software (like search engine robots). These traces are recorded in the logfiles. Through the evaluation of these protocols one can infer how the website is used. Though a logfile analysis cannot reveal anything about the actual quality and content of the transferred data, it still gives a measurable tendency of the meaning of words. For example a logfile analysis can provide an indication of how socially relevant a website is. A central point of BLOWER is to artistically explore how the technical procedures and basic principles, which are used for example in marketing for statistical visualisations, are represented. The combination of accurate statistical methods and accelerated air flows presents itself as absurd theatre and at the same time as a critique of ubiquitous data visualisation.

Markus Decker works since 1995 on noise, techno and audio-visual experiments.

Karl Heinz Jeron has realized internet projects in the context of art and culture since 1993; until 2005 in collaboration with Joachim Blank. He creates hybrid projects which deal with the internet and the information society and span the physical space in form of objects, installations and events. From 1999 to 2006 he was a lecturer at the University of the Arts in Berlin. His works are exhibited nationally and internationally, amongs others at the ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica Linz, Documenta 10 Kassel, ICA London, Walker Art Museum Minneapolis.

As an artist Us(c)hi Reiter works on conceptual and performative setups using electronic and analog media. She works together with different groups and artists since 1998. From June 2005 Reiter runs the non-profit cultural backbone organisation servus.at/Kunst & Kultur im Netz (www.servus.at) and researches Free/Libre/Open Source Software in the frame of art and cultural production.