Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathPublic Sphere_sicon: navigation pathPublic Sphere_s

icon: previous page

‹property› can be tested and contested. The notion that there are ‹no go› areas, that there are systems of exclusion and inclusion built into the surface of the city, is one that prompts the desire to navigate these borders and cross them—find the gaps in between. It is the hacker’s desire, along with the artist and entrepreneur, to be both aesthetic and political. The defining quality that historically hinges the core relationships around Irational.Org is an exploration of that desire.» [25]

In 1997 Baker questioned the boundaries of the economic public sphere with her project «TM Clubcard,» which pirated the loyalty cards of a British supermarket chain, Tesco, and created a kind of Web ring where people holding the cards could be rewarded for surfing to specific sites displaying the Tesco logo, if the club member entered her PIN number into a Web form. The site was eventually closed down through legal action, making explicit many of the property law issues that were to become increasingly prevalent in the ensuing years, challenging and redrawing the public boundaries of cyberspace.

In 2001 Keith Obadike began selling his blackness,


«an heirloom in the possession of the seller for twenty-eight years,» in the new virtual public marketplace of eBay. His descriptions of his Blackness—«This Blackness may be used for gaining access to exclusive, ‹high risk› neighborhoods; The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used while seeking employment.»— played with various stereotypes, which underlined the project’s connection to historical slave markets. Ultimately, eBay cut the auction short. This kind of censorship is presented by the corporation in question as being responsive to «community values,» but, in fact, it is what the Austrian group Knowbotic Research has dubbed a «legal bug,» which is discussed below.

Space As Public Art

Public Space is traditionally thought of as a site for installations and/or actions. With the advent of cyberspace, it has become another site for such work in the public sphere. Increasingly, however, the fabric of physical public spaces, not just what happens in them, is becoming hybrid, reactive, virtualized. This is happening with all of the traditional public spaces from

icon: next page