Linda Hilfling Ritasdatter is an artist researcher examining the cultural impact of media and technological development as it manifests itself in asymmetric power structures. Linda‘s practice takes the form of humorous interventions reflecting upon and revealing hidden gaps in the existing structures. Her methodology is based on extensive research and field work which e.g encounters outsourced work and educational forces as well as engaging materials such as programming languages and outmoded technical apparatuses. Works range from software interventions to concepts for re-appropriating infrastructures such as ATM-machines or surveillance cameras to local-media platforms. Linda has presented and exhibited her work widely, among others at: transmediale/Berlin, Impakt festival/Utrecht, Tent/International Film Festival Rotterdam, Overgaden Copenhagen Institute of Contemporary Art, The Winchester Gallery/UK, Netherlands Media Art Institute/Amsterdam, HTMLles/Montreal, Piksel Festival/Bergen, Pikslaverk/Reykjavik, File festival/Brazil, Futuresonic/UK, Observatori/ES, Århus Kunsthal and SMK - The Danish National Gallery.
NOW WE HAVE HAVE PROOF!
Whenever we hear about yet another implementation of digital automation or artificial intelligence, we are basically hearing about algorithms that sort information and delegate actions in ever-expanding data environments. By feeding the algorithm with enough data, the rationale goes, it will eventually take the right decision, better than humans could themselves. My solo exhibition exhibition Now we have proof! is about the tendency to take the algorithm, data and their validity for granted. The central work of the exhibition is itself based on a simple algorithm that shows the arbitrary way by which one can set up a system to collect, compute and output information. This algorithm has been developed from a historical example of a simple numerological system and set to work on streams of RSS feeds, online information from various news sites. The result is not to be taken literally but rather paints a portrait of our often-absurd contemporary media environment, with its paranoiac and conspiratorial elements as well as its obsession with truth through data analytics.
Now we have proof! was the 3rd installment of my ongoing 'Endless Endtime'-project series on paranoia and information architectures.
BUGS IN THE WAR ROOM
In 1999, when the world was panicridden by the socalled millennium bug that threatened to cause the collapse of technologies worldwide, the American, Christian journal End Time published a numerical system allegedly proving that the word “computer“ could be translated to 666 the number of the Antichrist. My solo exhibition, Bugs in the war room accepts this combination of technophobia and doomsday prophecy at face value. I went to India to learn the extinct programming code COBOL, which despite being considered obsolete in the West still comprises a core element in the IT systems of banks and insurance companies. Using COBOL, I then coded a programme that continuously searches the internet for examples of “the Devil's work“, the results of which were presented at the exhibition.
Bugs in the War Room was the 1st installment of my ongoing Endless Endtime-project series on paranoia and information architectures.
ENDELESS ENDTIME : A COMPLETE INDEX OF ALL ELEMENTS LEADING TO THE END OF THE WORLD, VOL I∞
Endless Endtime : a complete index of all elements leading to the end of the world is an ongoing generative book project produced in collaboration with the Swedish experimental publishing project, Förlag Rojal. Every time 666 new letters have been generated by the algorithm, a new volume of the index is created. The books are published and distributed as hand-bound print on demand books. A crucial part of the project is my contract with Rojal, which is infinite.
A PUBLIC DOMAIN / ET OFFENTLIGT DOMÆNE
A Public Domain is a public installation and intervention within a wireless open network. The browsing experience is altered by filtering the content from words which are not literally in the public domain (ex. trademarks without regards to graphical representation). What is left is fragments and amputated information.
The project idea was awarded by the Danish Arts Foundation's 'Open Call for Art in Public Space' and funded for further development. A Benelux version of the project was made during my residency at the Impakt Foundation in Utrecht, summer 2011. A Norwegian version was developed for the Piksel Festival in Bergen, November 2011, a Canadian version was develped for HTMLles feminist festival of media arts and digital culture in Montreal autumn 2012 and the Danish version was exhibited as part of the Open Wire exhibition in Køge MaySept 2014. All versions are published in the public domain and can freely be downloaded from the project site along with information on how to set up and install A Public Domain yourself
Open Wire | Køge, Denmark | MaySept 2014
HTMLles festival RISKY BUSINESS | Montreal, Canada | Nov 2012
Piksel Festival | Bergen, Norway | Nov 2011
BLOCKBUSTERS FOR EVERYONE / KIOSKBASKERE TIL ALLE
In Kioskbaskere till Alle, e-book versions of current Danish bestsellers were modified and re-distributed, turning stories about sex and murder into conceptual poetry reflecting on the changed conditions of literature in a networked and digital public sphere. A public, which reveals itself as compromised by market interests, but where the Kioskbaskere til alle intervention ironically points towards possibilities of creating alternative publics through truncation.
Kioskbaskere til Alle was commissioned by Kunsthal Aarhus and developed as part of Kunsthal Aarhus‘s exhibition Systemics #2: As we may think (or, the next world library). The modified e-books were distributed through the project website and torrents. During the exhibition period it was possible to borrow physical versions of the modified books at Risskov Bibliotek. Display copies were presented at Kunsthal Aarhus.
Supported by The Danish Arts Foundation
Systemics #2 | Kunsthal Aarhus & Risskov Bibliotek | Sept-Dec 2013
THE ART OF THE OVERHEAD
The Art of the Overhead is a series of performative lectures, workshops, exhibitions and a festival celebrating artistic expression in a medium that is almost forgotten in the age of digital reproduction: the overhead projector. In collaboration with Kristoffer Gansing.
FJERNSTYRING / REMOTE CONTROL
Fjernstyring is a critical reflection on participatory media through participatory media. The project is a TV program in its literal meaning: a series of simple, conceptual software scripts executing TV transmissions, where the code of each script in itself reflects on and parodies traditional models of democratic organization. The transmission space of tv-tv, a Danish, artist run TV channel is extended into the living room of the TV viewers. Through a web interface the viewer becomes able to remote control the entire TV transmission. However, the participation process in Fjernstyring is never a smooth open access, but rather a patch work of negotiations mirroring conflicts between the individual participants as well as a given mode in control.
Fjernstyring was supported by the Danish Arts Council and the Danish Arts Foundation in 2009 and realised as a series of participatory tv-programs transmitted at the artist run local tv-channel, tv-tv, in Copenhagen until 2011.
SOUND & TELEVISION
A curational transmission art project exploring the performativity of television in light of the challenges brought about by a converging mediascape. Signal, noise, liveness and flow along with standardized production formats are all aspects of the television medium which are reshaped in digital, networked media. Rather than a stream-lined sound-image of digital convergence, Sound & Television strived to act as a springboard for an aesthetic "media-clash" reflecting on the political-aesthetic of old and new media forms. During six half-hour long television transmissions, a group of Danish and International artists developed performances where the transmission itself became the artwork. The performances all reflected on different significant aspects of the changing conditions of broadcasting.
Sound & Television was co-curated with Kristoffer Gansing. We invited artists who work with the materiality of audiovisual flows to realise performances exploring the performativity of television: not live on TV, but live as TV. With Rosa Menkman(NL), Jacob Kirkegaard(DK), Vicky Bennett(UK), Sven Konig(DE), Aymeric Mansoux(FR) and Democratic Innovation(DK).
My own contribution to the series was the design of the web site and flyer (1000 pcs). As a generative design the flyer offered 1000 unique compositions for making a television set 'interactive' again, using the low-tech means of a remote-control, scissors, scotch tape and the Sound & Television-flyer itself.
Calculating Danmark was a zeitgeist comment to how Second Life was being branded on its economical possibilities, to such an extent that even nation states felt it was important to join the global venture of the Californian online Disneyland. In 2007 the Danish state joined the hype of the Second Life economy by creating the Island ‘Danmark‘, set up and run by the Danish Tax Ministry. This virtual Denmark reminds Danish Second Life entrepreneurs that the virtual economy is as real as any other and therefore also taxable. But how large is actually the Danish money flow in Second Life?
The calculating machine connected to statistics at SL‘s webpage and continuously calculated the average amount of money being spent by Danish users in the virtual world. The resulting data was added together and printed by the machine on a receipt roll - a very small amount of money but a lot of paper spilling on the floor.
Calculating Danmark was a joint collaboration with Kristoffer Gansing. The project was commissioned by Taggingart and exhibited at the Danish National Gallery February 2008.
Did you agree to the Terms of Service? You probably did. The countless click-and-agree contracts populating the Web are veritable gate keepers of the gated communities making up todays Web 2.0 culture. You need to agree in order to get access to a given service, but did you ever take the time to read through any of these contracts? As an artistic intervention, the software tool, Gate Peepin' circumvents online structures of control by allowing its users a poetic and absurd peep into the regulations governing our current internet culture. By interweaving users contents with strings from the terms of services the meaning of both regulations as well as website contents are turned upside down.
Gate peepin' was produced during my residency at the Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam, September-December 2008.
The publication GATEPEEPIN' was produced for the 'Speaking Out Loud' exhibition at NIMK, nov 2009-jan 2010. It was distributed freely to the visitors.
Speaking Out Loud | NIMK - Netherlands Media Art Institute | Nov 2008- Jan 2009
Participation 0.0 documents an intervention in Second Life carried out in spring 2007 where the 'Terms of the Service' were being brought back into the virtual world. Second Life's Terms of Service was broken down to quotes and published on billboards placed on different sites, private as well as public, within the world. It took 112 billboards in order to post the entire Terms of Service document. When clicking on a billboard the user would be taken to SL's official Terms of Service web site. The billboards could be seen as a kind of temporary juridical graffiti, since after a while they were in most cases deleted by the Second Life land 'owners'. The video documentation is a journey through the Terms of Service, through Second Life. It reveals a ghostlike space: empty streets, empty playgrounds, empty shopping malls and empty houses for rent - a virtual suburbia enforced by a strict regulative framework.
Misspelling Generator is a software browser extension intervening directly within the Google search engine, allowing users to take advantage of the informational grey-zone of misspellings. An act of accidental activism - by writing variations like 'tianamen' and 'tiananman' the isolation politics of the Google spelling corrector is subverted and the Google' selfcensorship circumvented.
Misspelling Generator was commissioned by IMPAKT, Utrecht 2007. I won the prize as best young designer for the artistic software at the International Design Biennale in Saint-Etienne, France, in 2008.