- The imperfections allow to identify a medium, in the style of glass becoming visible by the accumulated dusts and scratches.
- – Nicolas Maigret
Nicolas Maigret is an interactive artist who loves to experiment with the capacity and push the boundaries of technology.
Every single day, web searches, movies, videos, music, apps and porn fly through the ‘internet highway’. Content is silently shared by millions of people around the world through the comfort of their own homes. Maigret wondered what this ‘internet highway’ might look like and as a result of his curiosity, The Pirate Cinema Installation was conceptualized.
People from all around the world have access to information like never before. Peer-to-peer sharing, although controversial, is rampant. Users share files from their computer and the data is transferred in fragments onto someone else’s computer via Torrents on Piratebay.
In the installation, Maigret makes use of an automated data interception software of the same name that continually downloads the 100 most popular torrents on the Pirate Bay website. This software collects the geographical data information of the sender and the receiver of these torrents and the info is displayed on the screengrabs.
The data collected is then immediately projected in fragments onto a screen before being discarded. This is largely because downloading torrents is not a linear process. The completion of a file is done in a disorderly manner and at an an irregular rate.
As a result, it shows us the different aspects of hidden activity, the geography of peer-to-peer file sharing and the aesthetic dimension of its architecture. This depicts to us the amount and data and information dissemination in a world that is connected via the internet. The remote users are unknowingly creating an endless collage via what they chose to download from BitTorrents. This reveals to us the scale of the mass-sharing culture.
While peer-to-peer file-sharing of copyrighted materials is controversial, Maigret simply accepts file-sharing culture for what it is. In the end, ethics and ethos aside, The Pirate Cinema is indeed an interesting installation and experience.