Here is the report of my Wi-Fi performance in Dublin, at the ReJoyce Festival, celebrating Bloomsday 100
Since its origins, the Web has known a tremendous development around libertarian ideas such as freedom of speech, sharing media, breaking barriers between producer / consumer or between artist / audience. On the other hand the core trend that is transforming the Web into one of the spearheads of new capitalism in the ‘age of access’ has brought a new situation of conflict: words, the very roots of what we are as speaking beings, have become a commodity, as described in one of my former pieces, the “Google Adwords Happening”: http://www.iterature.com/adwords
“Blood for Sale” is a wireless adaptation of my very first net.art piece, “epiphanies” http://www.iterature.com/epiphanies (inspired by James Joyce’s definition of the epiphany). It features the pervasive invasion of language by financial globalization. As James Joyce did 100 years ago, I walk through the city of Dublin, but with a Wi-Fi PDA, recording encountered advertisements of company logos or brands into an administration interface via the wireless network. These inputs are sent to a program on a server that uses search engines (Google etc.) to fetch sentences related to the input from the web. These sentences are known as “sponsored epiphanies”.
The program then allows these “sponsored epiphanies” to disturb and transform the text of Ulysses, by incorporating themselves into the text. The real-time evolution of the text is displayed and graphically animated, sentence by sentence, projected in different places in Dublin, as well as the present website. By the end of the performance, carried out over several days, the original text by Joyce (already partially encrypted for copyright reasons) is almost entirely replaced by the “sponsored epiphanies”.