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Freedom Portal


Tim Shaw & Sebastien Piquemal

Installation les samedi 20 Août après-midi et dimanche 21 Août après-midi

Installation on August, saturday 20th afternoon and August, sunday 21st afternoon

Freedom Portal 

Wi-Fi networks populate our urban environments and create intersecting boundaries within physical space. These territories provide us with new and interesting topographies especially if we consider the creative potential of these new spaces.

Captive portals provide a temporary gateway to the Internet, generally a place for businesses to harvest data but for us a place to provocatively host digital artworks. With this we creatively explore captive portal technology as a place to embed artwork in public space.

This curated collection of artworks will exist in the urban environment around Nantes hosted on small autonomous Wi-Fi routers. Each work is available through a web-enable device (smart phone, tablet or laptop). To access the piece connect to the Wi-Fi name related to the artwork and a captive portal will appear on screen.


Sébastien Piqumal – wlandalisme

This piece allows participants to vandalize the public Wi-Fi space by posting a small message of less than 32 characters. Once submitted their text will appear as an available network in that area.

To submit your own message connect to the network “wlandalisme”, open a web page, write a message and click on the button to post it. If you fail to post, check that you are still connected to the “wlandalisme” Wi-Fi and try one more time. Then open your phone’s settings to display the list of available Wi-Fi networks in the area. Your message might take a little while to appear.


Tim Shaw – A Peeling Hotspot

Church bells have dominated the French soundscape for hundreds of years. Bells were traditionally used for worship, communicative and timekeeping purposes allowing the communities around the bell to share a common notion of time and space. How do contemporary networked technologies create commonality of space and time?

This piece extended the sounds of the bells of St Clement church on Rue Maréchal Joffre. Using a collection of field recordings made of the church bell the associated webpage plays sound every 15 minutes, collected devices will playback a randomly assigned recording creating an intertwined array of sound sources.


Tom Schofield – the WiFi comes from

‘ the Wi-Fi Comes From’ takes a live image grab of the router at the time of accessing the network. Instead of allowing access to the wider Internet the router remains locked in a self-referential and exhibitionist cycle. The time of access is presented to the user referencing the complex temporal interdependencies of networked technologies.


Antonio Roberts – Freemium Basics

“If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold”. This phrase said by Andrew Lewis aka blue_beetle
in 2010 should make any user wary of using free services. The promises of corporations offering “exclusive” “premium” gifts – loyalty cards, free wifi, vouchers etc – is that it will make your life better, easier, help you, help others, and ultimately make the world a better place.

By accepting these “gifts” we give permission to these corporations to enter our lives, track our social, spending, and general living habits. With this information they can greatly influence the opinion and habits of us and our social circles. These free “gifts”, then, come at a price.

Using Free Basics (previously as its target, which is Facebook’s failed attempt to gift “free internet” to India, Freemium Basics sheds light on the dangers of clicking “I Accept” on free services without considering the costs.