Following the open call, the selection panel, chose the following artists to participate in the Self as Actor: Colonising Identity exhibition.
Garrett Lynch (IRL), Ben Grosser, Jennifer Gradecki & Curry Derek, Andreas Papallas, Marlene Ronstedt, Alexia Achilleos,Tyler Coburn, Hazel Soper, Sid and Jim (Jim Bicknell-Knight, Sidney Smith), Anxious to Make (Liat Berdugo & Emily Martinez), Christina Smiros, Baris Parlan, Lanfranco Aceti, Maria Alexandrou, Kammari Research Group (Sakari Laurila, Lau Lukkarila, Niklas Toivakainen) In addition to the open call artists, Adam Harvey will be represented with a selection of posters from his series Think Privacy.
Garrett Lynch (IRL) was selected for the NeMe residency. During his residency NeMe will provide the artist with the academic and other local connections which will assist his research in Cyprus and will organise a series of talks at 3 Cyprus universities and the NeMe Arts Centre.
Lynch is an artist, lecturer, curator and theorist. He has a PhD on networked art from South Bank University, London, England and he has taught on several new media courses throughout England and Wales. His current research and practice focus is exploring the thesis that networks are a transformative factor in contemporary art practice. Recently most active in live performance Garrett’s networked practice spans online art, installation, performance and writing.
Of particular interest to NeMe is his critical work which hacked HEK’s (Haus der elektronischen Künste – House of electronic Art) audience award voting platform, reminding us all of the dangers arising from our blind reliance on digital platforms. Lynch wrote:
Since 2016 HEK in Basel have organised a net-based award for art that employs the “Internet as a platform for artistic activities”. In addition to a jury prize, an audience award is voted for by internet users on HEK’s website. Votes are cast through Pinpoli, a web-based poll system, that can and has been easily hacked in the past. The poll was hacked in 2017, presumably by one of the artists nominated for the award, with first and second places surpassing other nominations by over 1400 votes. Yet for the 2018 award HEK continue to use the same flawed polling system.
As a consequence, the award is reduced to little more than a fixed popularity contest. It is discussed on social media with derision, users and artists wonder not which artwork will win but instead which hacker or bot will dominate the voting. This is unjust to nominated works and does not raise the credibility or profile of net-based art.
In the last week of voting I deployed a clicking application through TorBrowser to cast over a thousand votes. It raised several of the poorly performing nominations above the winning nominations and arbitrarily selected one to win by an exaggerated number of votes. The intention was to undermine HEK’s confidence in their poll, confound the process of selection of the audience award and hopefully sufficiently embarrass HEK to abolish it in coming years.
It must be noted that following the hack, HEK has cancelled the audience award and announced that a more secure method will be investigated for the future. The video below demonstrates Lynch’s hack in action.
This project has been funded with the support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.