Tag Archives: grenade

Weaponising Transparency

And you thought WikiLeaks was radical….

Enter the transparency grenade: Assemble, pull the pin, and BOOM! voice and data flows are sucked into this ARM powered ‘grenade’ that anonymously streams the information to a server “where it is mined for information”.

Specifically, “Email fragments, HTML pages, images and voice extracted from this data are then presented on an online, public map, shown at the location of the detonation.”

Apps are in development your garden variety smartphones (for those unwilling to lob a faux grenade at a meeting) that will carry the same functional payload. The immaterial explosion of the weapon’s ‘effect’ suggests destruction. Of what is the debate.

The framing of warfare and weaponry for transparency is anarchistic and provocative, but is also a reflection of the current networked terrain. Julian Oliver, the artist who created the grenade is quoted as saying “The volatility of information in networked, digital contexts itself frames a precedent for clamoring (and often unrealistic) attempts to contain it. One could even say it’s this desperate fear of the leak that produces images like my grenade, images that will continue to take violent forms in popular culture, journalism and presidential speeches in time.”

Oliver understands himself as a Critical Engineer (complete with manifesto) who exposes by exploit the influence of what is not readily known. There’s a great writeup of Oliver and his projects at we make money not art.