for the last few months i've been working on a little commissioned piece
called Packet Garden.
here's a bit about it:
Packet Garden captures information about how you use the internet
and uses this stored information to grow a private world you can later explore.
To do this, Packet Garden takes note of all the servers you visit, their
geographical location and the kinds of data you access.
Uploads make hills and downloads valleys, their location determined by numbers
taken from the internet address itself. The size of each hill or valley is based on
how much data is sent or received. Plants are also grown for each protocol detected
by the software; if you visit a website, an 'HTTP plant' is grown.
If you share some files via eMule, a 'Peer to Peer plant' is grown, and so on.
None of this information is made public or shared in any way, instead it's used to
grow a private landscape, a kind of 'walk-in graph' uniquely shaped by the way
you use the internet. With each day of network activity a new world can be generated,
each of which are stored as tiny files for you to browse, compare and visit as
time goes by. You can think of packet gardens as pages from a network diary.
Packet Garden is an artwork commissioned by Arnolfini. It is developed using open
source software components and can be freely downloaded.
i'm currently in a BETA testing stage before the project goes live on February 1.
if anyone on the list is up for a little beta testing (instructions provided)
i'm very keen to hear from you. i have packages for Linux and Windows.
thanks to <http://marmoute.free.fr> i also have a package for OS X 'Tiger'.
you can get going straight away by visiting the project site and reading the page
in the extreme likelihood you hit a bug, don't hesitate to get in touch!
for those of you less game, i'll let you know when the stable version is released.
oh, and a belated happy new year to you all from an unnervingly mild German winter ;)
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