Gordan Savičić and Bengt Sjölén

New Media Installation

Aksioma | Project Space
Komenskega 18, Ljubljana

11 - 27 September 2013

Exhibition opening: WED, 11 September 2013 at 7 pm

The age of printed maps is over. We are increasingly relying on network-capable devices in order to understand our geographical environment. We trust in what Google Maps tell us, when we get lost in a city we don't know. We check for restaurants and cafés nearby our location, and we use geo-localisation to know from our favorite social network where our best friend is spending the night.

The project Packetbrücke plays with the idea of simulating entire network situations by repositioning electromagnetic infrastructure/architecture into a different space. Wireless network packages are directly captured from a specific location and tunneled through the Internet to a remote location. In other words, geo-positioning data are mirrored in space. The project Packetbrücke literary injects a geographical space into another, effectively producing a new imaginary topography and, through this remediation, an “impossible reality”, as artist Julian Oliver puts it. It is like Situationism being rediscovered - not by humans but by their hand-held devices instead. The map is applied to another territory, and space navigation is suddenly and inadvertently turned into a dérive.

However, Packetbrücke is less a device for tricking geolocation services (even though it still does given the right circumstances) and more a device for manifesting the presence of a remote location.
The project demonstrates that positioning systems based on WLAN are a place for interventions but also at the same moment they are vulnerable to location spoofing attacks. This effect is especially interesting considering that an increasing number of our society, an ever-growing amount of devices are relying on wireless signals for localization, navigation and time-synchronization.

Formally speaking, the device resembles a sort of performance wherein the spectacle lies in its hidden architectural manifestation. Paradoxically, its manifestation through a sculpture (comprised of an excessive use of ethernet cables) emphasizes its topological dependence on the wired network topology.

During the exhibition, sender and receiver will be located in two different the areas in Ljubljana. At Aksioma | Project Space, mobile phones which usually use surrounding WIFI networks to determine their location will be “geo-hijacked” to make them “think” that they are located somewhere else. As a result, someone performing a wireless network scan will see network names belonging to a geographically distant location. And if he uses his phone or any other network-capable device in order to rely on where is the nearest bus station, restaurant or café, his device would be giving him wrong information.

Production of the exhibition:

Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2013

Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Producer: Marcela Okretič
Executive Producer: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Mojca Zupanič
Technician: Valter Udovičić

The programme of Aksioma Institute is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.

Sponsor: Datacenter d.o.o.

Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana


Gordan Savičić holds a BA in Digital Art and New Media from University of Applied Arts Vienna and and an MA from the Piet Zwart Institute. His participation in collaborative projects and performances have spun him through mental confusion and several countries, such as Austria, Croatia, Germany, Serbia, Switzerland, France and the U.K.
Bengt Sjölén is an independent software and hardware designer/hacker/artist based in Stockholm.