notes about 404.spam.machine

Posted by Rhizome | Thu Jan 25th 2001 1 a.m.

SHUT UP SPAM MAN

In this case, the man was a PHP script which send an email when a 404
error occur in x-arn.org website. The file that contain the broken link
is read by the script, and its URL is linked in the email. So, in fact,
the so-called spam is the result of a global activity in the net,
reflecting the kind of disorganisation inherent to updating process,
file moving and renaming, as a network movement origin.

REPETITION

According to the scripting nature of this experiment, the information
can appear repetitive , but is quite always different from previous
one. ( see user host adress, link referer and mostly in latest version
the translation of IP adress through open IP processor).

A real repetition is possible when the user understood the process and
play with it in a determined way, then a 'real spam' can occur , as a
repetion of the same. In fact it's still not strictly the same, the
noticed time (day-hour)is changing.

REVERSE SCORING

The script may also be seen as a 'reverse scoring engine'. Effective
links provided in emails put the user in potential position of
repeating an error, but often, the error is first time generated by an
unwitting user, captured by the process in a disappointing way. The
information he was looking for has moved or does not exist. This may
provoke a depreciating sensation about the target website, here
x-arn.org. Further, this information is not used by the target as a
private information which should bring it in a more effective strategy,
but is simply publicly dispatched. The ' ineffective scoring process'
may in an ambiguous way regenerate itself when 'spectators-victims'
become 'actors -creators' and , for example , place bad links pointing
to the target in their own spaces.

ARCHIVING IN CONTEXT

Using a mailing list such as RHIZOME RAW to experiment this, provide an
automated archiving process to the performance, but above all, it
localize the input in a 'cultural net.art scene ' context , and doing
so, explore this collective global mind. Reactions are not considered as
individual,but as an equilibrium which try to determine itself, fixing
some tacit rules, and experiencing ways to apply them.
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