Don't Touch That Dial!

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Surveillance culture isn't a new thing really. Remember the Cold War - nuclear proliferation, international espionage, all that? Well now you can experience all those feelings of alienation and paranoia but with a new media twist. Brought to you by Turbulence.org, founding member of New York based C505 Yoshi Sodeoka's Prototype #44, Net Pirate Number Station takes you back to the Cold War era when shortwave radio anticipated the internet's capacity for anonymous, surreptitious worldwide communication. The 'numbers stations,' it is believed, were used by military powers to broadcast coded number sequences to spies in the field. Delivered in a repetitive monotone, usually by a female voice, the eerie transmissions developed a cult following and infiltrated the arts through jazz and electronic music. Sodeoka's project uses the numbers stations as a model for a tongue-in-cheek, James Bond Meets Kazaa critique of new art culture itself, in which text "pirated" from websites is converted into numbers and delivered to visitors by three prerecorded video host personalities. Cold, detached, and just boring enough to be interesting, this station might be the new big thing. - Peggy MacKinnon