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Bluejacked Social Networking

By Rhizome

Generative Social Networking (GSN) is a brand developed by artists Christian Croft and Andrew Schneider. For now, it manifests as a software and performance piece which presents the company's main product: A service that enacts the dormant centralized social network you hold in your pocket and makes its members 'talk to each other.' This network is your cellphone's contact list and to make it less centralized, GSN simply takes the network's hub (you) out of the picture. How does one subscribe to the service? You don't. All you have to do is leave Bluetooth enabled on your cellphone and GSN will find you and download your contact list, using Linux 'bluejacking' software. Now you're ready to do some social networking! GSN's Asterisk VoIP telephony server lets your contacts work for you. A demonstrational video on GSN's website manages to evoke both absurd parody and absurd terror as the program automatically forces one person's contacts to call each other and 'communicate' with recordings of previous calls. Six calls into this invasive cycle and the experience is like aggressive tickling--you can't stop laughing but you just want the nightmare to stop. GSN reveals the terror of communication breakdown. It aggregates these moments of fear that every wrong call introduces, but this time you can't dismiss it as a system error, since you are in on the secret. System malfunction is this system's intent. - Mushon Zer-Aviv

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