ryan griffis
Since 2002
Works in United States of America

Ryan Griffis currently teaches new media art at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He often works under the name Temporary Travel Office and collaborates with many other writers, artists, activists and interesting people in the Midwest Radical Culture Corridor.
The Temporary Travel Office produces a variety of services relating to tourism and technology aimed at exploring the non-rational connections existing between public and private spaces. The Travel Office has operated in a variety of locations, including Missouri, Chicago, Southern California and Norway.

Eavesdropping 101: How NSA snoops

The ACLU has provided a primer on how NSA probably eavesdrops on electronic communications:

The NSA is not only the world's largest spy agency (far larger than the CIA, for example), but it possesses the most advanced technology for intercepting communications. We know it has long had the ability to focus powerful surveillance capabilities on particular individuals or communications. But the current scandal has indicated two new and significant elements of the agency's eavesdropping:

1. The NSA has gained direct access to the telecommunications infrastructure through some of America's largest companies
2. The agency appears to be not only targeting individuals, but also using broad "data mining" systems that allow them to intercept and evaluate the communications of millions of people within the United States.

The ACLU has prepared a map illustrating how all this is believed to work. It shows how the military spying agency has extended its tentacles into much of the U.S. civilian communications infrastructure, including, it appears, the "switches" through which international and some domestic communications are routed, Internet exchange points, individual telephone company central facilities, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). While we cannot be certain about these secretive links, this chart shows a representation of what is, according to recent reports, the most likely picture of what is going on.


The Social Event Machine

Event organizing. Over the past year many experiments with conferencing formats took place. They were aimed at escaping the same old predicaments. People are fed up with the orthodoxy of traditional, hierarchical proceedings of keynote speakers, panels, and unconcentrated topical orientation! There is the soporific style of delivering a 30-page paper to an audience that could have read this text online beforehand. Paperism! There is the work-shy re-inscription of yet the same players of the virtual intelligentsia over and over again! Peeps and masters! Why look at proposals of the “young nothings


Tax the Rich!

Jason Van Anden:

Tax the Rich!

"Tax the Rich" is an online political campaign/net artwork created to diffuse the taboo that surrounds this very loaded phrase. It is being presented on the liberal blog The Huffington Post, and is part of a Contagious Media Festival. This net artwork uses humor to bring the phrase "Tax the Rich" into the common venacular. After visiting the following link, you can help me acheive this goal by passing it on to everyone and anyone you think will enjoy it.


An official press release describing "Tax the Rich" can be found here:

I am taking requests for the randomly presented blurbs - please feel free to email me if you have a good idea!

Jason Van Anden



According to James Nachlin, New York City's streets are full of interesting and potentially useful things that have been thrown out.


If you like to snoop around garbage and dig up something good, snap a picture of it with your camera phone, add a description + location and email it to GarbageScout. It will be added on a Yahoo Maps for others to go and fetch it (treasures include so far: a rowing machine, a mirror, candy canes an electric heater, etc).

To keep up with the latest from the bins, there are even feeds.
I think the idea is brilliant, i remember arriving in a new flat, new city and thinking "if only i could find one discarded chair to make do until i'm settled and want better furniture."

Via Glowlab.


Answers.com makes money off the unpaid labor of Wikipedians

Answers.com profits of those of us who contribute to Wikipedia! Many talk about the potential of free, user-driven web spaces. Sharing blossoms! Free Culture flourishes! Knowledge repositories like Wikipedia have hundreds of thousands of contributors who believe in what Yochai Benkler called the unregulated commons. Complaints surfaced when BBC allegedly put up a fake entry in Wikipedia to promote one of their programs. Yesterday In an online search I came across the fact that Answers.com plugs into Wikipedia. I was stunned! "Answers.com is an ad-supported reference search service, which displays concise answers drawn from over 100 encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries and atlases." I have not read any complaints about this feeding practice yet. This is surprising as the online-many who put their blood, sweat and tears into creating all these Wikipedia entries surely did not intend for their labor to be commercialized by the Answers Corporation. (Answers.com is "ad supported").

In the Wikipedia entry for Answers.com it states that: "Advertising revenues in March totaled approximately $91,000 in comparison to revenues of $16,000 in January and February. For the second quarter of 2005, revenues rose to $424,552 and in the next quarter rose to $563,576, a 33% growth." The economies are comparable to that of Google. (Google Base is a good example. But also Google Video milks the content provided by the many online.) Search engines as leeches? One thing is clear-- money is made from our voluntary, unpaid participation in centralized web-based databases.