Few works in the last few years, apart from perhaps Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum’s Autonomy Cube, so perfectly blend the physical world with the deep web as !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s Random Darknet Shopper.
At the heart of this work is a random element: an algorithm buying things off the deep web (including ecstasy) and having them delivered to an exhibition space. The flair for all things arbitrary also popped up in !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s package addressed to Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, which contained a hidden camera that documented its own unpredictable journey to the Ecuadorian Embassy.
For its latest project, H3333333K, !Mediengruppe Bitnik—the artistic duo of Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo—introduced a new random element: glitch. The two applied a digital image error directly onto the façade of the House of Electronic Arts Basel (HeK), misaligning the façade’s element and, as they put it, “bringing disturbance to an otherwise settled structure.” […]