Kingdom of Piracy <KOP>
Online Exhibition

Acer Digital Art Center, Taiwan
Joint Curation: Shu Lea Cheang, Armin Medosch, Yukiko Shikata
Pilot launch: december , 2001
Onsite exhibition: March, ArtFuture2002

Kingdom of Piracy <KOP> is an online, open work space which explores 
piracy as the net's ultimate art form. Hosted by the Acer Digital Art 
Center [ADAC] in Taiwan as part of ArtFuture 2002, [KOP] will include 
links, objects, ideas, software, commissioned artists' projects, 
critical writing and online streaming media events. The exhibition 
will launch a pilot website in December 2001, and during the 
following three months the project's curators will begin a process of 
commissioning projects and written work. While remaining an online 
exhibition, the totality of the workspace will be presented on site 
in ArtFuture 2002, to be held in Taiwan in March. An edition of all 
works commissioned will be kept on the ADAC server as an open-ended 
online exhibition, whilst artists and authors will remain sole 
copyright owners of their works.

With the increasing shift towards an immaterial or 'weightless' 
economy, the concept of intellectual property rights has become one 
of the key battle lines of our times. IP is at the core of big 
industries from IT (including hardware and software) to entertainment 
(music, film and books) to pharmaceuticals and biotech. A handful of 
high profile cases such as Napster, DeCSS (DVD content encryption 
system), SDMI and the Russian eBook hacker recently arrested in the 
US have highlighted this battle.

The idea that IP rights should be rigidly enforced around the world 
through patent and anti-piracy laws is hotly contested by a growing 
alliance of researchers, open source developers, crackers and 
hackers, artists and intellectuals. The patent law applied on plants, 
seeds and other natural resources is further contested as biopiracy 
by environmentalists. The purpose of Kingdom of Piracy <KOP> is to 
consider the law and order provisions surrounding intellectual 
property in the context of geographical and cultural borders, and to 
examine the changes and challenges presented by information 

The concept of intellectual property rights has no history in Asia. 
The recent show destruction of millions of pirated CDs and DVDs in 
China, a preliminary to the country's entry into the WTO, does not 
change the fact that much of the Asian continent is still operating 
completely on its own terms. The burst bubble of dot-commerce in the 
early 21st century has plunged Taiwan and Asia's electronic supply 
industries into recession, keeping the divide between Western and 
Eastern economies as wide as ever. The Kingdom of Piracy will 
consider this digital divide, and its sustaining strategies, from a 
global perspective. Theorist Arthur Kroker speculated in 1994 about 
'digital abundance', imagining Taiwan as a tetra-gigabyte data 
heaven, 'the largest data storage dump in the virtual world' 
( <KOP> envisions a virtual free state outside of 
geography, time, corporate power and sovereignty; a decentralised, 
fragmented, immanent entity in which everyone can be an autonomous 

The Kingdom of Piracy is everywhere: on the fringes and in the 
mainstream high-tech economies, from Asia to Eastern Europe to the 
data havens of Sealand and hackers' garages in Silicon Valley. The 
digital commons is bathing in millions of MP3s and an endless supply 
of warez. Codes for appropriation, cut-and-paste, replication, 
sampling and remixing have long been established as artistic 
practice. <KOP> challenges artists, writers and practitioners to use 
these techniques to question, contribute to, analyse and otherwise 
address this growing Kingdom. It also asks them to become intimately 
involved in the processes of the Kingdom itself, a place in which all 
productions are part of an innately collaborative, derivative and 
intimately interconnected environment of intellectual 'properties'.

Sponsored by Taiwan's Acer Group and hosted by Acer's Digital Art 
Center server, Kingdom of Piracy invites allied crews of crackers and 
artists to plug into the supply lines of digital abundance. The 
<KOP>site will be an active public sphere for global data 
trafficking, descrambling and jamming. Commissioned works are 
encouraged to engage in acts of piracy for the causes of intellectual 
enhancement and poetic intervention.

:::::"A smart artist makes the machine do the work":::::::::::::::::::::::
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:::::::::::::::::::::: [ generator]: :
:Cornelia Sollfrank | Rutschbahn 37 | 20146 Hamburg | Germany ::::::::::::

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