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September 07, 2005

Vuk Cosic's File Extinguisher


For a Safer Internet

ICA's Digital Sudio, in London, is welcoming Vuk Cosic's XL L M Slovenia, his first solo show in the United Kingdom. Cosic is one of net art's pioneers, having coined early in the 90's the term net.art when referring to artisitic practices that use Internet and its specific characteristics as a creative medium.

The show will be on from September 6th until October 2nd and it will include projections of works forgotten in the artist's computer and done during what is now known as net art's heroic period. Besides these works, a new comission, specifically done to be shown at this exhibition, will be presented, called "File Extinguisher".

The new project, "web's first file extinguisher" as it is said on the site, was first done in 1998 but never shown. After that it was commissioned by Hamaca in Barcelona but that never materialized. And since Cosic had all the files, design and all, he decided to put it up for his show at ICA.

But what is this File Extinguisher all about? It is that, a simple File Extinguisher. Cosic departs from Paul Baran's memorandum on distributed communications network and assumes that this document was published with a tremendous omission. As he says: "Baran insisted that the true last line of defence of any distributed network would be a file extinguisher. However, he indicated this function with a red dot; due to the limitations of 1960s-era black-and-white printing, this key element was not visible in his publication. We can now recognize that today's internet vulnerabilities are a direct result of this tragic mishap."

So there you have it: Baran's model of distributed network, intended to survive an eventual nuclear attack, was published without something very important: the file extinguisher. But Cosic made that final step and created one. Now the internet is finally safe as Baran wanted. So if you have any files or websites you need to delete just use Cosic's new safety tool and extiguish them.

File Extinguisher, Vuk Cosic, 2005

commissioned for
XL L M Slovenia
ICA - Digital Studio
06 September - 02 October

Posted by luis at September 7, 2005 08:15 AM