Obieg No. 12: Speed of Guccifer
Edited by Krzysztof Gutfrański
Can hacking be viewed from a geographical perspective? How to present what by definition should remain invisible? Where does the borderline drawn by hackers lie between criminal activity and art?
We have asked authors from Central Europe and the Balkans to take on board hacking as one of the last vestiges of the fight for a free internet. Using archival material and a spectrum of viewpoints, they confront the vision of online speeds achieved by the most talented Central European hackers with the myth of the region’s “backwardness” and its compulsion to keep catching up with the West. This is a topical issue at a time when the greatest crisis in years has hit the European Union – with a resultant discussion about a two-speed Europe.
The inspiration and opening premise of The Speed of Guccifer is the development of cybercrime and its impact on the collective imagination in postcommunist Romania, as well as the perception of hacking as a means of redistributing the unequal opportunities for the future, in which this Central and Southern European asset has been overlooked. Romanian cybercrime has its origins in the reforms of the Ceauşescu regime, when the country decided to back information technology and computer programming, also expanding other new technologies of that era. During the free-market transformation in Romania and other countries in the region, hundreds of experts including high-caliber engineers educated in the preceding political system had little chance of finding a job and just as little control over their own future. The next generations, equally on the sidetrack of history, grasped the new opportunities that the World Wide Web and the new technologies brought with them. As a result, Central and Southern Europe have become an oasis of hacking and cybercrime.
Obieg is a bilingual online magazine devoted to art and culture. It appears in four thematic issues a year, available online free of charge, in Polish and English. It combines critique, in-depth theoretical texts, non-academic investigations, essays, and images.
- Contributors: Matei Rosca, Maryja Šupa, Viktorija Rusinaitė, Erin McElroy, Vlad Odobescu, Luka Frelihz in conversation with Ewen Chardronnet, Jaroslav Švelch, Palo Fabuš, Renata Ávila Pinto, Ivan Isaev, Voja Antonić in conversation with Spideralex, Benjamin Petersin conversation with Krzysztofem Gutfrańskim