minds of concern (New York version)
Minds of Concern, a project originally conceived as an exhibition for the New Museum, New York, 2002, consisted of an installation and a Net-based work. Using the Web interface of the Public Domain Scanner, visitors to the exhibition could select from certain groups on the project Website, such as movements or NGOs like Oxfam, the Freedom from Debt Coalition and COSATU, or media activists and artists who express critical views of global activities of the Internet community. Using the Public Domain Scanner’s virtual slot machine, visitors could «win» an NGO or an artist, as a mind of concern, and then can initiate network scans that analyze the security systems of the target server. These scans detect risk factors that make the server vulnerable to hackers or that can be used to determine whether the site is secure. The results of the scans were displayed in the exhibition using a light matrix that extended through the space, providing a visual indication of a server’s strength or weakness.
Today, the website Minds of Concern presents an archived version of the performance described above. The user can select an NGO to be scanned, but the website returns an archived scan done in 2002. The artists took this decision as they repeatedly encountered problems with networks that prevented port scanning as precursors to attacks.
http://krcf.knowbotiq.net/MINDS_NEWYORK/1MoC0.htm gives an account of such an incident at the New Museum in 2002.