Media Lounge
22 February-27 March, 2003

Joint Curation:
Shu Lea Cheang
Armin Medosch
Yukiko Shikata

KOP@FACT is made possible by the Foundation for Art & Creative Technology and the VirtualCentreMedia.net with the support of the Culture 2000 programme.


New Projects, 2003

[Artists' projects]
Frequency Clock by r a d i o q u a l i a
Nine9 by Harwood/Mongrel
last.fm by Michel Breidenbruecker. Felix Miller.
Martin Stiksel. Thomas Willomitzer


DIVE CD ROM and booklet with essays, software, links

Symposium: Friday, 7 March, 2-6 PM
BURN Party: Saturday, 8 March, 2-5 PM
Djs: Mukul, Shane Solanki
Special VJ guest: jaromil, dynebolic


Kingdom of Piracy <KOP> is an online, open workspace to explore the free sharing of digital content - often condemned as piracy - as the net's ultimate art form.

<KOP> was launched in 2001 in Taiwan and presented at Ars Electronica 2002 with 14 commissioned art works and 3 writing projects. KOP@FACT presents, in addition to those previously commissioned projects, 3 curated works, the installation BURN and the DIVE CD ROM and booklet.

KOP@FACT explores further the notions of shared networks and collaborative production. Artists and writers reflect on the definition of Intellectual Property (IP) in a digital networked environment, which has emerged as one of the central struggles to shape the culture of the information society.

Information (defined as musical compositions, movies, and software, genetic codes for agricultural crops, even human DNA patterns) has never been more valuable or more freely available. To stem the global flow of free information, content industries employ armies of lawyers to erect new digital and legal fences around information. The costs of access for educational, scientific and artistic institutions and practices are becoming prohibitive ­ and innovation is choked.


The rigid legal and techno-cratic enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights meets growing resistance by a loose alliance of people who together create a high-tech gift economy on the net, using it as a shared workspace. In this space ­ also referred to as the digital commons ­ products of the imagination can be exchanged freely, enabling new ways of collaborative and creative production.

<KOP> pays tribute to those new practices in its exhibition at FACT. It adds to its online exhibition three new works that use the net collectively to apply, remix, and manipulate existing material into something new. Instead of stressing the issues of sampling and piracy, KOP@FACT is dedicated to the furthering of such collaborative platforms, shared networks and cultural techniques in different communities for artistic and cultural purposes.

In addition to this, BURN, a site-specific installation and web interface was created by <KOP> for FACT. In the FACT Centrešs Media Lounge, thousands of CDs are piled up and a CD-BURNing station is set up so that the audience can burn their own CDs, pack them with colour-coded music files and take them home. BURN puts a spotlight on the raw act of duplication, invoking complicity and participation in an activity that is as illegal as it is commonplace.


<KOP> challenges its audience to question, contribute to, analyse and otherwise address this growing Kingdom, a place in which all productions are part of an innately collaborative, derivative and intimately interconnected environment. Workshops, discussions, presentations, a booklet and a CD ROM offer a wide range of information to get involved more deeply into the issues.

* Commissioned works are engaged in artistic acts of "piracy" as a strategy for intellectual discourse and poetic intervention, but not as any endorsement of piracy as a business model.