[spectre] // State Machines Commission: 'Vending Private Network' //

Julian Oliver julian at julianoliver.com
Tue Sep 18 15:36:40 CEST 2018

Dear Spectre,

The Critical Engineering Working Group are pleased to present a new work:



Virtual Private Networking as Publicly Funded Infrastructure

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have come into increasing demand in recent
years, providing route encryption through hostile networks. In China, Vietnam,
Turkey and Pakistan they also serve to mitigate government censorship, such that
foreign sites otherwise blocked by state firewalls are made available to VPN
users (Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, activist sites and digital libraries being
the most common).

Vending Private Network takes the form of a condom vending machine, such as
those typically seen in public toilets, nightclubs and bars. Equipped with
mechanical buttons, a coin-slot and USB ports, it offers 4 VPN routes, each
adorned with an animated graphic depicting a fantasy destination.

Audiences are invited to insert a USB stick into the slot, a coin (1 pound or
euro) into the machine, and to select a VPN destination by pressing a mechanical
button. In doing so, a unique VPN configuration file is then written to the USB
stick. Special instructions (in the form of a README.txt) are also copied,
explaining how to use the VPN in a special ‘sheathed’ mode that evades detection
methods (namely Deep Packet Inspection, or DPI) used by corporations and
state-controlled infrastructure administrators. This is the only means known to
work against state controlled firewalls.


Vending Private Network was developed by J. Oliver and D. Vasiliev, representing
the Critical Engineering Working Group, 2018.

Vending Private Network is currently on show at Furtherfield, London, as part of
'Transnationalisms', curated by James Bridle, and will tour onward to 3 other
locations internationally.


Vending Private Network was the recipient of the generous State Machines
Commission, 2018:


All the best, 

Julian Oliver
PGP https://julianoliver.com/key.asc
Beware the auto-complete life

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