Be a Hong Kong Patriot, Part 2, the Fuzzy Wanker

做愛國港人之二,模糊自慰隊

The artwork was the second Internet installation of the Be a Hong Kong Patriot series. Part 1 of the series questioned on the demonstration of patriotic love and its relation with investment in the stock market. Part 2, The Fuzzy Wanker reflected on the dot com boom and again questioned on the demonstration of patriotic love and the measurement of the Internet traffic, generated without sensible purposes.

The Chinese title of the work 模糊自慰隊 was again modeled upon the revolutionary propaganda opera 洪湖赤衞隊, The Red Guards on Honghu Lake, before the period of cultural revolution in the communist China.

The Red Guards on Honghu Lake, 1958

Be a Hong Kong Patriot, Part 2 – The Fuzzy Wanker was one of the exhibits in the Microwave International New Media Arts Festival 2004 shown in the Hong Kong City Hall, Central.

The installation was a tangible visualization of Internet traffic. The hidden computer would continuously access all the corporate websites of the listed companies constituting the Hang Seng Index of Hong Kong, in order to generate network traffic to those companies. Rather than using a regular browser to access the websites, the artwork visualized each of the returning characters using both a 8 x 8 pixels LED panel and a custom made 8 x 8 pixels of electromagnetic matrix. The small LED panel on the side of the installation displayed the visible characters sequentially. At the same time, the electromagnetic pixels under the steel table top would display the same characters by charging the corresponding magnetic coils. As a result, the tiny iron bearing balls were attracted to various position on the table top, corresponding to the shape of each ASCII character. The audience could also use the palms, fingers to feel the flow of the data by touching the moving balls. The visualization became tangible.

The Fuzzy Wanker