Darkweb.dk was originally created as an interactive internet music release in December 2016*. While the music on the website performs in an infinite loop, users simultaneously create their own visuals and send them as screenshots to a digital archive. By 2021 this archive has received more than 1.300 screenshots.
Since the original release, however, darkweb.dk has been approached by wanna-be-hackers, trolls and bots who believe that sending a screenshot will grant them access to the actual dark web, also known as deep web: an encrypted part of the internet where illegal activities are harder to trace and where passwords and other sensitive data is frequently being traded. This has led to thousands of emails from individuals who wish to learn how to hack, buy drugs, make quick money, become a soldier, as well as emails with threats and queries bordering on the criminal.
In a time where hacker attacks and data security is a growing issue, these screenshots and interactions provide an insight into some personal motivations for these potential hackers: poverty, desperation, anarchist nihilism, or just the longing for being part of something; a community of anonymous hackers.
As a nuance to this dark, intangible and infinite web, this exhibition presents the wanna-be-hackers’ screenshots as colourful re- materialisations. Over the course of the exhibition period, more and more screenshots will occupy the exhibition space as they are being coloured by the artist and guests.
The screenshots from the digital archive, which extends over 5 years, are presented on a deconstructed computer with sound and voices overheard through digital networks. In a video performance, the artist enter the role of secretary of Dark Web, receiving and responding to (actual) e-mails from users of darkweb.dk.
DARKWEB.DK was exhibited at XM3, Aalborg DK, from December 1st 2021 to January 27th 2022.
*Read more about the original project here.
The exhibition was supported by Aalborg Kommunes Kulturpulje.
Thanks to Jonas Hall, Jeroen Derks, Martin Sohn Ƙstergaard, Mikael Madsen, Sara Arenfeldt Kragh and the more than a thousand contributors of screenshots.
Photos by Morten Poulsen.