Poweronoff, "traffic transformator"

"Poweronoff" represents a dystopian model of future human life, when the existence of an individual (including the electricity bills) could only be afforded by working for the "global Net". A room fitted with ordinary, electrical house-appliances is powered by a "central computer" which gives you electricity as you surf the web and see internet-commercials.

Imagine a dark room that looks like a small apartment; it has a couch, TV, stereo system, tape player, washing machine and a fan in the corner. Behind there is a table with a light on it and a laptop. There is no electricity, none of the mentioned appliances work, except the laptop which incidentally runs on batteries. You come in, turn on the laptop, catch domestic wireless network and browse to the Internet. The first banner you see - and the controlling computer; which you haven't really noticed at first in the corner of the room - clicks on and gives some electricity. It gives just barely enough power to turn on the lamp on the desk.

The system is keeping eye on the local network (LAN) traffic and counts as a hit every ad related internet address (URL) passing through, it immediately impacts the surroundings; more banners you see - more electrical power your space gets. The power from the wall plug is something we are always very happy to get; of course not for free, but it feels free since we are so used to watching commercials without any sensible feedback. One loaded banner equals to one "point". Each point is equivalent to 10 Watts/hours of energy that you receive. A day of ordinary web-browsing can keep your apartment lit, wash your cloth and charge your laptop.

One banner won't really give you much power, let's say it gives 10 Watts per hour, which means your desk light will work for about an hour. But longer you browse, higher the counter goes. Once you reach 100W level - the television goes on. Another hundred makes the laundry machine start cleaning your cloths, and so on. And yes, the main important part - your laptop is getting charged, which ensures your ability to keep on watching banners.

We rarely ever think of it, but in fact every ad-banner we load while browsing the Internet works for its owner. No matter whether we click on it or not, or simply don't pay attention altogether - once it is on our screen, a tiny counter somewhere on a remote web-server "clicks" and converts counts into more and more currency. Monetary currency. And what did we do? We just helped it happen. In other words - everyday we work an unconscious job - jobs that "business" minded guys want us to commit to, in exchange for the "information" they provide.

"Poweronoff" installation was shown at:

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Poweronoff, 2006 by Danja Vasiliev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
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