The Random Darknet Shopper is an automated online shopping bot which we provide with a budget of $100 in Bitcoins per week. Once a week the bot goes shopping in the deep web where it randomly chooses and purchases one item and has it mailed directly to the exhibition space. Once the items arrive they are unpacked and displayed, each new object adding to a landscape of traded goods from the Darknet.
The Random Darknet Shopper is a live Mail Art piece, an exploration of the deep web via the goods traded there. It directly connects the Darknet with the gallery. By randomizing its consumerism, the bot is guaranteed a wide selection of goods from the thousands listed on deepweb markets.
In its first run from October 2014 - January 2015, Random Darknet Shopper bought 12 items from the deepweb market Agora, which were displayed at Kunst Halle St. Gallen in the exhibition «The Darknet - From Memes to Onionland. An Exploration». Since Agora discontinued its services in September, Random Darknet Shopper will now order items from Alpha Bay, currently the largest deepweb market place.
Ljubljana Edition: Aksioma Institute for Contemporary Art, 24 Feb – 25 Mar 2016
London Edition: Horatio Junior Gallery, London, Dec 11 2015 - Feb 5 2016
St. Gallen Edition: Kunst Halle St. Gallen, Switzerland, Oct 14 2014 - Jan 15 2015
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«For sale are triangle crackers, from Jorge and other companies (depending on whats in stock). They are cheap and have a loud bang. Price is for 20 pieces.»
«I bought these units back when they were first coming out. They do require a lot of extra cooling because they do not have the larger heatsinks that the U2 does however they still work and wold be nice starter package for someone that is just looking to start out in the business.»
«These are copies but good quality. comes in s, m. l, xl and many colors, let me know when you order»
Random Darknet Shopper has finally been released and is now back in our
possession. All items were kept sealed and untouched except the Ecstasy, which was
taken out of its vacuum-sealed packing. It was tested positive for MDMA
by the authorities, and then destroyed.
So, three months after the confiscation in January, all items except the Ecstasy were given back to us by the public prosecutor.
At the same time we also received the order for withdrawal of prosecution. In the order for withdrawal of prosecution the public prosecutor states that the possession of Ecstasy was indeed a reasonable means for the purpose of sparking public debate about questions related to the exhibition. The public prosecution also asserts that the overweighing interest in the questions raised by the art work «Random Darknet Shopper» justify the exhibition of the drugs as artefacts, even if the exhibition does hold a small risk of endangerment of third parties through the drugs exhibited.
We as well as the Random Darknet Shopper have been cleared of all charges. This is a great day for the bot, for us and for freedom of art!
Forensic examination shows that the pills really are Ecstasy. Each pill contains 90mg of MDMA. According to the forensic report the pills will now be destroyed. The other objects remain sealed together with the complete packaging of the pills. We expect the case to be resolved within the next few weeks. The Random Darknet Shopper bot and all other objects should then be released.
«Can a robot, or a piece of software, be jailed if it commits a crime? Where does legal culpability lie if code is criminal by design or default? What if a robot buys drugs, weapons, or hacking equipment and has them sent to you, and police intercept the package?» These are some of the questions Mike Power asked when he reviewed the work «Random Darknet Shopper» in The Guardian. The work was part of the exhibition «The Darknet – From Memes to Onionland. An Exploration» in the Kunst Halle St. Gallen, which closed on Sunday, January 11, 2015. For the duration of the exhibition, !Mediengruppe Bitnik sent a software bot on a ...Read more..
«The Darknet - From Memes to Onionland. An Exploration»
Random Darknet Shopper, !Mediengruppe Bitnik
Kunst Halle St. Gallen, Switzerland
18th October 2014 – 11th January 2015