Bengt Sjölén is a Critical Engineer, independent software and hardware designer, hacker and artist based in Stockholm and Berlin, and with roots in the “demoscene.” He collaborates within several networks such as Weise7 in Berlin, Teenage Engineering in Stockholm and Aether architecture in Budapest. Bengt’s work has been exhibited internationally at many museums, festivals and exhibitions, including the Synthetic Times Exhibition (Beijing), NTT ICC (Tokyo), Biennale of Architecture (Venice), ISEA (San Jose, US and Helsinki), Kuturhuset (Stockholm), Pixelache (Helsinki), Ars Electronica (Linz), World Expo 2010 (Shanghai), Transmediale (Berlin), Ludwig Muzeum (Budapest) and arte.mov (Sao Paolo and Belo Horizonte, Brazil).
Julian Oliver is a Critical Engineer and artist originally from New Zealand but now based in Berlin. His work and lectures have been presented at many museums, galleries, international electronic art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern, Transmediale, the Chaos Computer Congress, Ars Electronica, FILE and the Japan Media Arts Festival. Julian has received several awards, notably the prestigious Ars Electronica Golden Nica Award (2011) for his Newstweek project, produced in collaboration with Danja Vasiliev.
Danja Vasiliev is a Critical Engineer born in St. Petersburg, currently living and working in Berlin. He studies systems and networks through anti-disciplinary experimentation, using hardware, firmware and software to create works of critical engineering. Since 1999, Danja has been involved in computer technology events, media art exhibitions and seminars worldwide. He has received a number of awards and mentions, including at Ars Electronica, Japan Media Art Festival and Transmediale, among others. In October 2011, he co-authored The Critical Engineering Manifesto with his colleagues Julian Oliver and Gordan Savičić. In his day-to-day life, Danja works with Linux software and promotes open source practices in all aspects of life.
The Critical Engineering Working Group: Bengt Sjölén (Sweden/Denmark), Julian Oliver (New Zealand), Danja Vasiliev (Russia)
Wall of video projections near the Saint-Laurent metro station
Appearing in urban environments without warning, Unintended Emissions captures, dissects, mines and maps the involuntary and invisible emissions of our mobile devices. Using the same techniques and technologies as those used by federal surveillance agencies, this intervention aims to instil a “healthy paranoia” in the interest of emphasizing our techno-political subjectivity. It also makes us wonder: to what extent do our cellphones talk behind our backs?
The Critical Engineering Working Group, established in 2011, develops projects, strategies and intensive training programs on critical engineering, as outlined in their manifesto, available at criticalengineering.org.