Human Browser

 A human being embodies the World Wide Web

 A project by Christophe Bruno (2001 - 2007)


Human Browser
is a series of wireless Internet performances based on a Wi-Fi Google hack

Thanks to its headset, the actor hears a text-to-speech audio that comes directly from the Internet in real-time. The actor repeats the text as he hears it. The textual flow is actually fetched by a program (set up on a Wi-Fi laptop) that hijacks Google, diverting it from its utilitarian functions. Depending on the context in which the actor is, keywords are sent to the program and used as search strings in Google (thanks to a Wi-Fi PDA) so that the content of the textual flow is always related to the context.

As the world-system reaches its limitations (depletion of natural resources, expected end of low-cost labour, the end of the ideology of liberalism, the fading of desire, etc.), capitalism uses the irony of history to try to relaunch its paradoxical machinery by pushing back its internal limits: freedom of speech is revealed to be the prerequisite for the scientific colonization of intimacy; global terrorism and reality TV feed a spectacle regulated by the panoptical enslavement mechanism of the blogosphere; "Irational Behaviour" that was for long seen as the limit of any economical theory becomes the new field for the externalisation of advertising costs.

Internet, with the advent of global symbolic networked structures of the web 2.0 like Google, has thus become an unrivalled tool for surveillance and control. Its economic dynamics relies on trend analysis and prediction of what you think at any time so as to be able to sell you what will fulfil you: statistically analyzing your least thoughts, acts and desires - not as individuals but as postmodern statistical sets - so as to predict your "Irational Behaviour". In this pact you exchange a promise of happiness against a narrowing of your intimacy. You become predictable, transparent, commonplace even in your wildest dreams...

Human Browser, the perpetual dandy, embodies this "Irational Behaviour".

It is based on my former piece Epiphanies (2001), one of the first Google Hacks, inspired by J. Joyce.

Affari Italiani
Sydney Morning Herald
Liberation (1)
Liberation (2)
Liberation (3)
Le Monde
01informatique (1) (2)

We are preparing other performances in different locations and contexts, in English, German, French, Italian and Chinese.

Concept & programming: Christophe Bruno
Actors: Jérôme Piques / Manon Kahle / Beccy Iland / Simona Sagone / Alessandra Lappano

Session 4 - Festival Transmediale, Berlin - Feb 2-5, 2006

Back - Extract 1 - Extract 2 - Extract 3 - Extract 4 - Extract 5 - Extract 6

Here with Andy Bichlbaum from the Yes Men
Videocamera: Florence Pélissier