There’s an ludicrous amount of video being pirated around the world, all the time — even as you read this very post. It travels from peer to peer, bit by bit, in little garbled jumps. This installation, called “Pirate Cinema”, shows exactly what’s being pirated, and where. All in real time.
Made up of three screens, and a crew of computers furiously torrenting behing the scenes, “The Pirate Cinema” by artist Nicolas Maigret aims to convey just what this endless torrent of video flying across the web is actually like. The system picks up IP address and locations and displays them on the screens in real time, all the while showing jumbled burps of the films being transfered.
The actual data flying from computer to computer is useless on its own, so the installation actually torrents the most popular films itself, and then uses arbitrary clips — the same size as the real transmissions, but in sequence — to represent each burst on screen. It’s not one-to-one, but it’s a necessary evil in order to see anything that makes even the most remote amount of sense.