Public Broadcasting is the title of my art installation which questions how much freedom we, as civilians, are allowed to have in spreading our messages and information. To what extent do we still have ‘public’ space, virtual, physical or radio waves, available to express ourselves the way we really want to? What is public domain?
Nowadays, these questions are often asked in the debate about freedom. Currently a discussion is going on about ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). In The Netherlands some ISP’s have been told to censor the website The Pirate Bay which is a platform for people to share their files. A complete medium has come under attack.
To provoke a discussion about this I have chosen to make an art installation to be used in the public domain. ‘Public Broadcasting’ is an installation which allows people to send their message into the air with a FM-transmitter. One problem arises: this is strictly forbidden. Radio frequencies have been sold years ago to large corporate institutions. Nowadays it is prohibited to use radio communication without a permit. The exclusive rights have been sold to corporations.
So, what about the Internet? Will ACTA be a precursor for what happened to the radio? What does it mean for freedom of opinion when governments think corporations are more important than the voices of the civilians they’re suppose to serve? Isn’t it upsetting that the negotiations about the content and implications of ACTA all have been done in secret? What will the consequences be for your freedom when governments sell your rights on freedom of the exchange of information to corporations? How will your perception of the world change when only a few companies decide what you will see or hear? Are you prepared to break the law to be able to share your information?