Impakt invite Danish artist, Linda Hilfling, for residency to work on Een Publiek Domein.
‘Een Publiek Domein’ (Dutch for ‘A Public Domain’) is a reflection on and intervention into language
as a commons, which continuously is being altered and in this process detoriating as words and phrases
are being reserved as trademarks. Usually such detorisation is difficult to grasp as it takes form as
licenses registered in the databases of National Intellectual Property Offices and mainly gets attention
from the public in cases of lawsuits brought up by the media. However, ‘Een Publiek Domein’, is a public
domain in a literary sense.
The project is an open wireless network, also named ‘Een Publiek Domein’. Anybody can log on to and
access the internet through the network. However all data passing through it will be filtered in such a
way that all text which is not in the public domain (i.e. words or phrases, regardless of their graphical
representation, which have been registered as trademarks) is being substituted by voids. This means that
chunks of information is missing and eventually the users have to guess the overall meaning of the content.
Nevertheless, although amputated and fragmented, this is a public domain.
A first version of the project specific to the Danish language and Denmark as the jurisdictional area was
funded by the Danish Arts Council 2010-11. During the EMARE residency at IMPAKT a Benelux version of the
project will be developed. It will be based on a mirror of the online database of registered trademarks
available through the website of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property. The network will be implemented
as temporary installations within existing wifi-networks around the city of Utrecht (for instance at schools,
universities, hospitals, libraries, malls or other public/semi-public spaces). The project will also be made
available online as a distributed public domain i.e. the scripts and filters will be published in the public
domain along with a “howto”-guide, making it possible for anyone to create their own ‘Publiek Domein’.
Danish artist, Linda Hilfling, works with the premises of participation and public space within media structures,
with a focus on means of control (codes, organisation and law) and their cultural impact. Her artistic practice
takes the form of humorous interventions reflecting upon or revealing hidden gaps in such structures. Linda
holds an MA in Networked Media from Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam and a BA in Architecture from the Royal
Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. Linda is also the co-director and initiator of the Art of the Overhead – a media
archaeological festival celebrating the overhead projector
Other Impakt works and pages about Linda Hilfling: