BROADBANDIT HIGHWAY: statement
'As a filmmaker with a net.art habit, I have been experimenting with ways of using networks to make films (rather than to distribute it) since a while. 'Workers Leaving the Factory' or 'Virtual Borders' are examples to illustrate the way I worked on stretching the notion of a 'networked film'.
When web cams became more widespread and really easy to use, I played with the thought that this 'consumer-friendly' way of making live moving image accessible over the internet would de facto provide a possibility for every household to run its own live tv channel! What an opportunity -let's see how people make use of it! That day sometimes in the year 2000, I went online to locate live web cams.
The most common use (not to my surprise) was pornography. However, the second most common use was much more to my surprise: weather and wave cams! office workers in California could check out the waves to decide if they should go wave riding after work, or in other regions people would have look at the snow situation to decide wheter to go skiing... And thirdly, there was just too many cameras showing roads - freeways near S.F., tunnels in Hong Kong, crossings in Belfast - all together I located more that onehundred websites which integrated live traffic cams!
Wearing the hat of the 'bandit of the information highway' (broadbandit), I looked for those cams around the globe which are well maintained and reliably online 24/7. I made a list of about hundred cam sites and implemented a java script to 'milk' those cams for 40 seconds each. At the opening night at the Great Eastern Hotel, my friend Ilze and I acted as the bandits who re-directed these traffic cam streams from the internet onto a different network, the television network: a symbolic act of data traffic hijack. Broadbandit Highway could be seen on one of the hotel channels for several weeks. After the show finished, the movie continued to generate itself online. Occasionally, it was shown at more art shows as well.
Over the time, more and more of the cameras were discontinued. Websites closed down, or they changed the file path, or the cameras simply broke. Each missing camera left a black gap in the ongoing movie, as the java script cycled through the array of addresses. In April 2006, the last camera went offline. By then, the movie was nearly exactly 5 years long.