The Pirate Cinema is a a novel by Cory Doctorow. It’s set in a dystopian future where the British government is heavily influenced by media corporations and the central character is fighting an new copyright law. Not only was it brilliant, it’s also free.
thepiratecinema.com, on the other hand, is an entirely different work of art. It’s a video designed to show how the peer-to-peer process works, in real-time, using real torrents. As you watch, you see different frames and chunks of movies and music coming together to create an eeire collage of sorts, a strangely hypnotic patchwork flood of data that you can keep looking at for a long, long time. On one corner you see the IP sending data. On the other corner is the IP that’s receiving. Numbers flicker back and forth. The US. Germany. India. France.
Up until now, this thing was a bona fide art installation, but the creator, Nicolas Maigret, has just given it streaming capabilities. The art installation constantly downloads the most popular torrents around the world, giving the viewer a somewhat disconcerting glimpse into the massive flood of cinema flying across peer-to-peer networks across the world. The online version has a selected set of 100 torrents. Go watch it here. Or check out the excerpt below.
At its core, the online stream serves as a really good illustration for how torrents are torrented – the disorderly, irregular nature of P2P filesharing. I wonder how long it’ll take for someone to turn this into a wallpaper.