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Scraping Art - Mapping the Neuland

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and the question it and he and and
can you're in hi everybody the
head and yes so we still have to set up but I think I might just start already well it's still being set up in the background so what we gonna do today is I know it's working so we can add and basically talk about this installation we've been working on for the past 4 months and then
it started off as a project for me at you need and then he sort of jumped on board of that help a little bit with the programming and basically what we would like to do today is bound to introduce a talk a bit about scraping what scraping actually is and and talk a bit about the content where we can actually see inside here to so to start 1st of all could you may be explained as what scraping is in the 1st place because I think many people in the audience might actually not know what scraping as early so 1st thing for as I have a question for all of you how many of you know what creeping is just raise
your hand up are you all the people in the back nobody in the front so because again to try and this water on lot today we you when
actually explain it sold everybody can sort of keep track forward the same yeah yeah when you think of the word scraping what would be the 1st hand movie you would make you will probably like this like
scraping something of a grounds scraping something of a desk scraping something just like I don't scraping estate off and that's basically quite
similar to a webscraping his except that instead of scraping a desk or scraping a lasting from a teacher you actually scrape content from websites and webservices and the way you usually do it is is use something called a scraper scraper just a piece of code or software goes to these websites or goes to these places online and it just takes the data you need now obviously to like get data from web sites online and to get better but if if you think about it you can already think probably of a lot of user useful cases and that's why it's used quite often in business I have won a good example let's say know whether here is not exactly the best it can be quite and then you wanna go somewhere words of the warm it's a bit hard say set to go to Barcelona and only a booking the take the best thing for like the most efficient thing to do would be to compare the prices of those tickets so you go to a website like and need to have a you write information about the trips you wanna make and winning the only time you wanna go there and this website shows you basically like what are the best prices were the best time for you and the way it does this is by going to their websites of those airlines if they don't provide like the content already but going to those prices and telling them telling them when you when a fly and taking the prices from those websites and in comparing demanding giving you the last uh the final result and that's how we usually like about should of carries counter does that but like that would be 1 example from users and business so yeah now we heard how scraping is used in business but also it's been used in the arts before so we're not the 1st ones were inventing this new methodology for the arts so for instance and there's this new sort of discipline called the Digital Humanities where artists are and scraping big datasets and then using them for artistic analysis and most prominently that's probably left 1 over H and he's a russian artist and researcher working in New York and am his work has been focusing on on research during on Instagram or on flicker and basically what he's doing is he downloads like big data sets of images from those websites and then analyzes them according to sort of the colors you can see in the image so if you take like a picture with blue sky in the background or with nite sky in the background and then he water sort of all those images accordingly to the to the color instead of that and then takes those images puts them together in a collage and then you can see it in a museum or an exhibition but what this kind of work so far I was scraping and the arts has been doing is to just down 1 big data set and that's it so all what we actually find way more interesting about scraping is that it can be used as a continuous process so that you not down out something once and that's it but you actually go to website were like rather actually you write a program which goes to website and then gets off the content from their continuously all the time and and the reason why we decided to do that or why we thought that would be interesting is because we're thinking that nowadays relate living in a time where things really change quite fast where lots of things are happening around us and also where automation of having quite a huge impact on our lives and and if you look at for instance trading algorithms which span out some change food prices for instance and it is quite weird that like those concepts of automation still haven't reached the arts yet and therefore we thought it would be
interesting and worthwhile to explore those methods actually and use them as an artistic method and an we also think that nowadays since everything is so fast like if you consider for instance like you do know a painting and then it takes you 3 weeks for it to dry and then you can exhibited but in the meantime the world has already changed so much that you can actually uh well that it's not contemporary anymore and obviously we're not saying that everyone should do scraping now but um that's thing is a way to sort of capture what is going on right now and this is basically the sort of now its which we wanted to explore it and am so scraping is like the method also which we use for this work which we can see here in the background so today we can serve like bring in a slideshow and I do the usual told stuff figured would bring like the thing I wanted to show and I guess like hopefully if you've been paying attention you would have noticed that it's a bit like I don't know I would not knowing what's going on is defined like this we can do it all souls so has you something more what is eventually that were doing there were all these pictures solution and yeah so basically I'm as I already said our method of scraping and here the content of this sort of digital collage is actually internet infrastructures and what we wanted to do is using scraping as a method to sort of display and to map Internet infrastructure and also like stress the character of their life minutes because those internet infrastructures bring the internet into being and it is because of them that we can actually also use scraping again as a method a ready so it always stack we have 3 categories and we decided to divide them in a way where we can sort of represent all of them in the work and the son of explaining word areas sets in the background sense in the background even tho this is just a picture of a plant it's actually taken by NASA satellites and this is the latest picture that you would find if you would try to I if you would access the satellites or like axis would announce offers and get like the latest picture of birds the and this picture we have to actually build ourselves because what NASA offers is just a child or it awful it offers different trials from different positions on the and that's why you would see these cats you because these other parts were satellites can reach and use all the bottom as well so we do basically is because the satellites have to go whole trip around the we can't like scavengers scavengers this every 2nd we can actually do this once a day and this is the picture from today and this 1 we have day like on a daily basis so that we have the full not represented here the 2nd thing is the satellites themselves and I think they're not on our side today the satellites because I've seen before that the images are quite glitchy of them today they're doing that's sort because I was we actually made for different resolutions and now when we change the resolution is this is actually a picture of a satellite supposedly just imagine satellite uh not here and a couple of satellites around and this picture should update like in but updates uh 5 2nd reason is just shows the satellites same is actually that take the pictures and all the other satellites in orbit at least the official ones which we know of yeah now because obviously there's probably some that we don't know that they exist and we also update this on a 5 2nd bases and then you can see like where the satellites exactly on the 3rd thing in there is this livestream here and this is actually live right now we're seeing right now is what the of dieser station passing from outer space 9 0 down with it we have another thing which is water and for water you we have the deep-sea cables and is the perceived cables other cables that connect our internet today and connect all words of our world today and what we did here we created 3 different lanes basically 1 2 resent the Lord went to rivers in the center and went to represent this out and not we have not America and Europe and some parts of Asia in the middle we have some parts of Asia we have Africa and some parts of South America and in the bottom we have Australia we have new zealand an all basically the uh diamonds around it we have some parts of South America and a couple of words and some little parts from Africa and if you've been paying attention you would have noticed that the speed of the cables changes and it's and that's because we have actually 400 cables they here presented and each table represents a certain region so this 1 from not it's from the notes are either not America or Europe and that's why it's 1 of the fastest because what we did was we decided to determine the speed based on Internet traffic rates in those regions and Oregon explainable later how we actually get these Internet traffic rates but if you keep noticing down you notice that the sorry you go the slower is and that's because the Internet in those regions is obviously not that fast like in Africa for instance and an instance installations called here what a stack and I would like to speak a little bit about the idea of the stack now and maybe some of you know the word stack from computation but
it's also like actually a geographical concept and which was introduced by philosopher called Benjamin Breton is written a full book on this called the status well it's 500 pages and M. they're basically he argues that the stack is this new infrastructures so that it's not only the Internet itself which is like creating I'm all those links between us but that it's also than the satellites which are creating those linkages but also the end users themselves using their phones but it's also the Wi-Fi networks and the platforms like Facebook the constructed and all those those things together at this new mega infrastructure is creating this thing which he termed the stack and and he's sort of proposing the stack as a new geographical layer and um which is sort of a spanning around the Earth as well uh and um what we were trying to do here in this installation was basically to map out the stack because people it 8 like it actually is sort of a new territory and and this is also what he argues but also what has been uh set in other places so for instance in 2013 when the snow and leaks got out and it got out that lake of enters a the American National Security Agency had been spying on many of them were had been intercepting German phones Angela Merkel 1st of all didn't say anything and then later on it got out that actually again as they had been spying on her phone as well and then she was like well that the Internet is all like pretty you us and she said it's annoying lantern also like a sort of a virgin soil or a new territory and am therefore she declared the internet which is now celebrating its 26 birthday as something which is completely new to her and therefore we thought OK will be actually nice to sort of map this new territory and like to look at this territory in order to be explored at also like visualize it because I think the problem with this deep-sea cables and also with the satellites is often that and like a really common example is if you ask people how the male is working so how you send a letter everyone can tell you how it works but if you ask someone how actually e-mail is working most people can answer that question and I think most people are also not aware that there are others deep sea cable citing still most people would hopefully know their satellites flying around us but the DC cables are rather like something which are only getting mentioned and like expert context or then they're like a great artist later overpack Lane whose like organizing actually diving trips to visit those deep-sea cables which I think is really cool and and yes or attempt here was to like visualize the stack and visualize this big infrastructure by a I'm trying to map it out and obviously we're not the NSA so we don't have all the data which we would need in order to map out this whole infrastructure and to accommodate for all the user data which we would need but it's more like this idea of showing some how this new territory could potentially look like and also to show sort of how old the power struggles which unfold in this territory look like or in order to think about it because even tho this is quite a peaceful installation but if you think of the internet as a place where lakeside war taking place were censorship is taking
place where people are getting spied on were surveillance is like a common practice and then actually like thinking about it as this new territorial this new world were actually inhabiting it's quite a dystopian vision to stick also with what the presenter before has been talking about and and it yeah so therefore we thought it will be interesting for us as artists to explored as wall using methods which are normally actually used and in businesses and using those business methods of scraping to actually um look more into how we can map out those territories and and now we would also like to speak where we actually got the numbers form from which were using for this paper so maybe you can tell us how we back thank you so I said earlier that we're getting these Internet traffic rights and if I was sitting in the audience I think what is he talking about what kind of Internet traffic rates so this installation years actually acquire interact millions of users everyday little influence how all these pictures move and the way that happens is like said we said uh um we're taking these Internet traffic rights and the way we do that we obtain them from a company called Akamai's and always if you don't know what this company is because we actually didn't know that it existed a couple of months ago it's something that's called the content delivery network or can network provider and what content delivery networks do is basically this all a very important problem the if somebody who is accessing a website who that is based in a different country or a different continent they would have to go through all those cables all the way to the different continents or if I was going to Ali bubble I would need to go all the way to China to just order something and if that was the way that if that was the way that the entered word then it would take is always 15 seconds or 20 seconds to even have a website load but what happened is that this content delivery networks and what they do is they provide customers or websites with servers all around the world in different continents and in different countries so that when I go to a website that space in a different country at an axis and the content in that country axes the counted and they have passed or saved on the servers here in Germany for example and Akamai is 1 of the biggest and delivery of providers 1 of the best of their biggest customers are air BNB Facebook uh apple an Akamai does it with these numbers of that it offers the numbers of the Internet traffic raise that neutral that go to the servers as reported that on a given day 15 per cent to 30 per cent of the Internet traffic and all of those 2 Akamai server so we figured if that was to be true that I think this insulation is not just user interactive that is being dedicated by all the millions of internet users around the world now another thing about Akamai is that in 2013 and there's no links it showed up dead Akamai was a target of a joint work by the FBI and then is a to steal or to intercept Facebook photos that were opposed to the some of our Akamai's ends but Akamai said that it's not their fault and that anybody who could have used this year would have to be responsible for the security they provide another thing about Akamai that a while ago they use to black Tor users from accessing some of the servers but they don't do that anymore at least not from our files I am yes and now we would like to also speak a little bit at the end of our presentation about actually the methods we've used so it's gonna get a bit more technical and basically just speak about how we actually make this because I think and to most people it probably looks a bit more like a video installation or something like that but it's actually something which we coded and them it's all done in Python which is a programming language and um that so basically what we've done is in order to get the data in the 1st place there's some really simple methods
to do that and they work with some web sites and some other methods which are a bit more complex which we also have to use in order to get the more the trigger parts into our installation as well so all the Web site's we or all the methods we used are like open source libraries and am basically if you know some programming as well you can use them as well and like experiment around and try some scraping for yourself and and so 1 basic method is called requests and basically what you do is you just like an right 4 lines of code where it's gonna say OK go to this in this website get HTML file at the site and then analyse it take the content you wanna have and then downloaded but the problem is today that the Internet is way more dynamic because not everything is written in HTML but also in JavaScript and that's why we had to do something else as well so we have to do is basically fake user pretend we're browser a user going to web site clicking on things and then get getting the JavaScript track rendered constant and to do that you use something called selenium and selenium is is a web drivers so a web driver opens a browser and you pick which 1 so if you like all you salute is would chromophore like Firefox you can do this with Firefox and users programmer to tell it that open Firefox pretending that you the user go to this website go to this job and get me that data and that's basically ASL anymore so it's pretty simple sometimes it can be a bit hard to get like to work properly because a lot of the websites what they do is they story of cookie data and then when you enter as a new user the other you require you to do something more like the suspect that you about and so they try sometimes to prevent this from happening but you can always find sort of a bypass to go around that and pretend you just a normal user who happens to be very fast the clicking tabs and am yeah like 1 of the other problems we ran into is that I will here are lovely satellites which cannot be displayed here but 1 of the problems we have of them was that and since they're like constantly updating asphalt so they're not normal images but they're getting like generated by JavaScript which is running on the respective websites so therefore we have to sort of hacker way around in order to get those images actually and then my idea was to just go to those websites and constantly take screenshots and this is basically what it's doing now in order to generate some of the content here some island in stab at taking screenshots she wanted to also said like taking scree chance of pictures at some point we
sort of experimented with taking screenshots of videos but if we continue with that you wouldn't have seen this sort of video where you see the fishes move to you took like 5 seconds for each frame to render so we had to do something else and I was using uh Python library called livestream and what it does it just gives you the Lifestream in binary that our gives
you like the Lifestream itself without all the continents the works were due to what works would you stream music givealink it gives users the content you need I and once you have that continent which is the video you still going to need to extract the separate frame from and it did a units or what we used was something that was called Open CV and do just extract the separate frames and then displayed in and I was basically like all we need to get the data in the 2nd part was to actually display it because then we could have had like so much that it would prevent so many video streams but then we still wouldn't be able to display ID and displayed we used something called open GL and I know there's been a lot of open the sort and a lot of open GL Open CV but that's because a lot of this stuff is readily available online for free for people to experiment with it to make it better when they find problems and open GL is a famous treaty rendering library you can use it for anything that is is related to graphics you can use it Instagram uses it for its filters photoshop use it for a lot of features a lot of games are actually programmed in open GL and it's just a great library if you wanna do anything graphical but you still want call it yourself yeah and whatever ideas for the future if we continue with this project is to maybe
experimental data with some AI and neural networks because I'm as we already said that some of the content like the tempo with which it is moving is already like sort of determined by Internet users which is then measured by this company called Akamai but it will be also interesting if the images themselves would be also curated by something whether it's an AI or maybe also using user data to then determine the content and and yeah so we're planning to maybe go bit more into this swerve or project thank you very much thank you hotter
so on time for my thank me
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Metadaten

Formale Metadaten

Titel Scraping Art - Mapping the Neuland
Serientitel re:publica 2017
Autor Ronstedt, Marlene
Alsharif, Ahmed
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen und das Werk bzw. diesen Inhalt auch in veränderter Form nur unter den Bedingungen dieser Lizenz weitergeben.
DOI 10.5446/33053
Herausgeber re:publica
Erscheinungsjahr 2017
Sprache Englisch

Inhaltliche Metadaten

Fachgebiet Informatik
Abstract Scraping Art discusses the politics behind the live installation Air Water Stack and how to hack your way into video streaming.

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