THE MEN IN GRAY ORGANISATION
MEN IN GREY, 2010
A public wireless access point would be set up in the area of a media façade so that people can browse, chat and surf on their smartphones, laptops and netbooks. Men in Grey carrying briefcases with integrated laptops and a monitor on the side would suddenly arrive and take control of the network. Acting as network/media routers any traffic using that access point will be passed to the media facade while also appearing on their briefcases. Over time they will increasingly manipulate the content: redirecting webpages, turning popular sites upside down, manipulating AIM/MSN/ICQ/FaceBook chat and swapping images in webpages - Their scripts will ensure that the content on the media facade changes often, showing the many different 'views' of a wireless network: swapping to forensical data, computer name/fingerprinting, graphs, live network packet dissection, dumps of network packet payload, code at work etc. – a visual performance in itself.
Men in Grey by The Men in Grey Organisation © The Men in Grey Organisation
Men In Grey emerge as a manifestation of Network Anxiety, a fearful apparition in a time of government wiretaps, Facebook spies, Google caches, Internet filters and mandatory ISP logging.
Operating at the intersection of hacking and invasive situationist action, any open wireless network becomes their stage for a reverse-engineering of network dependence and the implicit trust we place in the metal and minds that make itall work.
In the grey suit of an unidentifiable bureaucrat, carrying briefcases filled with hardware and software, the Men In Grey dissect and manipulate wireless network traffic then reflect it back to the public with unsettling results.