Bureau of Inverse Technology

The Bureau of Inverse Technology [bit and sometimes BIT] is an organisation of artist-engineers whose stated aim is to be an " [http://www.bureauit.org/bitindex.html information agency servicing the Information Age] ". Bureau engineers, so-called BIT agents, are involved from design to deployment and documentation of radical products based on commercially available electronic entertainment components such as cameras, radios, networks, robots, sensors etc.

The Bureau was founded in Melbourne in 1991 (though some accounts say 1992), and was incorporated with limited liability in the Cayman Islands in 1991 and subsequently re-incorporated in Delaware in 1997.

Though its work has long been publicly available, the composition of the Bureau itself is shrouded in some mystery, for some years cloaking its identity in anonymity. In 2004 the Bureau initiated a "retreat from anonymity" when radio journalist and BIT co-founder Kate Rich took up a 3-month Research Fellowship at Piet Zwart Institute for Media Design Research, Rotterdam in 2004.

Current Bureau products include BIT Radio, Feral Robotic Dogs and the Despondency Index. See [http://bureauit.org/sbox/] for graphic images taken using BIT's innovative Suicide Box.

See also the [http://www.bureauit.org/decade/ BUREAU OF INVERSE TECHNOLOGY: THE DECADE REPORT, THE BUREAU THE EVIDENCE THE FIRST 10 YEARS ] by Bureau engineers Natalie Jeremijenko and Kate Rich.

The Bureau can be found [http://www.bureauit.org/bitindex.html here.]

BIT Products

A [http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-0202/msg00070.html limited release advisory] provides the performance characteristics of several Bureau products including BIT Radio, BIT Rockets and the BITCAB Service.

BIT Radio

[http://xdesign.ucsd.edu/feralrobots/ Feral Robotic Dogs ]

Commercially available robotic toy dogs re-engineered for semi-autonomous deployment. The dogs are typically fitted with sensors, e.g. for volatile organic compounds, and unleashed in packs to co-operatively and socially hunt the toxins. Because their "hunting-pack" behavior is easily observed and interpreted (e.g. more toxins means more movement and tighter grouping), the dogs represent a new and accessible medium for educating people about their local environments that requires almost no technical or scientific training. Natalie Jeremijenko has led Feral Robotic Dog workshops and courses with students at the Bronx River Art Center, Yale University and the Pratt Institute.

[http://bureauit.org/sbox/ Suicide Box]

The Suicide Box is a camera that is focussed on the Golden Gate Bridge and which is triggered by a vertical-motion detector when people jump from the bridge. The sensor has been adapted to ignore seagull activity near the bridge. Statisitics from the Suicide Box are used to derive the Despondency Index.

[http://www.bureauit.org/decade/projects.html#despondencyindex Despondency Index]

A bizarre economic indicator which correlates, in real time, the suicide rate measured with the Suicide Box at the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Due to its use of real-time feeds and a mix of economic and social indicators, the Despondency Index is more likely to be a more dynamic guide to socio-economic health than the Misery index (economics) which uses two more slowly moving and strictly financial indicators.

BIT Rockets

BITCAB service

[http://bureauit.org/plane/ BIT Plane]

[http://bureauit.org/antiterror/ Anti-Terror Line]

In May 2003, the Bureau opened their Anti-Terror Line [http://bureauit.org/antiterror/] (tel: +1 212 998 3394 - press 1 for antiterror), which enables every telephone, home, cell or payphone, to act as a networked microphone. The Anti-Terror Line can be used for collecting live audio data on civil liberty infringements and other anti-terror events.

BIT Agents

BIT co-founder Natalie Jeremijenko

BIT co-founder [http://bureauit.org/data/krcv/ Kate Rich]

BIT References





* cite web | title= Index - The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation| work= An exhibition held at the Foundation, 16 February - 17 March 2002
publisher= | url= http://www.indexfoundation.se/Default2.asp?id=3&a=29

* cite web | title= DERIVATIVES, NEW ART FINANCIAL VISIONS, 12 La Casa Encendida, Madrid / June 27-September 3, 2006.| work= An installation of the Despondency Index
publisher= Natalie Jeremijenko and the Bureau of Inverse Technology | url= http://www.derivart.info/index.php?s=derivados&lang=en
Read the exhition catalog entry [http://www.derivart.info/material/060621_derivatives_-_english_text_for%20the%20catalgue.pdf] which also compares the Despondency Indexwith Arthur Okun's Misery Index.

External links

* [http://www.vdb.org/smackn.acgi$artistdetail?BUREAUOFIN Bureau of Inverse Technology] in the [http://www.vdb.org/ Video Data Bank] .

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