Milk and Honey
Radical Networks 2019 Proposal
Format: Artwork / Workshop / Talk / Performance
Name: Phillip David Stearns
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Consent to being photographed?: Yes
Consent to being on the livestream?: Yes
Speaker Bio and Profile Picture
I studied audio engineering at the University of Colorado at Denver (BS 2005) and Music Composition at the California Institute of the Arts (MFA 2007). In the time since, I've worked independently as an artist, technician/engineer, designer (textile, 3D), photographer, animator, and and educator. This proposal is coming to you from NØ SCHOOL NEVERS where I'm co-leading the Networks thread with Jerome Saint-Claire. Other topics I've taught include Ethical Hacking, Creative Coding, Electronics, Circuit Bending, Glitch Art, and Soft Circuits. Places I've taught include NYU, NYIT, Hochschule Düsseldorf, Pioneer Works, 3rd Ward, Harvestworks, and Steim. I'm currently interested in hows/whos/whys centered around the weaponization of the internet and have spent the last 3 years digging into cyber warfare from multiple perspectives.
I've participated in the Circuit Bending (curated Bent Festival 2011), Glitch Art, Creative Coding, Experimental/New/Noise Music, Video Art and New Media Art communities in Los Angeles and New York. The spirit of playful curiosity, critical reflection, and generous/open exchange of shared knowledge surrounding the conventions, usage, misuse/abuse, reclaiming, up-cycling and re-purposing of electronic technologies that is core to these communities is also core to my being and creative practice.
Milk and Honey transforms malicious network traffic, attacks on servers located around the globe, directly into sound. The project is an exercise in using the sense of sound to experience low intensity cyber conflict. Virtual Private Servers are configured as honeypots and forward copies of in and out bound packets to raspberry pis installed in the gallery. Port scans, exploit attempts, brute force login attacks, and other forms of unwarranted traffic are made audible in real-time through headphones. An guide to identifying the sonic signatures of such attacks will be accessible online to accompany the piece.
A 15 channel version of this is being presented at Espace Im Media. A scaled down 8-channel version is proposed for Radical Networks.
In addition to the Artwork, I'm able to speak more generally about the process and research as well as lead a workshop walking participants through setting up a raspberry pi to run the software translating network traffic into sound. It's also possible to do a short audio performance involving a choreographed attack against one of the honeypots whose traffic is being sonified.
Talk: 20 minutes with 5 minutes for questions.
Performance / Film Screenings: 10-15 minutes.
Workshop technical requirements and materials list
Equipment/technical requirements: Projector, WiFi
Maximum number of attendees: 8
Full list of materials needed for attendees: Raspberry Pi, 16GB micro SD card
Artwork installation requirements
- 1x 2'x6' table
- Internet Access (via ethernet cable preferred)
- 1x power drop (6 outlet power strip if available)
- 10mins duration
- 1/8" Stereo analog output
- Small table for laptop
- 1x Power drop