Karel Koplimets & Ivar Veermäe
Don’t Be Evil Extended, 2011Net-Based Installation
In their installation Don’t Be Evil Extended, Karel Koplimets and Ivar Veermäe use the unofficial slogan of Google Inc., proposed by one of its lead engineers. It is a part of Google’s corporate policy, which has the leitmotif that it should be possible to make (a great deal of) money without doing (much) evil. In a form of virtual transgression the artists undertake an experiment where they try to reconquer urban space as a public platform for exchange and participation.
Similar to Google’s strategy for capturing images for Google Street View, Koplimets and Veermäe create their own version of the streets of Tallinn, adding new public spaces and areas in post-processing. They modify images of Tallinn in a way that all the advertisements are removed and replaced by white spaces. Visitors of the installation are invited to draw or write on these blank spaces with the means of a laser-tagging system, allowing them to redefine public space as a space for communication and exchange and not only for the advertisement of consumption. By default, we all presume urban spaces to be something that we consume but to which we do not contribute or add something of our own. Koplimets and Veermäe attempt to sneak past these conventions of behavior—at least in virtual space.
The images produced by the artists and other users are uploaded onto Google Earth and the corresponding location on Google’s virtual globe indicated. According to the artists, their aim is to “find out if it is easy to make it in to the global picture using local action.”
Karel Koplimets und Ivar Veermäe, Don’t Be Evil Extended, 2011 | © Karel Koplimets und Ivar Veermäe