Out of the Ordinary

Lisa Jevbratt (2002)

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- > Web simulation visualizing pre-sampled network traffic.
Out of the Ordinary is a Carnivore client, a network visualization software, which measures and maps the probability of communication between computers on the network that the software resides on, and between computers on the network and the Internet. Data travels on the Internet between two computers in packets. The Out of the Ordinary client maps the likelihood of a packet being sent between the two communicating computers. It thus produces an image of its networks' levels of excitement and surprise, or the lack thereof. Each packet that comes through the network is represented as a square. The grey value of the square is determined by the probability of the packet being sent between the two computers. The higher the probability is, the darker the square is. The probability is calculated from how many times the two computers have been communicating, relative to the total amount of packets passing through the network since the client was launched. The assumption is that the more two computers communicate, the more likely it is that they communicate again.
In the context of the ever-increasing paranoia stemming from the surveillance inherent in computer networks, it is interesting to see how little of Internet communication is out of the ordinary.

To run the Out of the Ordinary client on your network you have to have carnivorePE installed on a PC connected to the network.
The full screen version is not recommended if you are running the client on the same computer as you are running carnivorePE since you can't access other programs to generate network traffic if the client covers the whole screen.

The OOO client has been exhibited at:
Open_Source_Art_Hack, The New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York, NY, 2002
Electrohype 2002, Malmoe, Sweden, 2002 (installation)
Carnivore clients, Eybeam Gallery, New York, NY 2002

'Occurrences', a text by Jan Ekenberg.