Little Bird – A Birdie Told Me A Secret

Little Bird

With the exponential growth information online, corporations and governments have stepped up efforts to control, regulate and track this information. Those who, conversely, have always supported the freedom of speech have continued to work, helping the Internet remain the powerful tool that we know today. The international organization Wikileaks has becomefamous for its impressive work in collecting and analyzing materials withheld by governments and big companies with the aim of making this information publicly available on its website. Although the Internet represents the best means by which activities such as these can be accomplished, it is appropriate to question the existence of a gap between the digital world and the real world of Internet users. The “Little Bird” masterpiece by Matthijs Munnik proposes an alternative and ironic method (not to say iconic; thinking about the social network Twitter) for spreading encrypted messages in public. “Little Bird” is a little house for birds placed in public places that doesn’t arouse any particular suspicions. Tweets emanate from small house and are decoded by a smartphone app. The digital bird, perfectly camouflaged in its environment, publicly tweets encrypted information like a sort of mocking spy. To emphasize its potential, “Little Bird” currently transmits information released by Wikileaks but it is easy to imagine that the messages could be of any kind. The installation is strategic but it needs to remain below the radar in order to continue to avoid adjustment by those spheres of influence that it neatly scrutinizes.

Benedetta Sabatini