This beautiful and dangerous looking device is built to penetrate walls, but not in the traditional way.
Modeled after a Soviet F1 hand grenade, the Transparency Grenade was created to blow holes in government and corporate opacity–basically, to listen in on closed-door meetings
Created by artist Julian Oliver, the device houses a small computer, microphone, and wireless antenna. According to Oliver’s site, the device “captures network traffic and audio at the site and securely and anonymously streams it to a dedicated server where it is mined for information. Email fragments, HTML pages, images, and voice extracted from this data are then presented on an online, public map, shown at the location of the detonation.”
Oliver is the same artist who brought us Newstweek, a device that allows users to screw with the news that those around them are accessing via wireless networks. His past work also includes The Artvertiser, software that allows users to replace ads with art. Read more on Oliver’s site and read an interview with the artist on We Make Money Not Art (in which Oliver says he’s working on a way to port the Grenade back-end to the Android platform, allowing the interested to get Transparency Grenade-like functionality on their Android phone “and send the data over an encrypted channel via their GSM provider to a publicly available map, displaying the detonation as data from that site.”
The Transparency Grenade was created for the Weise7 Studio exhibition, and if you happen to be in Berlin before Feb 20, you can check it out in person.