July 7, 2014
Brigid Pasco

OKFestival Artists Spotlight: Peng! Collective

On Thursday, July 17 at 12:00 Peng! Collective will present the OKFestival session Malarkey as a Tactic for Activism. Peng members Faith Bosworth and Jean Peters will lead participants in an exploration of communications-based civil disobedience practices. Emphasis is on the political utility of creating “false realities,” using pranks and guerilla tactics to draw attention to important issues. Beginning with an interactive game and developing into small-group examinations of specific, personally relevant situations, the workshop will be based on application of the tools that Peng! Collective has developed through their own work.

From the Google Nest Page

From the Google Nest Page

Peng! Collective is a Berlin-based group, known, among other things, for their Google Nest project, a critical spoof of Google’s data and privacy policies. The original website was taken down due to Google but can be found mirrored here, here, here, and here. Google Nest showcases a new line of Google “products” such as personalized drones (‘Google Bee’) an archive of personal data to memorialize the dead (‘Google Bye’), a data protection insurance plan (‘Google Trust’) and an emotion-sensing application (‘Google Hug’). Through their parody of Google, they highlighted the increasing lack of transparency in data collection, and the omnipresence of online surveillance and data mining. Other Peng! Projects include Slam Shell, in which they infiltrated Shell Oil’s Science Slam competition (see video below) and Democready, an offering of “packages” which purport to enforce government authority, and implicitly challenge the construction of what democracy means in society.

Jean Peters and Faith Bosworth, who appeared as Google employees “Gloria Spindle” and “Paul von Ribbeck” at Google Nest’s debut, will present Peng!’s work at the OKFestival. Faith Bosworth is a self-described “fake” who, in addition to her political pranksterism and artistic endeavors, spent five years working for the non-profit Tactical Technology Collective. Jean Peters is a political-scientist-turned-political-artist, founder of Peng! Collective, subversive workshop leader, and proud professional impostor.

Peng! Collective’s OKFestival workshop will take place on July 17th from 12-13:00.
For more information about the OKFestival schedule, please click here.