Talk: Creative and Critical Use of Complex Networks, Le Printemps Des Laboratoires, Paris

May 30, 2015 | No Comments »

I will be participating in the Le Printemps des Laboratoires #3 – Performing Opposition event with a talk on June 6th, and will do a two-day Graph Commons workshop on June 4-5.

“Bloggers, Hackers, Wikileakers, Whistleblowers, Youtubbers : communautés intentionnelles et réseaux sociaux”
Saturday June 6th, 5pm-7:30pm

With Marie Lechner (journaliste), Burak Arikan (artiste), Brian Holmes (philosophe, critique d’art, activiste), Mathias Jud et Christopher Wachter (artistes), et Nathalie Magnan (média-activiste).

Some words on my talk:

Creative and Critical Use of Complex Networks

By experience, we have the sense that it is the networks where power resides and circulates. Yet, we end up failing as active agents who have the means of criticizing networks that are large and complex. In this presentation, I will discuss this issue through the recent collective mapping project “Networks of Dispossession” and the online platform for collective mapping of networks, Graph Commons.

Talk: Something You Should Know at EHESS, Paris

May 30, 2015 | No Comments »


I will be talking about my recent works and processes as part of the “Something You Should Know” series at EHESS in Paris, Wednesday June 3rd at 19:00.



Patricia Falguières, Elisabeth Lebovici et Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez

Mercredi 3 juin 2015 à 19h

* Image: Artist Collector Network – Network map of collectors and artists based on the relationship of being in an art collection. Installation view from Borusan Contemporary Istanbul, 2011

Artist Collector Network at Human Economy, HEC Paris

November 19, 2014 | No Comments »



Artist Collector Network is on view at the ‘Human Economy‘, the new exhibition of Paris HEC’s Contemporary Art Space, from 20 November 2014 to 6 March 2015.

Curator: Paul Ardenne, Associate curator: Barbara Polla

Artists: Burak Arikan | Conrad Bakker | Yann Dumoget | Jean-Baptiste Farkas | Hervé Fischer | Sean Hart | Marc Horowitz | Joel Hubaut | Pierre Huyghe | Ali Kazma | Florent Lamouroux | Tuomo Manninen | Adrian Melis | Deimantas Narkevičius | + Jorge Orta Lucy | Jean Revillard | Camille Roux | Edith Roux | Benjamin Sabatier | Julien Serve | Zoë Sheehan Saldaña | Paul Souviron

This exhibition aims to take stock of the relationships visual artists have today with the world of business and, more broadly, with the economy in this era of globalization. There are two types of approaches: the ‘visual’ input into the world of business, the economy and production, and playing with economic indicators and the world of business. The emphasis here is on creativity, and the gaze of the artists invited for this exhibition tends to humanize the workplace and the economy. People become conscious, lucid, and concerned participants.

More info

Critical Network Mapping talk, Eyeo 2014, Minneapolis

November 6, 2014 | No Comments »

Slides below are from my talk at Eyeo 2014 with notes and links are included. Download as PDF.

Critical Network Mapping, Burak Arikan talk at Eyeo2014, Minneapolis

Cartographies of Power, Sao Paulo Biennial

September 12, 2014 | No Comments »

We are doing a two day workshop titled “Cartographies of Power” in the Sao Paulo Biennial.

Cartographies of Power
September 11-12, 2014
At the Sao Paulo Biennial building.

The distribution of power and knowledge is one of the crucial questions of our contemporary moment, yet many of the interconnections and dependencies within the elite are opaque or invisible to most citizens. Making pictures and diagrams of power structures and access to knowledge might allow us all a clearer view of how decisions are made and whose interests are being promoted when power is exercised inside and outside government. Two artists, Burak Arikan and Erick Beltrán and collaborator Zeyno Ustun have been interested in the representation of power, governance and history for some years. They have each produced their own different cartographies to map the links between elites and the way power flows through the control of access to information. This 2 day workshop will start by introducing each artists’ projects and then proceed by working together with the group to determine suitable subjects for mapping power, governance and history in Brazil. The intention is that at the end of the workshop participants will have an understanding of the tools needed to map their own interests or to work collectively on a Brazilian cartography.

We will be using the Graph Commons platform for network mapping exercises.

See the Workshop Archive

More info on the Cartographies of Power

Mapping Internet Governance, UngovForum Istanbul, Sao Paulo Biennial

September 11, 2014 | No Comments »

We’ve kicked off a new collective mapping work on the processes that shape the evolution of the Internet, Mapping Internet Governance.

Mapping Internet Governance

Already a pressing global issue, internet governance debates are taking place across a range of different fora often referred to as an ecosystem. With the revelations of mass government surveillance, the frequency, intensity, and stakes of internet governance debates have heightened in the last year and this trend promises to continue. At the core of such debates is the future of fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression, privacy, access to knowledge, and access to affordable internet, but also how to decision-making process can become more open, transparent, participatory, accountable, and democratic.

Mapping Internet Governance, a collective data compiling and mapping project, traces the relations between the internet governance events, processes, and organizing institutions. The map covers the past 2 years with an effort to better focus civil society advocacy by understanding where main discussions about global internet governance are taking place.

This mapping is a work in progress. It is meant to be a living document, reflecting developments in the dynamic internet governance space, including evolving relationships between institutions and processes. We are seeking input for additional information to keep the mapping up-to-date and reflect the current state of play.

Please send your input to:

Mapping Internet Governance is initiated by Joana Varon, Deborah Brown, Lea Kaspar, Burak Arikan. Mapping is powered by the Graph Commons platform.

Talk at Eyeo Festival 2014, Minneapolis

June 10, 2014 | No Comments »

I will be giving a talk on the creative and critical uses of complex networks, tomorrow at Eyeo Festival in Minneapolis, more info below, come say hi. Also we will do a panel session on Data, Art & Ethics in a Post-Snowden World with Ashkan Soltani, Jer Thorp, Kate Crawford, and Sarah Williams.

Critical Network Mapping

Wednesday / 11:35 — 12:20 / McGuire Theater

By experience, we do have the sense that it is networks where power resides and circulates. Yet, we end up failing as active agents, who, hands on, have the means of criticizing complex networks. Arikan’s talk will discuss this issue through his recent work, starting from MyPocket (2008) raising questions on the predictability of everyday living; discussing the invisible power dynamics within the contemporary art ecosystem with Artist Collector Network (2011-); traversing the visual language of official tourism commercials with Monovacation (2013); finally narrating a selection of network maps collectively created on Graph Commons, platform for collaborative network mapping and a knowledge base of relationships that Arikan has been maintaining since 2011.

Panel: What a Difference a Year Makes: Data, Art & Ethics in a Post-Snowden World – Ashkan Soltani, Burak Arikan, Jer Thorp, Kate Crawford, Sarah Williams

Wednesday / 4:00 — 4:45 / Cinema

On June 5th, 2013, The Guardian announced the leak of thousands of classified documents by NSA contractor Edward Snowden. These revelations (and others) have sparked a global conversation about data, privacy & ethical responsibility. Join a group of artists, theorists, researchers and practitioners for a discussion on what has changed, and how the Eyeo community can learn from and contribute to the ongoing dialogue.

Eyeo program


Network Mapping and Analysis Workshop, ITP CAMP 2014, New York

June 3, 2014 | No Comments »


I will be doing a 3 hour Network Mapping and Analysis Workshop at ITP CAMP 2014. Please RSVP if you’d like to participate in the workshop.

Thursday, June 5

RSVP here:

This is a 3 hour workshop focusing on the design and understanding of complex networks through mapping and visual analysis in order to expand the individual’s thinking about the network as a creative medium. Starting from hand drawn simple graph diagrams, participants gradually build complex network models. Emphasis on network mapping, modeling, relational thinking, protocol authoring, centrality analysis, clustering analysis, and information design. Participants learn the most through observing and extracting networks from their area of interests, collaborative mapping, sketching, and discussing diagrams.

1hr – How to map networks? Introduction lecture, theory and discussion.
1hr – Mapping: Hands on drawing and using Graph Commons.
1hr – How to analyze networks? Presentations and analysis.

Graph Commons is used at the workshops for collaborative / group mapping, so bring your laptops!

More information & Workshop Archive

* Photograph from the Creative Networking Workshop at Jeff Projects Istanbul, Aug 8th, 2013.

A simple and secure voting system with Bitcoin

April 22, 2014 | No Comments »

A schema designed to utilize Bitcoin cryptocurrency for secure and simple electronic voting. In the heart of the schema lies the Blockchain, so all the processes of the system are open to public audition.


All actors of the election should be able to have a Bitcoin account.
All actors of the election should be able to secure their voting computer.


Election Authority


Block Chain: Bitcoin public transaction list
0.00000001 Bitcoin: the smallest unit of Bitcoin possible
BTC: Abbreviation for Bitcoin currency


0. Election Authority declaration
Election Authority publicly announces its Bitcoin address.

1. Voter registration
Voters show a valid ID and provide their Bitcoin address to Election Authority, who sends them 0.00000001 BTC in return. All voter Bitcoin addresses are publicly listed in the Blockchain. To carry out citizens’ right to vote anonymously, the Election Authority keeps the IDs to prevent double registration but does not keep a record of association between the IDs and the provided Bitcoin addresses.

2. Candidate registration
Candidates provide a valid ID and their Bitcoin address to Election Authority, who sends them 0.00000002 BTC in return. All candidate Bitcoin addresses are publicly listed in the Blockchain. As opposed to voter registration, Election Authority keeps and publicly announces a record of association between each candidate ID and their provided Bitcoin address. Candidates are obliged to announce their Bitcoin addresses.

3. Starting the election
Election starts when Election Authority sends 0.00000001 BTC to all the voters’ Bitcoin addresses publicly listed in the BLockchain.

4. Voting
Voters send 0.00000001 BTC to their preferred candidate’s Bitcoin addresses publicly listed in the Blockchain.

5. Ending the election
Election ends when all voting transactions are processed for each candidate in the Blockchain. A time limit can be also put in place.

6. Election result
Election result is obtained by counting all valid voting transactions from the registered voting addresses to the registered candidate addresses in the Blockchain. Any other transaction after the first 0.00000001 Bitcoin transaction from the voter to the candidate is considered disqualified. The whole process from the registrations to the voting and counting the results is open to audition by anyone.


This basic schema can be applied today with the existing Bitcoin infrastructure. One can develop applications and interfaces for better user experience of this system. To contribute and improve the schema please send your comments and questions to the comments section of this page, or feel free to fork the repository and send pull requests.


The MIT License (MIT)

Monovacation, Datascape, LABoral, Gijon

March 17, 2014 | No Comments »

Monovacation is on view at the LABoral Datascape exhibition, March 14th – September 21st, 2014.

2013. Custom software, interactive map on 47” touchscreen, video on 42” LCD screen, projection

Monovacation cordially invites you to “the vacation” of vacations… The official tourism commercials of countries in competition with each other have been selected and each film has been divided into the possible tiniest clips. The clips, 3-4 sec long by nature have been coded with tags. Through a network diagram which run as a software simulation, these tags are connected to each other via shared clips have found their positions on the map. Then, a new sequence have been generated through a traversal in the network map, jumping from one node to the closest, following the path of the most central tags. Shores from Egypt to Portugal, woman from Israel to India, mythological figures from Thailand to Turkey here comes an extracted fantasy of “vacation”… Text continues below

Three part installation:

Projection (3 min loop) – Official tourism commercials of countries which are competitors of each other, used as data and presented in grid form (excerpt below)

Digital Print – Network map of tags connected by shared clips, generated by the content analysis of the tourism commercials, where the blue color represents the traversal path used for editing the new film.


Video (6 min loop) – Generic film algorithmically reedited by a traversal on the network map (excerpt below).


Zeynep Gökay Üstün

Monovacation cordially invites you to “the vacation” of vacations… The official tourism commercials of countries in competition with each other have been selected and each film has been divided into the possible tiniest clips. The clips, 3-4 sec long by nature have been coded with tags. Through a network diagram, which run as a software simulation, these tags are connected to each other via shared clips and have found their positions on the map. Then, a new sequence have been generated through a traversal in the network map, jumping from one node to the closest, following the path of the most central tags. Shores from Egypt to Portugal, hospitality from Australia to Ukraine, nature from Spain to New Zealand, woman from Israel to India, mythological figures from Thailand to Turkey here comes an extracted fantasy of “vacation”…

Tourism is a vicious sphere of competition in the world economy. This situation forces the countries possessing touristic values to act like corporations. The 2012-2013 Tourism Report of the World Economic Forum evaluates and ranks 144 countries and assumes a position within the global context. The countries in competition take the pulse of each other and use every trick in the book to impress the visitors; huge investments, airport constructions, chain hotels, loyalty programs, business world, and many other attractions as such. Turkey, in this context is one of the countries that attract tourists. Among its competitors there are countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Egypt, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Morocco, Thailand, China, UAE, Taiwan and India. 144 countries trying to captivate the tourists and ruthless competition… Monovacation uses 20 official tourism TV commercials randomly selected out of these 144 countries as its material.

The image appears in the commercial videos of the countries with tourism value. Each film hails another subjectivity, from place to place employs the same imagery and from time to time idiosyncratic elements. The representative images in visuals do not only show the countries assets also builds an ideal understanding of vacation for the subjects. While they are defining a subjective position for the tourist, they also point to all sorts of “should’s” from how and with whom we should have fun, how we should rest, to which view or historical structure we should admire. While the efforts to shape the vacation through the subjectivity of the tourist render these movies almost the same, the trademark geographical and cultural values seem to be wrapped up and marketed. The countries are being stripped off all other qualities and are being brought to a common ground. These commercials, which usually last one to three minutes summarize the countries real quick and try to catch attention and on the other hand give a promise to satisfy all the vacation needs of the tourist, so they collaboratively construct a fantasy of vacation.

Splitting these commercial films into the tiniest pieces and having another gaze at each separated clip channels us into a much convenient path than breaking the routine, instead it reinforces the routine and make it much apparent. Thus, positioning the tags post-coded and attached to each clip in a network map enables one to read this construct of vacation. Yet above all, such a map allows one to discover the most central concepts and representations and to invent a generic vacation commercial. A fantasy which overrules other fantasies of travelling, a fantasy where the steps of discovering a new place are predetermined and a fantasy where the patterns are being reproduced… Monovacation, this construct that we know is generic, forms an extracted fantasy of travelling not to the countries but to the travel itself.

In this context Monovacation is a work composed of three pieces: (1) Official tourism commercials of Turkey and its competitors on a grid, (2) Network map of representation similarity generated by the content analysis of the tourism commercials, (3) Generic film reedited with network analysis.

This work was prepared for the purpose of VitrA Contemporary Architecture Series: Please Do Not Disturb exhibition realized in 2013.