Description of campaign/project
Radical ATM is not only a work of electronic art, but is also a music jukebox, a radical games console, a political propaganda display, an alternative mass communication media, an experiment on ICTs appropriation, an open source and open hardware machine, an activist installation to change the world.
Radical ATM Service offers awareness-raising for the mass of consumers. It basically consists of a series of fake ATMs that hijacks debit cards for some minutes while the owner is forced to consume radical propaganda against his/her own will.
After the Victim inserts his/her card, the following message appears:
***WARNING*** DO NOT ENTER YOUR PIN.
This ATM belongs to Radical ATM Service. Your debit card has been hijacked! But don’t worry: you will get it back safe and sound in a few minutes. We won’t take any money or information from you. Please do not panic. We’re not recording you, so you can behave naturally.
The victim will be, then, compelled to choose between a variety of options: radical games, music, documentaries, campaigns, etc.* When the process is complete, the Happy Victim gets his/her card back, but instead of getting money, he/she gets a set of nice subversive stickers to share with his/her friends and family.
* For Memefest we’d love to feed RATM with works presented in the festival.
We like to say that RATM is a ‘light terrorist’ action, since we’re using some violence in order to force people to consume radical contents against their own will. But at the same time, we make an effort to let them relax and enjoy the experience. We try to use humor to make a contrast with that violence.
We make a selection of great pieces of subverssive media (texts, videos, games) for people to enjoy by the time they learn new things about the world in which we live in. In that sense, RATM is an open platform where any kind of radical communication pieces can be displayed in, from static graphics or short videos, to texts or interactive games.
RATM ‘spreads the word’ of multiple organizations that are building alternatives all over the world. And it tries to reach an audience that is not necessary willing to listen to those messages.
RATM is also about trying to demystify the role of technology in market driven societies. We attempt to change the way people trust daily in the symbols of Capitalism.
RATM devices are built using pieces of broken printers and obsolete computer hardware, all commanded by an Arduino open hardware micro controller, which makes RATM enviroment friendly. RATM is open source and open hardware; the ‘know how’ is available for anybody who wills to replicate or modify our work.
We have two RATM units running, one in Argentina and the other in Germany. We like to dream with a network of Radical ATMs spreading all over the world, adapting their contents to local contexts by people from different communities.
That it is possible to do powerful things with some imagination, little money and hard work.
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Radical ATM Service
Debit Card Hijacker
Concept author year(s) of birth
Concept author(s) contribution
I came up with the idea one afternoon while I was returning home after work. I phoned my friend Federico that is an electrical engineer to ask him if it was possible to built this and if he wanted to participate in the project. Some month later, RATM was being done.
Ivan Kozenitzky, Federico Lazcano
Designer(s) year(s) of birth
Ivan Kozenitzky designed the software and some coding. He also designed the casing prototype. Federico Lazcano designed the electronics and the Arduino coding. Devices design (mechanical components to hijack cards and deliver stickers) was made in collaboration with Federico Lazcano.
I've been producing in alternative communication and communication guerrilla for the last 10 years. In 2002 I participated in the collective that founded Indymedia Rosario (rosario.indymedia.org) where I worked for 2 years. Then I took part in Nodo Tau (tau.org.ar), a local NGO that works with ICTs. By the same time I was a member of Cat Eaters (cateaters.org.ar), a Communication Guerrilla Workshop that made several actions, like Pinche (pinche.com.ar), Entel Vuelve (entelvuelve.com.ar) and Ingobernables (ingobernables.com.ar). During the last 2 years I've been involved in a work in progress project called Radical ATM Service (radicalatm.com.ar), a network of fake cash machines, which I'm presenting here. Iâ€™m also working in a new project called Call Center Experience!, which is about working in global call centers, that is going to see light in April this year.