Hacking Rhetoric

Hacker Artist Statement

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The ‘target’ for my hack was Sammy! Luckily she friended me on facebook (possibly as a guise for my true hacker Meagan??) before I could add her, so I hoped this coincidence would give my hack a certain ‘element of surprise’. After a little stalking, I deduced her password and logged in… now… time to hack!!

Sammy’s 3D printer story particularly struck me because I’ve gotten to play with a 3D printer once… and it was awesome. But here was this horror story about something I had seemingly thought was so mundane! All I made was a little wood carving, yet hackers were making spare keys to someone’s home with a mere photo of the lock. I found 3D printers utilization to make keys extremely disconcerting. Her phonetic ‘encryption’ of keys are no longer private really grabbed my attention as well; I wanted to learn more about that, too. With my hack I choose to incorporate a similar format to Sammy’s original post, but instead show another facet of 3D printing. The medical achievements 3D printing facilitates are truly astounding– from affordable prosthetic limbs http://www.iflscience.com/technology/man-makes-3d-printed-prosthetic-hand-son-only-10 to printed organs, 3D printing will revolutionize access to medicine in terms of affordability and availability for patients. Not to mention the innovations yet to be built!

But, Just as Sammy discussed in her summary of a hack on making keys with a 3D printer, not all printed items are so beneficial nor heartwarming…


“It’s about liberation of information. It’s about living in a world where you download the file for the thing you want to make… As the printing press revolutionized literacy, 3D printing is in its moment….

…With the free and distributed nature of file sharing on the internet there is no longer the threat of certain information, and thus, certain material objects, can be denied provision to men and women who need them.” -Cody Wilson

These quotes from the video, once distanced from the source, are ideologically appealing, ringing of free information and open access. Yet, I find open access in regards to guns thoroughly chilling. As with many new technologies, there is often a duality of benefit and harm. Defense Distributed and the Wiki Weapon certainly open up the dialogue of tech frontiers in the age of the 3D printer– and one giant can of worms.

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