artist in residence

Linda Hilfling Gate peepin

Artist in Residence September – December 2008

In her residency at NIMk, Danish artist Linda Hilfling produced the artistic tool Gate peepin', which renders the invisible regulations and means of control of Terms of Service in Web 2.0 social platforms into ”shadows” within the user generated content.

Generally, one has to actively look up the terms of a specific service in order to be aware of the regulative framework in use. However, Gate peepin' modifies the content of visited websites by interweaving phrases of such terms with the user generated content of the visited websites, thus allowing its users a peep into the otherwise hidden layers of regulations governing the use of so called democratic web-spaces.

Gate peepin' is a tool intervening directly in the browser window by altering the browsing experience of different Web 2.0 platforms according to their Terms of Service. It is implemented as a Firefox extension that users can enable/disable while browsing the net.

The project was launched on 18 December 2008 as part of the exhibition Speaking Out Loud during the symposium.



Free internet service providers of Web 2.0 are acting as community platforms for users to engage and participate in the creation and development of content. In this way new kinds of private-public spaces are appearing, spaces which are supposedly democratic i.e. created and controlled by the users as suggested by the companies with tag-lines like “Second Life – Your World. Your Imagination.” or names such as ”YouTube” or ”Myspace”, but at the same time spaces where the means of control are non-transparent and users rights hardly exist if any.

Each service platform defines its own regulative framework. This makes browsing the net a continuous travel between territories of different regulations, like a landscape of gated communities, where the regulations, however, are invisible.