Bangkok's PANTIP PLAZA located in downtown central is a piracy haven. A whole shopping mall of little shops and stalls that offer "COPY and BURN" service unabashedly flaunt quantitative selection of newly released commercial music CDs, movie DVDs, softwares and games. For 100 baht for a cd and 200 baht for a DVD and 15 minutes waiting time, you take home your copies. This is OPEN data piracy blazon for public consumption - payback time for the inequalities of the world trade system where Asia becomes a source of cheap labor while its natural resources and biodiversity are plundered by the bio-piracy of pharmaceutical multinationals. Under pressure from the US industry and trade department officials, Asian governments are made to vow to crack down on piracy. On the eve of entering the WTO in 2001 the Chinese government staged a public bonfire showdown, piled up mountains of confiscated pirated CD copies and burnt and destroyed them while crowds were made to watch.
BURN, a web interface and installation, adresses the collateral damage of the international copyright regime, recalls the burning of pirated CDs in China and celebrates the act of BURN (CDs) as common cultural practice in the age of digital reproduction. BURN acknowledges the file sharing practice of P2P (peer to peer) and the abundance of MP3 files on the net, while creating a browser based public upload and download sharing space on the web. The BURN interface further encodes MP3 music files uploaded in assorted colors. Free for download and burn, the media lounge installation consists of piled up CDs available for free public consumption.
interface/installation: Shu Lea Cheang
design: y i p p i e y e a h
programming: Roger Sennert

BURN was commissioned by the Foundation for Art & Creative Technology and the with the support of the Culture 2000 programme.