Back to Exhibition

PleaseSpam.US, Jonah Brucker-Cohen (US)

PleaseSpam.Us (PSU) is a web (2.0) based collaborative filtering project and voting system that encourages people to submit email addresses and vote on whether those addresses are worthy of attracting spammers. If an address receives enough “votes”, it is then placed on the front page of the website which is built with the intention of attracting “SpamBots” that will eventually deliver messages to those implicated. The project attempts to critically re-examine the proliferation of electronic communications systems such as email that are built to facilitate instantaneous communication between people as well as to question the advent of collaborative filtering (used by sites like DIGG and all of the “DIGG copycat sites” and “Reputation Systems” (as found on many commercial and community oriented sites). The ultimate intention with the project is to explore the tensions of utilizing spam as a cultural and social tool to encourage the debate of how these social systems often work to polarize opinions and pigeonhole debate into specified channels. Instead of voting on general topics of interest which is the focus of these types of sites, PSU is focused on giving a collaborative voice to bringing the abuse of email as a mass broadcasting system into public attention and discussions. The project is also meant to expose the methods and ways Spammers are using to find people’s email addresses for spamming and implicate ways of stopping this from happening.

External Project Link


Jonah Brucker-Cohen - Design/ Concept

Peter Brindisi - Developer / System Administrator

About the Creator

Jonah Brucker-Cohen is a researcher, artist, and R&D OpenLab Fellow at Eyebeam in NYC. He is also currently completing his Ph.D. as an HEA MMRP (Multimedia Research Programme) fellow in the Disruptive Design Team of the Networking and Telecommunications Research Group (NTRG), Trinity College Dublin. He is an adjunct assistant professor of communications at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. From 2001-4 he was a Research Fellow in the Human Connectedness Group at Media Lab Europe. He received a Masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and was an Interval Research Fellow from 1999-2001. His work and thesis focuses on the theme of "Deconstructing Networks" which includes projects that attempt to critically challenge and subvert accepted perceptions of network interaction and experience. He is co-founder of the Dublin Art and Technology Association (DATA Group) and a recipient of the ARANEUM Prize sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Art, Science and Technology and Fundacion ARCO. His writing has appeared in numerous international publications including WIRED Magazine,, and Gizmodo, and his work has been shown at events such as DEAF (03,04), Art Futura (04), SIGGRAPH (00,05), UBICOMP (02,03,04), CHI (04,06) Transmediale (02,04), NIME (07), ISEA (02,04,06), Institute of Contemporary Art in London (04), Whitney Museum of American Art's ArtPort (03), Ars Electronica (02,04), and the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art (04-5).