A Public Domain (2011)

Linda Hilfling

"A Public Domain" is a reflection on and intervention into language as a commons, which continuously is being altered and in this process deteriorating as words and phrases are being reserved as trademarks.
Usually such deterioration is difficult to grasp as it takes form as licenses registered in the databases of National Intellectual Property Offices and mainly gets attention from the public in cases of lawsuits brought up by the media. However, "A Public Domain" is an attempt to establish a public domain in a literary sense.
The project is an open wireless network, also named A Public Domain, which anybody can log on to and access the internet through.
All data passing through the network will be filtered in such a way that all text which is not in the public domain (i.e. words or phrases, regardless of their graphical representation, which have been registered as trademarks in the jurisdictional area in which the network is established) are substituted by voids. This means that chunks of information are missing and eventually the users have to guess the overall meaning of the content.
Nevertheless, although amputated and fragmented, this is a public domain.