User:Andre Castro/draft fraudnarrative website

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Narratives of Deception

Main (Page)

Bringing to stage the exotic and interweaving network of stories told in spam emails.

(Video: A black Karaoke screen where one of the stories is written)

About (Page)

  • An Operetta
  • Written entirely from spam email
  • Aims
    • communicate the fascinating stories that otherwise would be lost in the confines of our junk mail folders
    • reveal the interconnected, ever-evolving, and appropriative character of these stories

Narratives of Deception is an artistic project in the form of an operetta written entirely from texts received in spam emails.

The project aims to present to audiences the fascinating stories that hide in our junk-mail folders, in ways that allow a perspective over their interconnected, ever-evolving, and appropriative nature.

  • Compilation and organization of spam fraud emails (known as 419s advance fee fraud emails), according to a characters' topology.
  • Each fraud email features one character as the posing author of the email
  • The posing author is without exception part of a finite topology of characters: a banker, a soldier, a rich widow, a politician's relative;
  • The story told by each posing author is essentially the same.
  • Algorithmic analysis of the various messages written by the given posing author
  • These various messages are re-organized so that the common elements, among this body of similar text become perceptible
  • The re-organized stories are made visible through a karaoke screen
  • The karaoke screen will conduct performers in their interpretation of the fraud stories.

The creation of Narratives of Deception is being developed in a number of interconnected stages. At the lowest level we find the source of the project: spam, more precisely spam fraud emails, known as 419s advance fee fraud emails. This specific genre of spam is being compiled and organized under a database. This archive of fraud email is organized around several characters: the banker, the soldier, the rich widow, the relative of a late politician, who normally pose as the authors of the fraud emails. Each of these archetypal figures is the epicenter of a constellation of emails in which the same story is narrated in a verity of ways.

(Figure of characters and their emails - several networks with the author at the epicenter)

On a middle level we find the processes of identification of common elements between the different texts of a given constellation. Each one of these constellations written by is fed into algorithms that analyze and reorganize so that the common elements, among this body of similar text become easily perceptible.

(Figure of 3 text w/ the same sentence going into 1 document)

Once the common elements were identified they are re-organizing into time and put into a dialogue with each other, using a karaoke screen. This display will ultimately conduct performers in their interpretation of the deceptive narratives in front of an audience

(Figure of karaoke screen w/ the three line seen previously with people looking to it and saying the same lines)

  • fascinating and exotic stories, that deserve to be told to audiences
  • spam is more than deceptive and unsolicited form of online advertising ,
  • a rich, creative and constantly evolving field
  • using the most unthinkable tactics to contour spam filtering mechanism, disguise itself as legitimate communication, while seducing us with promises of wealth, happiness, and pleasure.

In great part what made me dive into this project was the discovery of these fascinating authorless stories that are disappearing in our junk-mail folders. These stories seemed to be something more than deceptive and unsolicited online advertising. In fact I began seeing them as a rich but under-recognized form of artistic creation. For their survival they resource to unorthodox and creative practices to contour spam filtering mechanisms, disguise themselves as legitimate communication, and generate large amounts of messages, while managing to seduce us with promises of wealth, happiness, and pleasure, or the simple delight of being told a fantastic story.

Blog (Page)

  • current stage of development - karaoke
  • workshop at transmedial and booklet

Contact (Page)

  • email
  • Bio