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Al Jazeera | The Critical Engineers
Rebel Geeks: seven part series
Director: Ladan Anoushfar
December 2015

With services like email and social media, Amazon and Apple Pay, health, diet and even sleep-tracking, technology is pushing ever deeper into our lives. 

But should we just accept the new gadgets and services on offer, or is there a hidden cost to pay? 

This seven-part series profiles the Rebel Geeks challenging power structures and offering a different vision of our technological future.


A team of artist hackers set out to expose the devices spying on us by sending a balloon to the edge of space.


Russian-born Danja Vasiliev and New Zealander Julian Oliver are part of a growing movement of coders and hackers who use their skills to create questioning and humorous digital art.


Through their art, Oliver and Vasiliev are focusing on showing how vulnerable the public is to mass surveillance. They create visual, interactive digital objects, do street interventions and performance, and use engineering to comment upon the world we live in.


We follow the duo and their colleague Bengt Sjölén as they construct and launch their latest project: a weather balloon modified with a computer and radio scanning equipment to monitor and intercept what is impossible to pick up from Earth - transmissions in the upper atmosphere.

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Many of us had known for a long time and even warned against the risks of having implicit trust in technology we don't understand, most particularly network infrastructure.

Julian Oliver
Critical Engineer and Artist
Credit List
Assistant Producer