Banksy's anonymity makes it hard to authenticate his pieces and prints, so Banksy has created a nonprofit called "Pest Control" that issues certificates of authenticity: you send them an alleged Banksy print and £65 and if they agree that it's authentic, they'll return it with a certificate that has a torn-in-half "Di-faced" fake banknote with Lady Diana's face on it, with a handwritten ID number across the bill.
As Clinton Freeman points out, this is a great piece of cryptographic engineering: faking a Banksy cert involves matching the tear precisely, and also requires that a would-be counterfeiter know what was written on the other half of the note, which is stored at Pest Control and is not made available.
Let’s say someone did manage to recreate a convincing copy of a print, certificate and the public half of the matching Di Faced Tenner. And you want to purchase this thing that looks like an authenticated print, so you head over to Pest Control’s website and make a change of ownership request. They contact who they have on file as the current owner of the work: ‘Hey, are you going to give your print to Joe Bloggs?’. Naturally the owner, unaware of the forgery and has no intention of selling their current print is going to be confused and reply ‘WTF are you talking about?’
Can an information system be art? Because, like I said, it’s flipping sweet, and all executed in Banksy’s trademark tongue in cheek style. This whole authentication process would easily be my favourite artwork by Banksy.
How Banksy Authenticates His Work
(via Evil Mad Scientist Labs)
[I've been in love with Negativland since their legendary copyright battle with U2 and they've been a part of Boing Boing since 2001; it's a pleasure beyond words to be able to debut More Data, their characteristically trenchant video about data privacy and surveillance; see below for notes from Negativland. -Cory]
A once-underground movement of Finnish girls who conduct elaborate dressage routines with toy hobbyhorses has gone mainstream, with coaches, competitions and trainers, and is spreading abroad.
I'm coming to Halifax to give the closing keynote on day one of Atlseccon on April 24th: it's only my second-ever visit to the city and the first time I've given a talk there, so I really hope you can make it!
With the intuitive software out there today, anyone can become a music producer. You’ve probably heard that from any number of laptop impresarios, but you still have to know how to use the tools – and Logic Pro X is one of the best platforms out there right now. In order to get the most […]
Believe it or not, PDF files have been the go-to format for contracts and forms of any type since 1993. And sure, they’re easily shareable – but that’s about it. When you need to edit or sign a document – and you will – that’s when frustration can set in. Luckily, there are workarounds, and […]
It’s 4/20! Smoke ’em if you got ’em – and if you haven’t got ’em, check out this roundup of deep discounts on pipes and other accessories. They’re all on sale, but you can take an extra discount off the final price courtesy of the Boing Boing store by using the online code 420SAVE. Freeze […]