Published: Fri 04 January 2013

Julian Oliver is a New Zealander, Critical Engineer and artist based in Berlin. His work and lectures have been presented at many museums, international electronic-art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern, Transmediale, the Chaos Computer Congress, Ars Electronica, FILE and the Japan Media Arts Festival. Julian has received several awards, most notably the distinguished Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica 2011 for the project Newstweek (with Daniil Vasiliev). He is the co-author of the Critical Engineering Manifesto and co-founder of Crypto Party in Berlin, who’s shared studio Weise7 hosted the first three crypto-parties worldwide. He is also the co-founder of BLACKLIST, a screening and panel series focused on the primary existential threats of our time.

Julian has also given numerous workshops and master classes in data forensics, creative hacking, computer networking, counter-surveillance, software art, object-oriented programming, radio, UNIX/Linux, (and previously) augmented reality, virtual architecture, video-game development and information visualisation worldwide. He is an advocate of Free and Open Source Software and is a supporter of, and contributor to, initiatives that reinforce rights of privacy and anonymity in networked and non-networked domains. He has often donated his experience in these areas to the support of activist initiatives, and at-risk groups, with a focus on environmental defense.

Articles about Julian’s work, or work he’s made with others, have appeared in many news channels. Among them are The BBC (UK), The Age (AU), Der Spiegel (DE), El Pais (ES), Liberation (FR), The New York Times (US), La Vanguardia (ES), The Guardian Online (UK), Cosmopolitan (US), Wired (DE, US, UK), Slashdot (US), Boing Boing (US), Computer World (World) and several television stations worldwide.

For a selected list of exhibitions, lectures and workshops given since 1996, click here.

To better understand some of the ideas behind Julian’s work, see Julian Oliver - Artist Profile, Rhizome.


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Julian Oliver grew up on a small farm in New Zealand, raised on bowhunting, trapping, skinning, eeling, farm-work, pre-desktop computers and a really nice collection of early electronic and experimental music.

On becoming an adult Julian became vegetarian, discovering that all the deforestation, water-pollution, CO2, CH4, loss of wild, containment, selective breeding, fear, slaughter, refrigeration, plastic and general horribleness of animal agriculture wasn’t necessary to be a healthy human being. For these reasons he hasn’t killed and/or eaten an animal since, now a herbivore and anti-speciesist.

He’s a long-time fan of GNU/Linux and Free, Open Source Software, having used Debian GNU/Linux as his primary computing platform since the year 2000. What he hasn’t learned from collaboration he has taught himself.

Julian is a devotee of the bow and arrow, shooting in the ancient instinctive (‘barebow’) style. He trains on a Bodnik 30lb Slick Stick hybrid longbow and shoots a barebow 55lb Hoyt Buffalo take-down hunting recurve or 50lb Bodnik Mohawk Chief hunting hybrid take-down longbow when in the field (usually a forest).