Screenshot of Sci-Hub X Now! chrome from my Google brower page

Added to the Museum of Data by Yidan Kuang on Monday, November 14, 2022. Museum of Data Collection ID: 1346.

Public description: This is a screenshot of a Google Chrome called Sci-Hub X now! in the fixed tab bar above my Google Chrome browser. It's a small program (actually, it's a hack, if you will) that provides free access to a variety of online documents, and was developed early on by a graduate student in Kazakhstan who was having trouble getting access to the literature while writing his dissertation at Harvard University. Later on it gradually collaborated with other open source sites and databases around the world. The reason I chose to take a screenshot of its small icon in the tab bar of my browser rather than going to its specific introduction page is that this is the form in which I usually see it most often; also, when I need to download something that I cannot get access to but is important to me (sometimes because it is too much of a hassle to get in through the UCL channel), I click on this small icon to get the desired I click on this little icon to get the document I want. For me, this little numbered icon seems to have some kind of magic: with a single click, I can get the document I need (in most cases; not all documents requiring access can be downloaded successfully). In this way, I think the digital representation of this hacker app (especially the small icon one) personifies the powerful technical system behind this collective and collaborative development process (through the sense of enchantment it generates for the user), and reveals the value position of the open source, hacker program. It is decentralised and disembodied in concrete form, but it gives the user access to digital documentation (another form of materiality) through its digital images (small icons) and coding system.

Materials used: hacking system, coding, Internet, digitalized screenshot

Credit: Alexandra Elbakyan, Kazakh Software Development and Neurotechnology Researcher, invented it. But later, it's developed by collaborative collectives

Language: English

Size: as immense as information can cover; <1mb in size of capacity; and just 4kb of its screenshot

Creation date: 2011/09/05 00:00:00

Tags: 14, 18

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