Deus ex machina

Image thanks to Graham Jordan

September is #CyberFest. That’s it done for another year. The whole of the month has been occupied by the fifth year of the region’s biggest cyber security festival. In the end there were 17 advertised events, though 2 were postponed, one due to the Queen’s funeral and the other due low registrations (something to do with timing I think). These will be rearranged for later in the year. 

We often talk about cyber security as a technical thing yet what the festival has shown us is that it is so much more. Through the events we have seen that it is about people, business, risk, society, culture, tradition, communication, process, education and much much more. We have also seen that it is about art.

The Cyber Eyes project has been part of the festival for the last three years. This year we wanted to focus more on performance art as well as crafts. In the end we had an African headwrap workshop (think identity), some cyber soap (anti-viral), a living keyboard as well as video, website scraping and pottery.

The festival started off with BSides where we were entertained by an interpretation of cyber security through juggling (apparently juggling skills are like writing code and working in cyber security you certainly have to juggle different tasks.) Due to the high winds however, we were unable to see the aerial display. That would come later at the season finale.

And what a show it was. Freya’s stunning performance of her aerial acrobatics, showed how the god of cyber is inside all of our machines and it is the human interaction that creates and eventually unleashes its destructive forces. It was no coincidence that Freya (Freyja in old Norse) is the goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, sex, war, gold, and seiðr (magic for seeing and influencing the future). It was a magical and far seeing piece of performance art.

This was then followed up by Johnny who had written a song especially for the programme, entitled ‘I am not a robot’ building on those awful identify verification tools you have to use on line. It was another outstanding piece of work. #CyberFest now has its own theme tune.

I’m talking a few days off now before starting to think about 2023 and season 6. Remember, September is #CyberFest.

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