Leonardo Aranda

Artist, Philosopher, Programmer


Network of Creative Pollution
Electronic Device


Programming and idea - Leonardo Aranda

The first version of the project was developed as part of the 'Interactivos 17' residency in the Medialab-Prado, with the help of the following amazing persons:

Luciano Cazaseres
Sebastian Balanta
Perrine Deschellette
Ivana Mondelo
Katalina Soto
Sofia Prosper

The current version of the project is an ongoing investigation developed at the Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies affiliated to the Department of Architecture and the Department of Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

PirateCycle is a device that hacks the main function of bicycles, to turn them into an alternative means of dissemination and propagation of contents. The device operates in a parasitic manner both of the vehicles to which it is subjected, and of the telecommunication networks that it uses to fulfill its function. Through the recovery of obsolete technologies such as SMS messages, the project investigates three areas of exploration: alternative mobility, networking and citizen participation and radiofrequency governance, using art as a way of problematizing our relationship with each of these areas.


The device consists of a portable SMS messaging module, built from the FONA card from Adafruit, Arduino and a Raspberry PI.The device is designed to be fixed to the picture of the bicycles and give voice to the messages received through an intervened megaphone. When the device receives a message, it adds it to its database, and adds it to a playlist of phrases to which it will give voice. At the same time, the user who has sent a message, will receive a response from the device from an analysis of their own message, and according to the phrases filed in the database. The goal is to create a network of content propagation, but unlike extremely structured communication networks, this network is built through uncertainty and chance in a logic more like how pollen travels between flowers using the insects as a means of transport.

Code and instructions to reproduce this device can be found here: https://github.com/medialab-prado/interactivos17-piratecycle


To participate all you have to do is send a message to the phone numer of the project and your message will be added to the data base of the project, conforming part of a conversation that the device will soon give voice in the public space.

All information generated for this project, as well as the data collected are protected under the Creative Commons license, and its use is exclusively within the framework of the project, for creative purposes and without any political or commercial purpose.


Design of instructions: Dora Bartilotti


- May-jun 2017, Interactivos 17, Medialab-Prado, Madrid
- Oct 2017, Radical Networks, Brooklyn, NY