'Great things don't happen in tiny little increments.

All you geniuses, you're just modifying algorithms.’

[Lip, Shamless US]

Networks dominate out realities. Our daily interaction with technology obscures our view of the radical changes that are taking place at breath-taking speed in the technological underground. There is an urgent and tangible need to operate futuristically and to take up avant-garde positions. Theoretical art meets the Roman road network, human-cognitive overload meets imbalanced algorithms. We must confront this speed and this game with intuition, abstraction, affirmation and models that serve to explain.

In practical thinking, arrogance is better than insecurity and brutality is more effective than sensitivity. In theoretical activity, intuition and vagueness is required. The history of the game is about the creation of aesthetics and action through tension and conflict. Rigorous research and free experimentation, high tension every day, hard products and subversive strategies are required to produce entertainment and resistance. The predominance of neo-Biedermeier and ornamentalism must be confronted with a renaissance of technology, of critical thinking and an elucidation of the essence of data processing, of the legal systems, the infrastructure and the organisations.

The ‘Black Mirror Institute’ (in the subject area of Networks) are spaces at the KHM in Cologne and open and uncensored online infrastructures and digitally autonomous cells (containers), underscored with technical rules & legal protocols. These are thoroughly structured and therefore unfettered reflective spaces for production processes, marginal experiments and international research collaborations.


Research Group 'Networks':

We ask ourselves what it means to be an individual in a networked world, and starting from this position as a research group we engage with various media and processes, e.g. AI/KI, Blockchain, (Audio) AR, Populism and Social Media, Sonification and Soundscapes, Digital Art Market, Vaporwave, Transhumanism, Digital Performance, Gamification, Horror/entertainment in networked organisms, Transspecies Altruism, Archiving and Memory, the political ambiguity of distributed networks. Sam Hopkins focuses his research specifically on political ambiguity in distributed networks. 

Black Mirror Institut

The BMI works with models of radical disruption, subversive decentralization, think tanks and production units. These entities are network cells that provide resources for researchers, artists and thinkers. The Black Mirror Institute serves as an interface between institutions, networks, public research institutions and newly founded companies, as well as the KHM and UBERMORGEN. Products and projects can be a variety of material or immaterial things such as models, research, reports or project implementation. Experimental basic research is the core of every thought, action and element of this think tank.


More Media


Real-time Propaganda, Binary Primitivism, Transhumanism, Theoretical Art, Serial Killer Detection Algorithms, Newspeak/NLP, New Painting, Afro-Tech, Future Technologies, Social Credit System in China, Parafiction/Consensual Hallucination, Online Stalking/Sexism/Racism, Data Management, Affective Computing, Habitual Media, Network Effects, Algorithmic War, Quantified Self, Memory, Archiving of Digital Art / Data Conservation, non-biased Algorithms, Cyberfeminism, Digital Folklore, Branding, Neo-Biedermeier, NSA/GCHQ, Alt Right/Antifa, Psychopathology, Hacking & System Weak Points (Zero Days), Games/Gamification, Making/DiY, IP/Copyright/Copyleft, Ancestry/Heritage, Bio Art, DiY DNA Sequencing, Synthetic Drugs, Algorithmic Directing, Machine-curated Shows, Youtube/Vlogs, Financial Systems/Future Models of Money, Social Media, Digital Conceptual Art, Generative Art/Data Visualisation, Metadata & Big Data, 8bit/Lo-Tec Music, Politic of the Networks, Open Data, Digital Federalism, Psychopathologies, Alt-Right, Online Dating Systems, Online Poker, Hacktivism, Online Porn, Advertising Technologies, Self-learning Systems and Algorithmic Sovereignty, Data Journalism, Software Decay, Datafication, Online Crime, Darkweb/Tor, Lidar Systems, Adversarial Systems, Blockchain, Mobile/Apps, Bodycams, Algorithmic Trading, Encryption, Face/Gesture Recognition/Interpretation, Server Side Scripting, Image Recognition, Algorithms & Programming Languages, Internet of Things (IoT), Autonomous Vehicles & Lethal Autonomous Robots, Twitch/Streaming, Augmented/Mixed Reality, Networked/Remote Learning & Working, Git, AI/KI, IPV6, Data Compression, Docker, Clouds, Mesh Networks

​​​​​​​‘Octopus' Podcast

‘Octopus’ is a podcast about individuals in a networked world, and our relationships and affiliations with fast evolving networked organisms. Our speculations circle around the interaction between mind and matter, and the merger of sensations and the material world. 

The topics of the opening season of the podcast stretch far and wide, from the idea of extrastatecraft, the invisible operating system of our world, to rebooting the art market through technology, to computational thinking and the enmeshing of the digital and our physical environments. We talk about forest networks and surveillance architectures in relation to command cultures, and discuss the vast networks and implications of the historical and contemporary silk road. 
We speculate about Deepfakes and how humans and machines deal with new forms of visual reality, and we use both a philosophical and a political lens to peek into the field of pattern recognition in images, odors and scents. Season one finishes with a bang, an intense discussion and overview of the Alt Right: men, technology & psychoanalysis. 

Guests include: Sophia Bauer, Julia Scher, Mi You, Max Mauro Schmid, Stefanie Glauber, Christian Sievers, Brian Muhia, Ivan Knapp and Zenker

You can find ‘Octopus’ on your favorite podcast platform, on the KHM Website and a video version can be watched on Youtube​​​​​​​.

‘Octopus’ is a Black Mirror Institute production, created and moderated by Sam Hopkins, Liz Haas aka lizvlx and Hans Bernhard, the Reserach Group Netze and recorded at KHM, the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.


Jacob Höfle, Podcast Editor, Student Consultant & HK,


Distributed Technologies and Ideologies Research and Reading Group

​​​​​​​Fachseminar von Verena Friedrich, Sam Hopkins

Fachseminar Hauptstudium und weiterqualifizierendes Studium 

Mittwoch 14-täglich 15:00 – 17:00 

Erster Termin 29.04.2020 

Das Seminar wird aus gegebenem Anlass -C19- Online (Zoom) abgehalten 

-> Für Infos wo das Online stattfinden wird:  Email eigene Telefonnummer an Jacob Höfle (, um in die Whatsapp- oder Telegramgrupppe aufgenommen zu werden.

There is an ideological strain amongst certain internauts and netizens which holds that the more decentralised the Internet is, the better it is. The logic being that if power (political and processing) is distributed throughout the Internet then it becomes a safe and self-regulating system. 

Distribution is a clear means of combating the monopolies of twenty-first century platform capitalism. But what are the implications for the state, for society and for democratic political processes when power is devolved to a self-regulating system? 

This is a practice-based research group that inquires into and interrogates the structures of this belief system. We look at the heterogenous political positions, emerging technologies and available services that coalesce around the topic of decentralisation and distribution. 

We will engage with texts by crypto-anarchists and hippylibertarians, explore the worlds of crypto-currencies and blockchain-based platforms, and experiment with the various distributed social networks of the Fediverse. 

Keywords: The California Ideology, from counterculture to cyberculture, cybernetics and systems theory, the Whole Earth network, the WELL, Radical Markets, Vitalik Buterin, Scuttlebut, Mastodon,, The Decentralised Web, Blockchain, Solid, Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly, Dweb, Blockstack, Beaker Browser, Network Aesthetics, Silicon Valley (the tv show), Dammbeck & Curtis

Rechte Netze und vernetzte Rechte

​​​​​Fachseminar von Prof. Liz Haas & Prof. Hans Bernhard

Hauptstudium und weiterqualifizierendes Studium 

Mittwoch wöchentlich 15:00 – 17:00 

Erster Termin 08.04.2020

Das Seminar wird aus gegebenem Anlass -C19- Online (Zoom) abgehalten 

-> Für Infos wo das Online stattfinden wird:  Email eigene Telefonnummer an Jacob Höfle (, um in die Whatsapp- oder Telegramgrupppe aufgenommen zu werden.

Spätestens seit den terroristischen Anschlägen der NSU müsste es in Deutschland veränderte Strategien im Umgang mit der extremen Rechten und deren Netzwerken geben. Stattdessen dominieren Whataboutism, Verdrängung, Schuldverschiebung und Verschleierung. Eine Arbeitshypothese des Seminars ist demzufolge: Eine neue Kultur kommt von Rechts, die revolutionären Kräfte der Rechten sind nicht neu erwacht, sondern waren nie verschwunden. 

Was hält den Staat davor zurück, für seine demokratische Existenz zu kämpfen? Gibt es es ein aktives Bewusstsein für die transformative Kraft rechter Netzwerke? Wie funktionieren Diffusionen und integrierte Ideenvektoren in globalisierten Social Media Bubbles und massenmedialen Kanälen? Wie gehen Staaten mit den privatisierten Filterstrategien digitaler Technologiekonzerne um? Was hält die Neue Rechte vor der effektiven Machtübernahme zurück? 

We look at both visible and hidden online networks of rightwing groups in Germany, Europe, USA, Latin America and other countries and regions. What are the intersectional nodes and ideologies that connect Neo-Nazis, the New Right (Neue Rechte), the alt-right, Incels / Toxic Masculinity and Neoliberalism and Conservatism? And specifically in the case of Germany we need to look at the interwovenness of German Intelligence Services & the Police forces and organized right-wing terror networks – starting from 1945 to 2020. 

Als Gäste sind jeweils eine Journalistin, Autorin, Historikerin und Künstlerin, Politikerin und Vertreterin der jüdischen und islamischen Gemeinden und eine Aussteigerin aus der Neuen Rechten vorgesehen. 

Während der Seminartermine wird jeweils eine Folge des Podcast 'Octopus’ aufgezeichnet (live audience / participation). 


− Das Braune Netz, Willi Winkler

− Die Rechte Mobilmachung, Patrick Stegemann, Sören Musyal

− Kill All Normies, Angela Nagle. 

− Die Waffen-SS, Klaus-Jürgen Bremm. 

− The SS. A history, Koehl, Robert Lewis. 

− Das Netzwerk der Neuen Rechten / Christian Fuchs and Paul Middelhoff. 

− Die neuen Rechten in Europa: Zw. Neoliberalismus & Rassismus / Peter Bathke & Anke Hoffstadt.

Interspecies Altruism (IA, Kompaktseminar, Upcoming)

Thomas Hawranke, Sam Hopkins, Prof. Mathias Antlfinger, Prof. Hans Bernhard, Prof. Liz Haas, Prof. Ute Hörner, Gast: Alexander Buldakov

Fachseminar Hauptstudium und weiterqualifizierendes Studium

Kompaktseminar: Termine - To be announced - 
Filzengraben 2, Atelier-/Seminarraum H 4.02

Einführung: TBA

We will work on observations, descriptions and participation in the interspecies networking in human-designed landscapes. Cities, built by humans and for humans, serve as natural reservoir for multiple alien life forms learning from each other. We will use Urban Fauna Lab’s cross-disciplinary case studies on parasitic and symbiotic relationships and mutual adaptation in urban environments. Studies are focused primarily on invasive animals and plants. Continuous study of IA as a rudimental behavioral pattern includes collecting data, meeting and interviewing people who are involved in taking care of urban fauna.

Guest: Alexander Buldakov, Moskau, founder of Urban Fauna Lab (together with Anastasia Potemkina)

Kompaktseminar von: Mathias Antlfinger, Hans Bernhard, Alexander Buldakov, Liz Haas, Thomas Hawranke, Ute Hörner, Sam Hopkins

Leseliste (Semesterapparat -> Bib): 

1. Trivers, R. L. (1971). "The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism"

2. Peter Kropotkin "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution"

3. Richard Dawkins "Selfish Gene" and "Extended Phenotype"

4. Eugene Koonin "Logic of Chance"

5. Virocentricity with Eugene Koonin (-> Youtube)



Performance/Installation (Rundgang 2018, Atelier Netze)

The Institute for Structural Abuse is a playground for the abuse of power, disguised as a harmless start-up office. Victims and perpetrators act in a constantly renewing and revising food chain of casual compliments, lewd looks, locker room influencers and cat call CEOs. It's all part of everyday life, just as sitting in front of a computer, taking lunch breaks and making phone calls. In this aesthetic of abuse of power, the boundaries between actors and visitors are blurred, and anyone who dares to go onto the playing field becomes part of the game - with nothing less than their*/your* body and their*/your* dignity as a stake.

Dazed by stimulating work atmospheres and brightly colored office designs, the stomach filled with hearty meals from countless superfood ingredients, we enter legal grey zones and go as far as we can (and perhaps a little further </3). Everything is archived, processed and made accessible by hash tag; what we cannot bear, we smile away.

The net is our ally, who diligently undermines us, a double agent whose identity we have known about for a long time, a domestic rapist, who provides us with a home of our own and maintenance for the rest of our lives and - let's be honest - it's just a bit of sex. Where we stand at the end of the day, in front of the often prophesied but never reached pile of broken glass or on the green meadow of the (sexual) Consents, is unclear and part of the experiment. One thing is certain: We can, we want, and what happens at the art academy stays at the art academy. As Frank Castorf Blaise Pascal quotes: 'What is important in hunting is not the prey, but the hunt itself'.

The Institute for Structural Abuse is an institution, an installation and the active working environment of: Anne Arndt, Felix Bartke, Marie-Claire Delarber, Juan Esteban, Mattis Kuhn and Julia-Lena Lippoldt.

Text by Marie-Claire Delarber.

Translated by

Archive of Seminars

Individuals in a networked world

Fachseminar Hauptstudium und weiterqualifizierendes Studium
Mittwoch wöchentlich 15:00 – 17:00
Erster Termin 16.10.2019
Filzengraben 2, Atelier- / Seminarraum H 4.02

Networks dominate our realities. The daily use of technology obscures our view of the radical changes that are taking place in the technical underground at breathtaking speed. We pay homage to fictitious constructions of an individualism led ad absurdum

and an idea of 'freedom' that has degenerated into a product, but is no less absurd, although we receive completely contradictory signals from biology, economics, sociology and IT: Animals and machines are social organisms that produce little sense in isolation. Freedom develops through classification and resistance, through stubbornness combined with flexibility, through tolerance and critical thinking. In practical (thinking) prepotence is better than insecurity and brutality more effective than sensitivity; in theoretical (doing) intuition and blurriness are in demand; and vice versa.

Together with our respective guests, we discuss issues relating to global infrastructures, various constructions of identity, changing political systems and biological analogies.

During the seminar, a series of the podcast 'The Octopus' will be recorded (live audience/participation).


Fachseminar mit Jean Peters vom PENG Collective (
*prädikat unbedingt sehenswert!

Fachseminar mit Fatima Kastner - Professorin für Globalisierungsdiskurse und digitale Transformation and der KHM (Köln)
*prädikat mind-boggling

Fachseminar mit Diana McCarty (Berlin)
*prädikat identitätskonstruktionsdiskursiv

Fachseminar mit Lars Wehring (Capulcu, Köln)
*prädikat sehr politisch + ’s wird gestritten hier! (bin jetzt schon sauer!)

Fachseminar mit Tina Sauerlander (, Berlin)
*prädikat new kuratierungslogiken in VR/AR!

Fachseminar mit Leo Impett, (Max-Planck Institut, Rom)
*prädikat genie in action!° amazing machine learning + kunstgeschichte (what a fusion)

Shaping Realities  (Grundlagenseminar WS19/20)

The Theory and Practice of Networks
The Internet - infrastructure, protocols, physicality // 16.10.19
Cybernetics - The Internet as a regulatory system? // 30.10.2019
Actor Network Theory - objects and agency // 13.11.19

Grundlagenseminar Material/Skulptur/Code

Grundstudium Mittwoch

wöchentlich 15:00 – 17:00
Erster Termin 16.10.2019
Filzengraben 2, Atelier-/Seminarraum H 4.02

The Internet is a hyperobject (Morton, 2013), an entity so vast, all encompassing and all consuming that it is almost impossible for us, as individuals, to perceive. Nonetheless it shapes our lives by defining the information we can access, the images we see, the things we buy, the places we go, etc.

How can we become cognisant of the way in which we are produced by this omnipresent network? How can we develop a sensibility that is aware of a system that we are totally enmeshed in?

In this seminar we approach the overwhelming whole by breaking it down into a number of its constitutive elements. We approach these from various perspectives. Technically; what are the protocols that underpin data flows and exchange? Physically; what is the offline infrastructure that enables online communication? Politically; which powers control, direct and govern what happens in the digital realm? Socially; how is our way of being together, and our processes of cognition, shifting and evolving through our networked existence?

The seminar occurs weekly, includes sessions by invited guests, and an excursion to an Amazon logistics centre.

Seminar by Sam Hopkins and UBERMORGEN  (lizvlx  and Hans Bernhard)


INTRO Grundlagenseminar & Fachseminar
+ Grundlagenseminar (1st session): The Internet - infrastructure, protocols, physicality
*prädikat take it easy + birdsview + focus!

Fachseminar mit Jean Peters vom PENG Collective (
*prädikat unbedingt sehenswert!

Grundlagenseminar: Network Graphs - mapping networks and connections
*prädikat unerlässlich and juicy!

Fachseminar mit Fatima Kastner - Professorin für Globalisierungsdiskurse und digitale Transformation and der KHM (Köln)
*prädikat mind-boggling

Grundlagen Seminar: Actor Network Theory - objects and agency
*prädikat klingt technisch; ist es aber nicht!

Fachseminar mit Diana McCarty (Berlin)
*prädikat identitätskonstruktionsdiskursiv

Grundlagenseminar: Cybernetics - The Internet as a regulatory system?
*prädikat politisch?

Fachseminar mit Lars Wehring (Capulcu, Köln)
*prädikat sehr politisch + ’s wird gestritten hier! (bin jetzt schon sauer!)

Grundlagenseminar: Forest Networks - evolution and cooperation
*prädikat blows your mind even if you think you know everything about it!

Fachseminar mit Tina Sauerlander (, Berlin)
*prädikat new kuratierungslogiken in VR/AR!

Grundlagen Seminar: Excursion - visit an Amazon Logistic Centre
*prädikat must have fun on the run!

Fachseminar mit Leo Impett, (Max-Planck Institut, Rom)
*prädikat genie in action!° amazing machine learning + kunstgeschichte (what a fusion)

Semesterapparat  (online)

Shaping Realities:

1.  From counterculture to cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the rise of digital utopianism, Fred Turner (GES D.10.2 - 41)
2. The exploit: a theory of networks, Alexander R. Galloway and Eugene Thacker (GES D.10.2 - 25)
3. Tubes: behind the scenes at the Internet, Andrew Blum (MED L.3 - 132)
4. Extrastatecraft: the power of infrastructure space, Keller Easterling (KUN I.3 - 384)
5. Networks, Lars bang Larsen (KUN C.6 - 158)
6. The Stack: on software and sovereignty, Benjamin Bratton (MED C.1.0 - 100)
7. The information age: The rise of the network society, Manuel Castells (PHI L.1.5 - 8,1)
8. The cybernetics group, Steve Joshua Heims (PHI E.4 - 6)

Individuen in einer Vernetzen Welt:

1. Computation and Human Experience, Phil Agre

2. Other Asias, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

3. The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics, Louis Onuorah Chude-Sokei

4. Extrastatecraft, Keller  Easterling

5. New Dark Age, James Bridle
6. Zeroes and Ones, Sadie Plant
7. In the Swarm, Byung-Chul Han

Interspecies Altruism:

1. Trivers, R. L. (1971). "The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism"

2. Peter Kropotkin "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution"

3. Richard Dawkins "Selfish Gene" and "Extended Phenotype"

4. Eugene Koonin "Logic of Chance"

5. Virocentricity with Eugene Koonin (-> Youtube)

Blockchain Reading Group

Mi You (KMW), Sam Hopkins (Kunst), Verena Friedrich (exMedia)


Tuesdays, bi-monthly 10:30 – 13:00

Filzengraben 2, Atelier- / Seminarraum H 4.02 (Netze)

Q: What is the blockchain?

A: A decentralised, difficult to hack database, that is shared across a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

Q: Why is it important?

A: It offers radical potential for managing data in a non-hierarchical manner such as creating cryptocurrencies, sharing ownership and commoning information. Blockchain is where cryptography, distributed systems, politics and economy converge.

Q: What is this seminar about?

A: We will read texts together to understand the structural foundation of the blockchain, and its applications in sociopolitical contexts.

Keywords: replicated database, self-supporting incentive system, consensus rule, proof-of-work scheme, possibility to rethink the valuation of value, the commons, interpretation and assignment of rights and entitlements...

Get Rich or Die Tryin' (WS18/19)

We develop commercial strategies and products with a focus on the African and European markets.

The participants develop tools, apps, online services or systems with clear commercial intent. We offer consulting in product development and provide equipment and infrastructure. We develop offerings specifically for Africa and Europe and ignore the broadly trampled paths of prevailing neoliberal thinking and acting (Silicon Valley). The technical implementation of the product ideas is carried out by the students themselves or by African/Eastern European programmers (remotely). Therefore, no specific technical knowledge is required for participation.

In addition, a bi-weekly lecture series and critical reflection on the morphology of existing networks, on a possible contingency theory of technology, and on contemporary technologies and concepts, such as IoT, digital protectionism, autonomous vehicles, AI, DeepAds, hashed experience, theoretical art, digital colonialism, machinecurating, NPCs, and digital decay, will serve as a source of inspiration for the seminar.

Material: Students can buy technical components and equipment from the seminar budget to experiment with, but also to build installations and systems.

The seminar is scheduled for one year and includes online offline impulse lectures, R&D, project work, a joint annual project (academic year 2018/19) and supplementary lectures by guests.

Location: Filzengraben 2, Atelier-/ Seminarraum Netze H 4.02 (Black Mirror Institute) 
Type of seminar:
First appointment:
Wednesday, 24.10.2018

Angewandte Radikalität im Netz

Radix sit intus dilectionis, non potest de ista radice nisi bonum exire. (Augustinus)

Die Wurzel der Liebe sei in deinem Innern, aus dieser Wurzel kann nur Gutes hervorgehen.

The seminar deals with terms, concepts and applications of radical action in the net. The aim is to translate artistic, commercial and political models into radical instructions and actions and to strengthen self-confidence and self-understanding for this kind of thinking and acting.

Radicality as a term goes back to the Latin word radix/root. In this sense, the term stands for the endeavour to tackle problems "at the root" and to solve them from there as comprehensively, completely and sustainably as possible. This intellectual component is here extended by the concept of subversion, originally the description of a productive activity in agriculture (turning the soil upside down to plough in newly planted soil). Radicality thus stands here as a counter-concept to compromise and destruction. The aim is not extremes, but approaches that live from applied logical deductions as well as from free will.

The seminar will include text analyses, actions, autonomous aesthetic practice, the design of economic models and supplementary lectures by guests.

Location: Studio room/seminar room 4.01, Filzengraben 2
Type of seminar: Seminar
Day: Wednesday
Time: 15-17h
First appointment: Wednesday, 11.4.18

Translated by

Subversion Dialectica Workshop, UNAL/Bogota

In the workshop 'Dialectic Subversion' we use a personal approach to the world and apply 'Negative Affirmation' in practical exercises. The idea is to change perspective on your own beliefs and ideologies. The process will show students the real-life implications if they embrace the world (until it hurts) rather than criticise it (which is easy). The results of the workshop can be used to find new strategies in the current political struggle. Or these techniques can be applied in any research, creation and thinking. The workshop is open and can useful for students working in all different fields, faculties and school at UNAL. The workshop is run by Hans Bernhard (US/CH) from the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne (DE) and the UBERMORGEN Artist Duo (AT/CH/US).


En el taller 'Subversión Dialéctica' utilizamos un enfoque personal del mundo y aplicamos la'Afirmación Negativa' en ejercicios prácticos. La idea es cambiar la perspectiva de sus propias creencias e ideologías. El proceso mostrará a los estudiantes las implicaciones de la vida real si abrazan el mundo (hasta que les duela) en lugar de criticarlo (lo cual es fácil). Los resultados del taller pueden ser utilizados para encontrar nuevas estrategias en la lucha política actual. O estas técnicas pueden ser aplicadas en cualquier investigación, creación y pensamiento. El taller es abierto y puede ser útil para los estudiantes que trabajan en todos los campos, facultades y escuelas de la UNAL. El taller está dirigido por Hans Bernhard (US/CH) de la Academia de Artes de los Medios de Comunicación de Colonia (DE) y el Dúo de Artistas de UBERMORGEN (AT).

Date & Time: Tuesday, Nov 6, 2018, 2pm
Location: UNAL Bogota, Film y Television

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