No, this is not a Steffon from SNL bit: there is now a place in downtown Manhattan called FIREWALL Internet Cafe NYC, that allows patrons to surf through China's heavily censored Internet.


The cafe is part of an art installation from artist Joyce Yu-Jean Lee...

and technologist Dan Phiffer, and is meant to instill solidarity with the Chinese civilians, whose access to information is mitigated by the powers-that-be.

...and technologist Dan Phiffer; the goal of the project is to instill solidarity with the Chinese civilians, whose access to information is mitigated by the powers-that-be.

There are seven computer stations for people to sit at; one screen shows US Google, and other shows China's leading search engine Baidu.

Guests will be able to see the complete disparagement between the side-by-side screens.

Lee cites the most commonly searched for topic "Tiananmen Square..."

...and its duel results: Google shows the classic image of the protester standing before an onrushing squad of military tanks before the massacre of 1989, while Baidu simply shows pretty, scenic shots of the historical square.

As Hyper Allergic points out, probably the most striking component of the experience, aside from the physical searching, is a simple empty seat, with an 'X' taped onto it.

The artist says it represents a seat for the person oppressed by China's Great Firewall, and how their restricted access to information that we so take for granted, prohibits them from participating in a global conversation.

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