What does the word mean to you? Chances are, whatever it means to you, it means just the opposite to the person next to you. Isn’t that curious?

Hack_Curio is a place for anybody curious about hackers. It features short video clips about hacking: public talks, documentaries, film, art, advertising, archives and more. Every clip is paired with a short entry written by scholars, journalists, hackers, or authors who have something smart and interesting to say about the material.

Why video? Because usually, the image of the hacker is either a hoodie-wearing criminal mastermind or a hoodie-wearing activist bringing down capitalism; either a maniacally typing savior or a maniacally typing villain. In short, maybe you have never seen a real hacker. But now you can: Hack_Curio goes beyond these narrow tropes to show you these technologists in a new light. It’s difficult to change cultural perceptions—but not impossible. Instead of merely writing about hackers, we add video—a more memorable, compelling, and persuasive medium than text alone. Combined with short explanations from the people who know best, Hack_Curio can help us chip away at simplistic conceptions and stereotypes of hackers, offer new perspectives on what hackers have done, and preserve bits and bytes of hacker history.

Spend some time watching—you can hear and see what hackers think about their craft; learn about where and how they labor; discover their quirks, foibles, and accomplishments. Watch a few videos and it might become a bit harder to slot the hacker into a single category or type. Hackers are dynamic, diverse, and they change over time. There is no single way to hack. But look closer: hacker practices, ideas, and ideals also cohere into stable nodes like free software, anti-security, hacktivism, and piracy—just some of the rich and diverse categories that you can explore through this project.


There is no single definition of hackers, but many forking paths and twisty little passages. Linger a while and you will come to appreciate just how central hackers and hacking are to contemporary life.