From overhead satellites to underwater sea cables — network infrastructures and algorithmic software systems are as ubiquitous as they are invisible. Today’s internet infrastructures are complex adaptive systems; they encompass data centres, software protocols, mineral mines and assembly line workers; connecting the flow of information beaming from satellites to the smartphones in our hands.
We are firmly embedded within these structures — impacting our online-dating profiles, making transactions in financial markets, discerning our credit scores and optimising our cities, playing an increasing role in the exercise of power and the restructuring of society. These spaces are sites of endless flux and transformation enabled by hardware and software updates and intelligent algorithms that observe data and make decisions. Everything we do touches or is touched by infrastructure but what is needed in terms of infrastructure for cultural production today, and what type of users of these systems do we want to be?
Land / Sea / Signal explores how we perceive and understand these spaces as their image is constructed by the frictions between people, machines, interfaces, data and infrastructure. By considering the complex entanglements between environmental and socio-political conditions that are involved in the configuration of infrastructure space, the artists in this exhibition bring about a new understanding of infrastructure and its materialities. They connect to geography, protocols, economic markets and communication grids, building a discursive space of practice that aims to move beyond critical concerns of these issues to move toward the imagination and speculation of the potentialities of what infrastructure could be.
Curated by Nora O Murchú.