User:Jules/gradnewdraft

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Tentative Title
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Introduction
"It is woven into the fabric of everyday life to such an extent that it becomes indistinguishable from it" (Weisser,1991)



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Relation to previous practice

Gallery transfer – infrastructure level
With gallery transfer, I paid homage to Dennis Oppenheim's work called Gallery Transplant from 1969. This work consists in a transfer from the enclosed architectural and cultural space of the museum to an open exterior space. He applied the process to the Andrew Dickson White Museum and the Stedelijk. The plan of the gallery's floor was drawn in the snow outside the campus grounds of Cornwell University. The piece remains through its documentation, containing an official plan of the Gallery, a topographic map and a picture of the intervention. So all that remains of the work is pure information. Robert Smithson referred to that work talking about “Dis-location” to qualify Oppenheim's process. To him Oppenheim operated in a Data transfer from a part of the world to another. My aim was to draw floor plans, not to the exact dimensions but proportionally and document it through the use of a map where the extremity of the lines were ip addresses representing a machine connected to the Internet. Because I cannot really control the routing for obvious reasons I thought I could perhaps draw the points with server locations around the globe, people's minds would naturally draw the line, the straight line being in itself a human concept. Leaving a space for people to finish the artwork mentally also recalled me to the “Socle du monde” by Piero Manzoni, which is very dear to me.

Photographic-geomapping – user level
Following on with my interest in how Internet content is based within certain physical places. I have been working with this open source database from maxmind called GeoIP. With the help of this database, I retrieved geographical coordinates associated with IP addresses. I played with this to obtain a representation of the place where web content is hosted. For the visual representation, I used Panoramio, a geolocated image sharing website belonging to Google. It enabled me to geographically contextualize websites that I had found in my browser. The first thing I made was a little booklet associating URLs and photos of places. Then I also made some a few postcards, using the same method. It enabled me to make a shift from a biographic experience to an event as subject. The project became then some kind of nod to the Snowden affair. The important “websites” become important “places” where the events took place. I also came to think that the medium of the postcards, referring to the postal system, could be some kind of functional metaphor of how we reach content. In both cases, you need an addressing system. My last experiment with that method is a browser plugin which enables you once it's activated to have the image associated with the location retrieved through the url to be superimposed on the content in the browser tab. So there is no curation from me in that case, it adapts to different contexts. In a way these three iterations followed a path from a personal intuition, to a broader context, to a self-tailored dispositif that could be applied to any user depending on their own browsing experience.

It reminds me of a scene in Interstellar - naturalisation
For this project, a panel of 17 volunteers have been asked to rate a set of 25 video extracts of 15 seconds each. The rating has been established on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 corresponds to nature and 10 to technology. Sometimes, the volunteers explained the motivation behind the decisions they made. The videos have been selected on the basis of their ambiguity, either because they depicted phenomenons that could be attributed to nature but technologically reproduced, or because they showed natural phenomenons that inspired technology, or because they produced a visualisation of nature that can only be obtained through technological means. The average grades defined the positioning of the videos in the final montage. The result functions as a gradient, from one idea to the other. As it could be expected, the results are extremely variable from one person to another, underlining the difficult aspect of drawing a line between the two notions. The mental representation we have of what is natural and what is technological can conflict with the actual traces of human involvement to generate those representations. If the same panel of people would have been asked to do the same tasks about 20 years before, one can assume that the answers would have been very different as well. What I tried to address here is the difficulty to differentiate technology from nature once it has moved to the background of daily life, determining our intuitive relation to the world we inhabit.

Sculpting wi-fi – Infrastructure's integration to the physical world
While being at my parents I felt like getting some Wi-Fi signal strength heat map. I really struggle to get a decent Wi-Fi signal from upstairs so I thought this could be a good opportunity to observe some variation. I used some minimal phone app that enabled to simply add the data (signal strength) to a point I selected on the floor plans I imported. Then, I obtained a png generated by the app that can be exported as an html page containing the map.



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CONTEXT

Cybergeography
As Martin Dodge demonstrated throughout his cybergeography research, the invisibility of Internet's infrastructure apply to many dimensions. Firstly, there is a big push towards hiding the infrastructure supporting its running. Secondly, its use doesn't correlate with any phenomenological sensation (unlike trains for instance). Lastly, the fast integration of the Internet as part of our daily life, always supporting more applications, has dissolved any questions relating to its functioning. There is a global lack of curiosity, that has served its blackboxing, which has also made it incredibly powerful. Even harder, the Internet has always been regarded as a place rather than a mere communication tool, like the phone. We have indeed never regarded the phone call as a place where oral conversation happens.

Land art
The theoretical work around the Non sites and Earthworks as established by Robert Smithson is also interesting. The goal with his artworks was not to establish them as closed systems but rather as interventions within environments, as they would redefine the landscapes in which they are set and reciprocally evolve with it.
His works embodied a wide range of concerns all related to inhabiting environments within space and time (entropy, mapping, paradox, language, landscape, popular culture, anthropology, and natural history). The notion of entropy was a theme that consistently ran throughout Smithson's work. He explored his ideas involving decay and renewal, chaos and order. In Entropy and the New Monuments he wrote "...the urban sprawl, and the infinite number of housing developments of the postwar boom have contributed to the architecture of entropy" and that "entropy is a condition that is moving toward a gradual equilibrium."

Anthroposcene
The anthroposcene is defined as a term used to describe the current geological period, starting from the 18th century when human activities began to impact global climate and ecosystems.
The term was proposed in 2000 by Paul J. Crutzen, Nobel Prize in 1995 for his work on atmospheric chemistry and his research on stratospheric ozone depletion (the so-called “hole”), and by Eugene F. Stoermer in a publication (p. 17) of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. But the concept itself, the idea that human activity affects the Earth to the point where it can cross a new age, is not new and dates back to the late nineteenth century. Different terms were proposed over the decades, such as Anthropozoic (Stoppani, 1873), Noosphere (de Chardin, 1922; Vernadsky, 1936), Eremozoic (Wilson, 1992), and Anthrocene (Revkin, 1992). It seems that the success of the term chosen by Crutzen and Stoermer is due to the luck of having been made at the appropriate time, when humankind became more than ever aware of the extent of its impact on global environment.

Anthropocene Indicators :
- Global Transportation System Cities ; roads ; ships ; airline
- Energy Flux | Pipelines ; transmission lines ; submarine cables

Architecture
Construction of space, ideology. .



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  • Orientation/ Navigation is twofold

-> A static/abstract system to organize space within a grid
-> A subject moving in respect to that system
-> We see less and less the access points and wires enabling telecommunication. Humans are moving around with their devices, the grid of reference becomes the idea of the map since the urban environment didn't evolve so much.

  • Modes of capturing the scale of what cannot be seen directly

-> The depicted figure is not part of the direct realm but of a mediated landscape

  • Map precedes Territory

img1_miniat.jpg
"Socle du monde. Socle magique n°3 de Piero Manzoni. 1961. Hommage à Galilée"

The work implies some pre requisites :

  1. By 1961 there was a common agreement that the Earth is "spherical", it is possible to reverse it from any point. It deals with the expectations imposed on us by Earth gravity.
  2. Knowing the very purpose of a "socle" for, we allocate a supporting function to the object and combine it to the Earth to mentally finish it.
  3. The socle is part of a series entitled "socles magiques". On the previous ones it was possible to climb on a socle be signed by the artist and become a work of Art (which relates a bit more to what can be authentificated/recognized as being Art)

Therefore the work's logic is nested in Linguistic system as it is impossible to see it in its globality without "thinking abstractly".