Today, human exchanges are happening on a ‘cloud’ or through online ‘shopping carts’. These highly designed metaphors facilitate mediation but undermine our material reality by concealing the apparatus behind the virtual space, contactless encounters and global connection.
I. Alternative epistemologies of The Cloud(s): Below is a talk I delivered at the AMRO Festival in Linz | Art Meets Radical Openness 2018. Festival dedicated to Art, Hacktivism & Open Culture.
While clouds connect us, today not every cloud is made of air and mist. Some clouds are so dense and heavy, they no longer occupy the sky and instead rise up from the underground. In this talk I will present an alternative epistemology of human-made clouds, manifesting at various altitudes on a vertical axis.
The cloud-like infrastructure that ‘hosts’ our contemporary digital life is made of complex data centers, cables and offshore server farms. Such clouds also rely on climate conditions, mineral extraction, tides and oceanic geopolitics. Therefore, thinking about the cloud and the air it also breathes, is thinking about all kinds of human-made clouds and the space in between as a dense and complex set of relations. These infrastructures also enable a new era of entangled spatial logics, which render the geometries, politics and other surface-level categories that conceptualize space insufficient. Therefore, this in-progress study of vertical geography through human-made clouds will put forward other definitions of public space, open access and world-picturing using depth, altitude and invisibility as instruments for aesthetic inquiry into new frontiers of publicness.
II. Towards and Atlas of Human-Made Clouds. Early experiments:
A new framework of space-monitoring and space-based information systems is emerging, one that radically challenges our definitions of publicness and the scope of human influence on earth and in the sky: from drones and wireless communication to geopolitics, ecological activism and even site-specific art. This project employs an aesthetic exploration of the ‘cloud’, including its most contemporary manifestations in visual culture and technology: from allegoric representations to cloud computing networks. Using new materials for printmaking (i.e. thermocrhomic inks) to represent invisible or impossible landscapes, I will capture contested visions of the virtual, physical and symbolic spaces that sustain human exchanges today.
Below are some initial experiments combining printmaking methods and using reactive inks, to represent invisible or impossible landscapes.
Using reactive materials for printmaking, video and installation, I am working on a new body of work that embraces a boundless site.