Bolzano | 2014

Inspired by the NSA revelations of 2013 I started to investigate the internet. Soon I realized that I didn't know the first thing about the internet.

So I decided to take a step back and — instead of investigating big data and its corruption — I took a closer look at the physical infrastructure behind our screens, the cables that run beneath our feet and under the sea and the places where the inter in internet happens.

Once you blur the content, once you focus away from the what? and towards the how? — how does this piece of text get from my computer to your screen? — a whole world opens up.

The internet is the biggest machine ever built and it runs on atomic power, it runs through old copper wires and it is backed-up by diesel engines.

A great deal of us — deliberately or not — suppressing everything that lies behind our screens has to do with language.

The words and metaphors we have used so far in order to talk about modern technology seem dated. Our lack of understanding manifests in a lack of exact words and language — our metaphors are broken.

All of these aspects played into the final outcome of the project which was a set of comments on the Internet and the way we think, talk and move through it.

The comments are three-dimensional objects, most of them ready-mades, each dealing with a different aspect of the Internet.

The objects are meant to be touched and weighed in the hand, giving a physical experience first. They are accompanied by texts that contain both facts and fiction: numbers, stories and anecdotes of which the objects are a sort of tangible, sensible and simple illustration.

Eventually the objects should serve as facilitators of discussion, as alternative metaphors. As illustrations of a picture book whose words have yet to be found.

Degree project, BA Design and Art, Free University of Bolzano