Data as Culture - Art that uses data as a material
Best Effort Network (2015/ 2020) refers to the way data packets find their way to a destination. This process is hidden and so we rarely see how packets are sometimes lost, bounced back, resent or received (or not). The work makes this process more tangible: Olia spins round and round on the carousel and if she disappears it means the website (best.effort.network) has been loaded on a different browser on a different screen. Olia will reappear when the request reaches the top of the queue of waiting browsers.
Best Effort Network utilises a “best effort network” and so doesn’t provide any guarantee that data is delivered as expected or that the delivery meets any metric of quality: a comment on the parallels between the relinquishing of responsibility within the worlds of politics, social networks and consumerism once a product, post or policy is out of the hands of the maker.
During the run of the exhibition more locations will join the packet switching experiment: Best Effort Network will be on display at HeK (Basel), The Photographers’ Gallery (London), the Open Data Institute (London) and BOM (Birmingham Open Media,Birmingham).