Data as Culture - Art that uses data as a material
The focus of Roth’s Internet Landscapes series are the points at which the Transatlantic fibre-optic cables that carry the Internet emerge from the ocean. For these works, Roth ventures out into the landscape that physically hosts the Internet, in a personal quest to visualise and reconnect with a web which gradually feels more and more centralised and controlled.
For http://s33.820180e151.184813.com.au, the image depicted in the gallery is a radio tower in Australia, captured in infrared and streamed to a web page. The accompanying sound consists of field recordings taken at the same location, along with sonic elements of the artist’s own bio-data (his heartbeat, for example). In order for the video to reach the viewer’s browser, it is converted into infrared laser light which passes through the same physical location depicted in the video.
The radio tower’s size is dictated by the invisible radio waves it is designed to transmit, affording a rare glimpse into that spectrum. Highlighting the inseparable relationship between the digital and the physical, Roth challenges the ways in which we approach online data. Through understanding and experiencing the Internet’s physicality, and related communication technologies like radio, one comes to understand the network not as a mythical cloud, but as a human made and controlled system of wires and computers.
Courtesy the artist and Carroll / Fletcher.