We’re invited to this conference in Berlin:
“Art & Evidence” conference series by Disruption Network Lab
The 8th event of the Disruption Network Lab at Kunstquartier Bethanien, Studio 1, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin. Directed by Tatiana Bazzichelli.
Funded by: Der Regierende Bürgermeister von Berlin, Senatskanzlei, Kulturelle Angelegenheiten / City Tax.
In partnership with: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
In cooperation with Kunstraum Kreuzberg /Bethanien.
Pre-Lab 1.6 at SPEKTRUM, Bürknerstraße 12, Berlin-Kreuzberg.
In collaboration with: NOME, Wau Holland Stiftung, Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research (COPE), Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). With the support of the Free Chelsea Manning Initiative Berlin.
Entrance 5€ / day. In English language.
Hackers, engineers, investigative journalists, writers, researchers, artists and activists unveil how the Internet really works, how it is secretly structured, and in which way interlinked land and undersea network cables influence our political, cultural and everyday life.
Saturday June 18 · 18:30-20:30
CABLE BREAKS: THE POWERS BELOW THE SURFACE
Ingrid Burrington (artist and researcher, USA), Helga Tawil-Souri (associate professor Middle East and Islamic Studies NYU, Palestine/USA), Gabriele “Asbesto” Zaverio (sysadmin, co-founder, MusIF, FreakNet MediaLab, IT). Moderated by Jacob Lillemose (postdoctoral researcher and curator, Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research, DK).
If the Internet is material at its core, based on an infrastructure of physical cables, it is in principle also victim to the same laws of physics as other material entities. The Internet is not simply a diffuse cloud of information as the mythology of IT industry wants us to believe but a tangible thing in the world under the influence of its surrounding as well as of the logic of its own materiality. The emphasis on the materiality of the Internet thus also points the vulnerability of the Internet. Rather than understanding the Internet as a given thing, almost like a second air, the emphasis indirectly suggest that the Internet is a thing that like so many other things could one day break or disappear. While there is certainly reason to criticise the Internet when it works at its worst as a control mechanism there is just as much reason to be critically aware of the instances when it might not work at all, when it breaks down and our dependency on – and trust in – it is exposed, in some cases with catastrophic consequences. Seen from this perspective the materiality of the Internet becomes a question of vulnerability and resilience, of risk management, that connects with contemporary disaster research. This panel is dealing with “cable breaks” as a metaphorical concept, showing that the Internet is a result of political and power alliances – andtherefore subjected to vulnerabilities and interruptions related notonly to its physical materiality, but also to cultural and political dynamics. It wants to investigate various blackout scenarios by inviting respectively an artist focusing on submarine cables and the confluence of local and global politics and history in specific US landingsites; a media scholar and documentary filmmaker expert on Internet breakdown and vulnerabilities during conflicts, analysing the digital occupation of Palestine; and a computer programmer working with “breaks”, digital-divide and off zones in Italy and Sicily.