[spectre] (fwd) Exh. Fictions of Interdomain Routing at Long March Space, Beijing

Andreas Broeckmann ab at mikro.in-berlin.de
Thu May 11 11:16:30 CEST 2023

Betreff: Fictions of Interdomain Routing at Long March Space, Beijing
Datum: 	Thu, 04 May 2023 06:01:26 +0000
Von: 	e-flux Agenda <art-agenda at mailer.e-flux.com>

Fictions of Interdomain Routing
April 22–July 23, 2023


Fictions of Interdomain Routing is curated by Michael Connor, Iris Long 
and Ziyang Wu, supported by assistant curator Yuan Mengru.

Artists: Dennis de Bel / Harwood, Wright, Yokokoji / Tabita Rezaire / 
Mark Ramos / Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab / Jeroen 
van Loon / Ziyang Wu.

What happens when you swipe your phone and check this message? What is 
evoked when you navigate with a digital map to Long March Space to see 
this show? With each fleeting moment of our interaction with a phone, 
laptop, auto-pilot car, smart system, we are entangled in an intricate, 
immense, and expansive global infrastructural network. Before turning 
into legible messages, signals are transmitted across the sky and ocean, 
through undersea cables and “star links,” and computed across mountains 
and seas.

In this exhibition, artists offer poetic and critical interfaces to 
communications networks and infrastructure both real and imagined. They 
allow us to explore our entanglement in these technical systems through 
works that draw on historical research, social practice, hacking, 
storytelling, videogames, and sculptural uses of technology.

As well as interrogating and problematizing the existing Stack, several 
of the artists consider the potential of alternative networks that 
challenge the dominant paradigm. These alternative networks offer modes 
of connection, communication, and solidarity, beyond the hegemonic 
structures of the Internet and global communication systems.

“They are things and also the relation between things.” Brian Larkin’s 
description of the peculiar ontology of infrastructures applies to the 
infra layer of planetary computation: not only a technical assemblage, 
but also a contested field of resource excavation, obscure labor, 
digital colonialism, inseparable power, and struggles. Abstract on a 
global level, the cases these artists examine concretize at in-between 
spaces where minerals traverse geographical and geological zones, 
infrastructural privatization and monopolization interlock, governance 
takes shape physically and virtually, and territorial negotiations form 
at those seemingly geographically most remote and sparsely populated sites.

In computer science, “interdomain routing” refers to the protocol in 
which the routing algorithm works both within and between domains. We 
propose “interdomain routing” as a method of exploring and inhabiting 
the stack of infrastructures. We envision a domain not only as an actual 
and/or virtual counterpart of “territory,” but also as a sphere of 
knowledge and practice. Interdomain routing as an artistic practice 
involves “routing” not only technological domains but also temporal, 
ecological, and cultural ones. It can involve traversing multiple scales 
of force and spacetime configurations, some of them fragmented, some 
“monumental” (in Ingrid Burrington’s words), some tangible, some 
invisible. Routing can be unexpected, performative, hypercritical; it 
can even be a means of survival.

Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab’s work /Transborder 
Immigrant Tool/ or /TBT/ (2007–ongoing) and Tabita Rezaire’s /Deep Down 
Tidal/ (2017) create a parallel narrative about how “transnational” 
bodies are conducted by networks across continents and countries. 
Harwood, Wright, Yokokoji’s work /Tantalum Memorial/ (2008) is 
originally a series of telephony-based memorials to the more than four 
million people who have perished in the complex wars that have gone on 
in the Congo since 1998 (often referred to as the “Coltan War”). Dennis 
de Bel’s year-long research, /Mountain Stronghold /(2022), meanwhile, 
forensically maps data centers that re-use existing infrastructures such 
as cold war bunkers, natural caves, mines and religious structures 
worldwide. Ziyang Wu’s /Pasig River 2030 – 6 Plus/ (2022) and Ziyang Wu 
+ Mark Ramos’s /Future_Forecast/ (2021–ongoing) ask questions like what 
will a speculative future ISP and blockchain company do to a river, a 
local family, and an acre of land. Furthermore, Jeroen van Loon’s work 
/Ephemeral Data/, is a poetic investigation and performative reflection 
and remapping of the undersea cables that stretch across the ocean 
floor. In this exhibition, the artist creates a site-specific version of 
the piece which incorporates geo-data of submarine cables connecting 
China and South East & South Asia, Africa, Oceania, Europe and North 
America. Ephemeral sand, also the raw material of fiber optic cables, is 
transformed into mandala paintings representing our digital infrastructures.

Long March Space
Middle First St. 798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District
100015 Beijing
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

Photos and longer version of the curatorial text in the Press Release at

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