The Network Ensemble

The Network Ensemble

The Network Ensemble

The Network Ensemble was born out of a pun.

In December 2014 we took part in ‘Possessed Objects’, a group show held at the Royal College of Art in London, where we were master students of the Informa- tion Experience Design programme. The show challenged the perception of tech- nology as supernatural through four artworks which confronted technological (mis) beliefs. The work did not seek an awed, stunned worship of technology but rather a questioning of its immediate workings and the techno-political implications of its use.

Among the subjects investigated by the artists was that of network, intended as the infrastructure underlying the Internet. The increasingly ubiquitous, multi-lay- ered, immanent (and almost de nitely magical;) assemblage that we refer to as ‘the Internet’ felt like a worthy topic, and an infrastructure space of its own largely unknown to us.

Oliver’s contribution to ‘Possessed Objects’ speci cally tackled this subject. On/ O /In[line] was an installation exploring the WiFi network, hunting for its inhabi- tants’ electronic equipment. The piece collected information and communications from devices in a close proximity and monitored them, calculating their distance from the exhibition space. The surveilled communications, too fast to be visual- ised, were soni ed by transforming the bytes of WiFi packets directly into sound waves. The cacophonous amount of information played out was somewhat more representative of the realities of the activity than if it had been visually translated.

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