Juan Pablo will share his research on the Atlantis-2 submarine cable and its landing site in Conil, a small coastal town in the south of Spain filled with ruins of colonial and information infrastructures. Drawing from archives, original interviews, observations, and mythology, he will weave a series of non-linear decolonial speculations around the historical and geopolitical genealogy of the internet’s infrastructure and think about the possible future of the internet as a submarine ruin. His research aims to bring to the forefront the concealed colonial and material genealogies embedded in submarine cables, highlighting the internet’s materiality as a fragile system that is prone to decay and infrastructural repurposing by human and non-human agents.
Dachen Bao will share his research conducted as part of the self-organised collective 'Chongqing Work Institute'(重庆工作研究所). The Chongqing Work Institute is an open platform for research and practice of space. Their research is both done and presented at site-specific locations in Chongqing, replacing Powerpoint slides with the landscape itself. Chongqing's pluriform landscape integrates cityscape, countryside, mountains and waterways, construction sites and ruins into one. As such it forms a unique backdrop to discuss topics as conflict, industrialisation, globalisation and more recently artificial intelligence, robots and sustainability.
The second half of the gathering will open a space to collectively reflect on infrastructures as contentious production and mediation of reality, proposing a collective mode of research on media technologies that operates from a relational and networked proximity.
Juan Pablo Pacheco Bejarano (Bogotá, 1991) is a visual artist and writer. Through texts, videos, web projects, and collaborative labs, his research explores the historical, poetic, and material intersections between the technosphere and the biosphere, telepathic networks, and the entanglement between water and the internet. He lives between Bogotá and many other places, virtual and physical, and is a professor at the Visual Arts Department of the Javeriana University and the Digital Narratives program at the Andes University in Colombia.
Dachen Bao's (China, 1993) practice is based on archival material research, integrating videos and texts. His work focuses on the complexity of local realities and the ever-shifting structural relationship with technology, capital, geo politics, history and representation. His recent research is concerned with urban space and thought changes in Southwest China and its technological history and future reality under the influence of Post-Cold War- and Geo political-strategies. He is a co-founder of self-organized Chongqing Work Institute (CWI), a research-based collective operating from 2018 and is currently enrolled in the Piet Zwart Institiute Lens Based Media MA.
In ~~~~ Sami Hammana (NL) draws parallels between the Dutch colonial past and current financial practices that are spreading globally through undersea cable networks. The hypothesis of his research project is simple: there is no functional difference between the colonial practices of the Dutch East India Company fleet and the contemporary speculative market economy that is propagated across the globe via submarine cables.
Location: Varia (Gouwstraat 3, Rotterdam)
Date: Friday 29th October 2021