Touch of the network

9:16 light box on top of surveyors tripod, electronics, mobile broadband SIM with public static IP. Looping 4K video. The searchlight mounted on top of surveyors tripod turns and bursts light towards the physical location where it is being targeted from over the networks.

Touch of the network can be seen as a lighthouse and also as an island in the network between things – the Internet. Any device connected to this network becomes a target for automated processes – bots – whose motives are mostly non-transparent and therefore unknown. Each request from a robot, a touch of the network, triggers the searchlight on surveyors tripod to orient itself and reflect back light towards the physical location where it is being targeted from over the networks.

The installation is part of the series Subocean Botlights which departs from the fact that most of intercontinental communication relies heavily on the submarine fiber optic cables. This network carries threads of light as thin as tenth of human hair while being as existential to technological societies as the sun is for the plants. We are hanging by a thread while the artificial sun rays plunge through the oceans and light up our faces via bright screens.

Accompanying video for a group show near Lake Peipus

Accompanying video for a solo show at Tallinn City Gallery

The work was partly developed at WRO Art Center within the framework of EMAP / EMARE and co-funded by Creative Europe with additional production support from Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Touch of the network belongs to the collection of Tartu Art Museum.


Teostuse Meistriklass in SIRP by Juhan Soomets (in Estonian)

Installation views at Tallinn City Gallery

Photos by Tallinn Art Hall / Karel Koplimets

Installation view at Voronja Gallery