Media Under Dystopia 1.0 delves on the nature of our hyper-connected society and its promise of democracy at a moment when its core foundation is at risk and issues such as Internet Neutrality are under attack. How are individuals, as well as local contexts with their specific histories and politics represented and served within the current digital landscape? How can the physical and the digital infrastructures of the Internet be mapped, and what do these new cartographies tell us about today?
As a laboratory of ideas, this exhibition showcases projects in different stages of completion, from the mere concept, to the documentation of interventions, to long-term, process-based works. These are often the result of multidisciplinary collaborations and group efforts.
Among the specific topics in question are the reach and impact of Facebook users’ data collection backbone (Joler;) the aesthetics of Internet glitches as another form of perception of digital content (Gálvez;) alternative digital networks in Cuba as platforms for collective creation (Oroza;) the restoration of memory and history through digital data archives (Ćosić;) and the reflection on connectivity and control –through the collection and visualization of Internet users’ metadata (Peraza;) as well as through the documentation of the Internet’s physical infrastructure that connects the US and its Guantánamo Military Base (Burrington.)
This project is co-curated by Rodolfo Peraza and Yuneikys Villalonga.
Courtesy of the artist.
The idea for Ćosić’s Invisible Museum of Slavery was born as while in an artist residency in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. His host was a French coffee company who was refurbishing an 18th-century coffee plantation. As with many other buildings in Cuba, this historic site was being converted into a touristic destination and thus its memory of slavery was being overwritten by the nostalgic exaltation of the ruins. “Very quickly, it became obvious to me that Cuba has not found the way to deal with its history of slavery and that current social relations are marked by deeply-rooted resentment,” reflected the artist. read more
Courtesy of the artist.
Vadlan Joler is interested in exploring what he calls the invisible infrastructure of the Internet. Together with a multidisciplinary team that includes experts on Internet forensics and data visualization from the Share Lab –a project he runs in Serbia– he has conducted research on the reach and impact of Facebook’s data collection backbone. read more
Courtesy of the artist.
The island of Cuba is at the opposite end of hyper-connectivity. With a very controlled Internet access and with an increasing number of computer engineers and other technology experts, people in that country has managed to interconnect their home computers to create an underground network popularly called “Street Network” (SNET.) This intranet is a platform for gaming and for sharing information extracted from Internet, offline. With the help of a local node administrator of SNET in Havana, Oroza intervened this network to create Si despierta un pájaro intercambian sus cabezas los jugadores (2015) –which roughly translates into “if a bird wakes up, the players exchange their heads.” The title is a quote from the poem Cielos del Sabbat (1960) by Cuban Writer and poet José Lezama Lima written using the exquisite corpse method. read more
Courtesy of the artist.
The GIS (Google Image Search) (2017) Series is the result of Gálvez’s experiments with the bandwidth of his Internet connection, which affects the speed and efficiency with which content reaches the screen. The artist slows down the strength of his wifi signal to search for images that relate to certain words or phrases of conflicting meaning (for instance, words extracted from the social media, in contraposition to others which were fashionable a long time ago). As images delay in loading, colorful squares with different patterns replace them temporarily. Gálvez captures them through screenshots to later reproduce them individually, at a larger scale, in different mediums that go from paintings to prints. With this action, he is not only sublimating the glitches of the network, but also presenting to us another form of (aesthetic) perception of the digital content. read more
Data Collection Station, mobile access point, Oculus Rift Dev 2, and Leap Motion. Dimensions Variable. Courtesy of the artist.
Guerrilla Hotspot is an installation of free wifi hotspots that has been presented in the Wynwood Design District in Miami, in Los Angeles; and in San Juan, PR. before, and is now active at MUD Foundation to serve the Little Havana neighborhood where it is located. The artist provides these local communities (the immediate radius of people around the nanostations) with access to free Internet, in exchange for collecting the metadata they generate when using it –given their previous consent. The information collected is analyzed and then projected in the space, in real time. The tracking technology –the same that Internet Service Providers use – is hooked up to a VR software for data visualization. The information is converted into abstract maps of connections that, as it happens everyday with the information we give to Internet companies, could be overseen and, judging by the beauty of its graphics, remain at the level of the retina. read more
(in collaboration with Jommy Barban, Olivia Solis and Dusan A.)
(Special thanks to SHARE Foundation)
By MUD Foundation
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Miami, FL – After two years in the making, MUD Foundation will open its doors to the Miami community on December 6, 2017 from 7PM to 9PM with an homonymous exhibition, Media Under Dystopia 1.0, curated by Rodolfo Peraza and Yuneikys Villalonga.
The Foundation’s mission is facilitating educational and artistic projects where art, the Internet, virtual reality, and data converge. Working both from its Little Havana headquarters and in collaboration with other art organizations in the City of Miami, the Foundation offers a varied program of technology-related art exhibitions and educational workshops. “Our goal is raising awareness on contemporary digital cultures and their footprint in society today through artistic and educational projects.” said Rodolfo Peraza, visual artist and founder of MUD Foundation.
The exhibition Media Under Dystopia 1.0 will serve as the kickoff of Art+Hack+Data 2018 –a more ambitious, social artistry event that encompasses a conference and a series of presentations and workshops in different organizations of Miami. International new media creators and tech-enthusiasts will come together to discuss issues on the digital environment and work with participants to find their own means of creative expression. Stay tuned for details on the Art+Hack+Data 2018.
Media Under Dystopia 1.0
December 6, 2017 to March 2, 2018
Opening Reception: December 6, 2017 from 7 to 9PM
Vuk Ćosić | Filio Gálvez | Vladan Joler | Ernesto Oroza | Rodolfo Peraza