Nowadays, we have the possibility to access a lot of information almost instantly, and we can also use a variety of real-time applications that connect us to the five continents. But, what is it that allows this infinite amount of data to circulate at such speed? Which is the physical structure that makes this almost immediate communication viable? Where do we find the channels that make interconnectivity at a planetary level possible? 99% of Internet traffic circulates through a network of cables, invisible to our eyes, that weaves the oceans’ seabed and allows the transmission of data in real time.
The installation “Liquid mapping :: connected to ...” visually represents the underwater cartography of the cables network that enables global data traffic across the planet.
Parting from the geographical limits of the Spanish territory, an investigation has been carried out with the purpose of filtering the data that has historically made it possible for our country to be connected with the rest of the world since the arrival of Internet.
The exhibition space becomes a large installation of colored, electroluminescent wire tubes (according to their year of implantation) arranged horizontally and at different heights on the room’s floor. All of the cables implanted in a same year have a similar color and are constructed with a transparent, glass tube through which a line of light circulates; a rhizome of colored threads.
A total of ten screens, represent the years during which there has been activity in the construction of submarine cables in Spain, construct a timeline.
Finally, a sound landscape of underwater cables will wrap the whole introducing the viewer to an almost aquatic and metallic scenery.
The audio and the light script makes a bucle of 10 minutes accordint to the next scenes: Chronological, expository and Data Flow.
The audio and the light script makes a bucle of 10 minutes accordint to the next scenes:
First scene :: Chronological :: Expressing the history and development of the submarine cable construction in Spain.
The Installation function like a time lapse which explains the installation in a chronological way. The electrolumniscent cables and the light screens switch on with the first submarine cable, constructed in 1994, and finish with the last and most actual cable, in 2017. The electroluminiscent wire (EL wire) keeps blinking with the audio. The screens are just lighting, until the lapse ends and they turn off.
Second scene :: Expository :: Showing the installation in a visual mode.
The second layer is an interaction of the lights and cables with the audio of the Installation. The light turns on and off, more and faster. The higher and louder the frequencies turn, the faster the screens are turned on.
Third scene :: Data Flow :: Visualizing virtual data transmission.
This sequence simulates a virtual data flow which is passing through the light tubes. Every cable acts with a different blink(flash) frequency. By reaching a determinate rate of Data Flow, the screens are turning on, when the cable is getting less active, the screens turn off.
The exhibition space becomes a large installation of colored, electroluminescent wire tubes (according to their year of implantation) arranged horizontally and at different heights on the room’s floor, which draw a three-dimensional underwater layout of the twenty one submarine cables that connect the Spanish geography with the rest of the planet. All of the cables implanted in a same year have a similar color, allowing a quick identification, and are constructed with a transparent, glass tube through which a line of light circulates; a rhizome of colored threads with a dynamic flow of intensity and fluctuation.
SOFTWARE >> Touchdesigner (a visual development platform), Arduino, Daslight (Light programming software), DMX, Mp3 Player
HARDWARE >> Arduino with microphone (10 pieces), PC (Computer running Windows), Electricity Source 12V, EL WIRE (10 colores), Inverter for El Wire, Hi fi amplifier, Loudspeaker
Vertical installation (wall): It requires a space that has a linear development of wall from approximately 15 meters, it can be worked in different sections (corner, U-shape..). Firstly, the luminous screens are fixed in their corresponding space location, later it is necessary to be enabling all the light wiring.
Horizontal installation (ground): The spatial coordinates of each cable-circuit must be determined on the floor. Over a plane with a real scale, the electroluminescent wires, according to their color, are threaded inside the borosilicate tube which it will give them the final shape. The different sections are joined together with transparent retractable tubes. Later, the glass supports are placed in the corresponding place, giving the final height to the electroluminescent cable, which will finally be deposited on these supports, obtaining its final formalization. It is important to build the installation from the lower to the higher levels.
The floor installation connects to the corner of the gallery through a channel that houses all of the colored cables in order to be distributed neatly through the gallery’s vertical plane and generate, throughout its path, a “timeline” of this connectivity map’s growth. Each cable will go to its corresponding year of implantation, and it will feed a light screen, almost like a computer monitor where, separated from the geographical ensemble, the cables constructed on that year are decontextualized, with the aim of visualizing them in their lineal description, along with their geographical coordinates, next to the data key that conceptualizes the installation. A total of ten screens, represent the years during which there has been activity in the construction of submarine cables in our country, and they construct a timeline that runs through three walls of the gallery, establishing a visual continuity and a temporal space within the exhibition set. Finally, a sound landscape of underwater cables will wrap the whole introducing the viewer to an almost aquatic and metallic scenery.
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WEB :: www.estherpizarro.es