[Custom software, Arduino, scanner, monitor, aluminum panel prints, 2017]
Drawing from precedents such as Natalie Jeremijenko’s Live Wire and Hiroshi Ishii’s research into Tangible Media, The Ambient Internet is a Folk Song Also aims to physically embody internet data. The work utilizes packet sniffing software to monitor connections to local networks. For each packet that crosses the network, a signal is translated through an arduino computer to a physical step motor. The movements of the motor are then captured by a scanner, and the resulting painterly and photographic compositions printed onto aluminum panels.
Calling to mind the work of biased data pioneers like Safiya Noble, the “objective” materiality of the final compositions is undermined by the convoluted and highly subjective means by which they have been produced. The work runs automatically, inviting viewers to inspect the means by which their local information culture is being represented, and can be run in a performative manner, with periodic scans being output to the monitor.