The 8th event of the Disruption Network Lab at Kunstquartier Bethanien, Studio 1, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin. Directed by Tatiana Bazzichelli.
The first event of the “Art & Evidence” series by Disruption Network Lab 2016 investigates the cultural, historical, geographic and technological dimensions of the Internet, tracing land and undersea network cables. In the post-cyberpunk Sci-Fi novel “Mother Earth Mother Board“ published on Wired Magazine in 1996, writer Neal Stephenson tells about a hacker tourist that “ventures forth across the wide and wondrous space of three continents”, revealing the physical materiality of the cyberspace and how it is wired together. This novel was precursor to the development of our info-sphere and the online everyday life that we experience everyday connected through the Internet and its nodes.
At the root of the Internet infrastructure lays a very material dimension, that influences how the Internet functions, how it is organised and controlled, and its geopolitical configuration.
Recently disclosed N.S.A. (National Security Agency) documents demonstrated that telecommunication companies, such as AT&T, have been particularly important to N.S.A. allowing the access to billions of emails across domestic networks. Large amounts of the world’s Internet communications travel across American cables, and a broad range of classified activities work by installing surveillance equipment on Internet hubs. The materiality of the wired network is crucial to understand how surveillance works physically, and more in general, how the whole Internet infrastructure is conceived.
In the 2015 book The Undersea Network, Nicole Starosielski argues the network of undersea cables is the mirror of historical and political realms, and the connections it enables are not just technological, but also the consequence of deliberate negotiation of cultural and geopolitical assets. In this event, researchers, engineers, investigative journalists, hackers, writers, artists and activists, are brought together to unveil who runs the Internet and in which way its infrastructure influences our political, cultural and everyday life. Starting from this very concrete subject, the physicality of the network cables, the event culminates with the discussion about digital-divide and breaks of connectivity in strategic landing sites, where the discrepancy between poor access to bandwidth and high presence of cable infrastructure is caused by military, political, and economical reasons.
Friday June 17 · 2016
17:00-18:30 · KEYNOTE "NETWORK EXPOSED: CHARTING THE INVISIBLE"
Henrik Moltke (investigative journalist, DK/USA), Trevor Paglen (artist and geographer, USA). Moderated by Tatiana Bazzichelli (artistic director, Disruption Network Lab, IT/DE).
19:00-21:00 · PANEL "DIRTY CABLES: THE TECHNOLOGY & POLITICS OF NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURES"
Moritz Metz (radio journalist, DE), Marc Helmus (network operator and engineer, DE), Anne Roth (net activist, senior advisor for the German Parliamentary Inquiry on Mass Surveillance for the group Die Linke, DE). Moderated by Anna Biselli (journalist, Netzpolitik.org, DE).
Saturday June 18 · 2016
16:30-18:00 · KEYNOTE "THE INTERNET, REALLY: BEHIND THE SCENES OF OUR EVERYDAY LIVES"
Andrew Blum (writer & journalist, USA). Respondent: Bernd Fix (computer security expert, Wau Holland Stiftung, DE).
18:30-20:30 · PANEL "CABLE BREAKS: THE POWERS BELOW THE SURFACE"
Ingrid Burrington (artist and researcher, USA), Helga Tawil-Souri (associate professor, Middle East and Islamic Studies NYU, Palestine/USA), Gabriele “Asbesto” Zaverio (sysadmin, co-founder, MusIF, FreakNet MediaLab, IT). Moderated by Jacob Lillemose (postdoctoral researcher and curator, Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research, DK).
Funded by: Der Regierende Bürgermeister von Berlin, Senatskanzlei, Kulturelle Angelegenheiten / City Tax.
In partnership with: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
In cooperation with Kunstraum Kreuzberg /Bethanien.
In collaboration with: NOME, Wau Holland Stiftung, Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research (COPE), Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and SPEKTRUM. With the support of the Free Chelsea Manning Initiative Berlin.
More details: http://www.disruptionlab.org/deep-cables/