We are in the middle of contradictory age, when movement is simultaneously encouraged and restricted. Images of one of the largest humanitarian crises of modern times are beamed into our homes, computers and phones via data, which is allowed free movement, so we can comment on migrants who don’t have free movement. This is one of the paradoxes of a ‘global’ age. The borders through which people, data and goods travel are becoming less distinct but the politics that surround them are more powerful and stringent than ever.
Not limited to the borders of nation states From space… considers how border politics can be visualised or made comprehensible through artistic practices and interventions.
By replacing the dynamism of the ocean with a computer generated animation, Google Earth depoliticizes waters that are considered ‘international’. In Tamara Kametani’s work, the movement of people, fossil fuel industries, off shore wind farming, plastic oceans, and international commerce very present through its obvious lack. Equally, the bureaucracy of movement is evident when you have to travel across a body of water internal to a nation. To cross the Solent in 2013, Dmitri Galitzine informed the coastguard, Queens Harbour Master and put out a notice to Mariners. Under the surface of Galitzine’s folklore action lies a real and necessary chain of procedure and administration.
Caline Aoun’s work considers data as matter – that which can be transported and quantified but which is also malleable and authored. The abstract typography of the data tells a story of Beirut’s port but also of Lebanon’s social history, war, and the antagonistic relation between public and private.