Screening / The Blue Dot
- Abstract: The altar of a temple built by the Church of Christ Scientist in San Francisco, incessantly buzzes with the sound of data flow. As you enter the building and go up the staircase, the humming becomes hypnotic. The trance leads you to the altar, where you find yourself surrounded by huge windows that stain the entire room with an intense yellow light. The temple houses six towers of digital servers arranged at the two sides of the main altar. The sea of data flowing through these hard drives—and others not visible to the public—comprises the Internet Archive (IA), the largest digital library in the world.
In most genesis stories life originates in water. Just like our origin stories, our digital cosmology is bound up in the language of fluidity. Our world, the Blue Marble, is a vast ocean of data, where each droplet of water is a bit of potential information. As data flows from cloud to cloud, back into electrical currents in vast oceans of data, water is revealed to us as the initial stage of being, each particle containing the possibility of knowing ourselves—of sensing our individual and collective consciousness.
The evaporation of information from the ocean, with its swirling cables, is forming unprecedented clouds. All climate predictions today suggest that the poles are rapidly melting, sea levels are quickly rising, and large dark clouds are forming over our global networks. Some even think that the depth of these dark digital clouds is larger than the depth of our cosmos. We live in the eye of this hurricane, every time we swipe our phone or turn our screens on. The storm of data pushed by the winds of capital and surveillance seems almost unstoppable. If all predictions are correct, what will this storm of data look like when the clouds finally break?
- Biography: Juan Pablo Pacheco Bejarano (Bogotá, 1991) is a visual artist and writer whose research investigates the historical and material intersections between technology and the biosphere. Through texts, videos, and web projects, his research explores the territorial dimensions of the technosphere and the material and poetic relationships between water and the internet. He has also produced transdisciplinary and collaborative laboratories, which seek to foster the critical appropriation of diverse technologies. He is a professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the Universidad Javeriana (Colombia), and has been a programming coordinador at Plataforma Bogotá, laboratory for art, science and technology, and at Espacio Odeón, a contemporary art space. His texts and works have been disseminated and developed in Colombia, the United States, Spain, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, China, Senegal, Mexico and Uruguay.
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