Immersive Installation: ten fiberglass sculptures, chromacoat, speakers, audio players.
Semiosphere allows viewers to experience a fictional event and its aftermath from a range of alternate point of views. Ten helmets, each equipped with on-board audio and featuring a range of narrative soundscapes, are hung overhead in the form of a swarm-shaped installation. The position of each individual helmet within the swarm defines the audio direction and narrative experience. Everyone has the chance to create their own unique pathway through the installation in order to build and shape the story they are given to hear.
Semiosphere: The Death of the Web [Edition 1]
Semiosphere: The Death of the Web envisions a collapse of the world as we know. A collapse of the network. A collapse of this global instrument of our everyday life. Represented as a spatial sound experience, the helmets teleport participants to a busy waiting room where they listen into individual’s everyday conversation just a month after the death of the web. Through trivial topics and references to well-known socio-political events of human history the future anticipations of living without the internet reveal themselves.
A combination of archival sound footage and short exchanges between fictional characters are part of the audio materials of the installation. Listeners absorb themselves in the fragments of conversations they are randomly part of, then the uncanniness and idiosyncrasies associated with projected event come through, and in-so-doing revealing the overall context and larger narrative of waiting for the unknown.
Will the Internet end soon?
It all began in May 2015, when an article on lemonde.fr spoke of the possibility of a collapse of the World Wide Web. Although this event is largely hypothetical, several articles have been written on the subject in response to a scientific symposium that the Royal Society of London organized around the Internet Capacity Crunch.
In a context where the network could collapse even before the end of its “adultescence”—in 2023, the Web as we know it will barely be more than 25 years old—we can try to picture the fall of the Web and the after-world that would ensue. Empty server carcasses and a sea of electronic junk? Digital oblivion on all screens? A digital desert to drift in? Machines imitating the Web? A handcrafted Internet?. Rumours and testimony about what was the Internet? A desperate search for a disappeared connection?
How will the at once dematerialized and delocalized dynamics of power structures be impacted in both their evident economic and inevitably political manifestations if the network is disconnected? But also, what can still be said or done in the meantime? How does one occupy—or not— what is essentially borrowed time and space, a space-time henceforth to be shared between digital and physical realities.
In the wake of these reflections, the artistic proposals that echo these considerations have here been gathered. Though the exhibition was initially composed of Quebec artists, Hungarian artists were subsequently added to it for the occasion ‑ from a call for proposals, as well as from the Ludwig Museum Collection, and of early web-based artworks from the C3 Center for Culture & Communication Foundation archives; in addition to artworks by Swiss artists which were part of The Dead Web exhibition at the last edition of the Mapping Festival. This approach thus provides a particular perspective in which to build and unpack our idea of the Web, and, at the same time, its absence.
OTHER EXHIBITING ARTISTS
Julien BOILY, BORI Bálint, BEÖTHY Balázs, CSONTÓ Lajos, Romain & Simon de DIESBACH, EIKE, FORGÁCS Péter, GERHES Gábor, KOMORÓCZKY Tamás, Frédérique LALIBERTÉ, NAGY Kriszta, NÉMETH Hajnal, PÁL Zsuzsanna Rebeka, Roman ONDAK, Projet EVA (Etienne GRENIER & Simon LAROCHE), Dominique SIROIS & Baron Lanteigne, Société Réaliste, SUGÁR János, SZARKA Péter, SZEGEDY-MASZÁK Zoltán, Julie TREMBLE, Lukas TRUNIGER & Nicola L. HEIN, VÁRNAI Gyula, VÁRNAGY Tibor.
The first iteration of the The Dead Web – The End exhibition was presented in 2017 at Eastern Bloc (Montreal, Quebec, Canada). In 2019, the exhibition produced by Molior was shown at Mirage Festival (Lyon, France) and Mapping Festival (Geneva, Switzerland).