Wednesday, January 29, 2020

TOPOGRAPHY OF SIGNALS

Topography of Signals Oil on linen 57 x 57 cm 2019


Topography of Signals relates to two recent works on paper Martial Map and Charting The Invisible . In all three works I imagine flying to a distance beyond Earth and its array of sky-based and space-based technologies. From this imagined perspective I visualise the signals that transmit data and instructions to various kinds of technological hardware, such as, satellites, drones, ground control stations, mobile phones, credit cards, GPS in vehicles etc. By exposing signals it becomes apparent that the networked and interconnected system imposes a new kind of topography upon landscape. This new topography volumentrically occupies our extended environment, from land to orbiting satellites.

Imagine you are below the netted landscape revealed in Topography of Signals. Now, imagine you are above the signal-net. From either of these orientations a sense of foreclosure is felt. If you are below the signals you are woven into the matrix that volumetrically occupies extended environment. If you are above, an enclosure is 'witnessed'. Here, I channel some of geographer, Ian Shaw's, thoughts on enclosure, in what he calls the 'predator empire', and what I call the 'code empire'

This kind of imaginational metaveillance, undertaken in imaginational flight, is visualised in my paintings in ways that intersect with counter-mapping tropes. Counter-mapping is a way to scrutinise maps created by colonisers. It helps to reveal and map the ignored or subdued stories of pre-colonial  cultural, political and societal significance. While exposing signals as nets that occupy extended environment is not a re-examination of the past, it is a way to critically think about the networked and interconnected system as a coloniser, now and into the future. This is especially important in an age where the lines between militarised technology, dual-use technology and militarise-able civilian technology, are increasingly blurred. 

What kinds of risks and vulnerabilities are attached to a system that potentially enables global colonising forces?

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Looking forward to the 

7-8 February, University of Sheffield, UK.

Please check out the conference booklet 

I am presenting a talk about my work 
Painting Airborne Militarised Drones: An Act Of Imaginational Metaveillance



Cheers,
Kathryn





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