FAMILIARS is an immersive installation that materialises the presence, function, and fragility of the unseen logistical infrastructure that underpins the modern world, yet is often coded as separate to society.
Exploiting Brighton’s presence and location in this infrastructure, the piece creates a mapped representation by directly intercepting logistical signals broadcast via radio by local air, sea, and train freight vessels and transmuting the data into ambisonics and floor-projected visualisations. Through this, it reveals the technical and legal challenges that present themselves when we choose to observe this ever-present yet largely inaccessible system.
Familiars is a collaboration between myself and Georgina Voss. The work expands on our individual interdisciplinary practices around critical examinations of technology, culture, and society, and draws on our collective emphasis on public understanding and engagement with socio-technical systems. It received an Arts & Technology Commission from the Brighton Digital Festival, and was first installed at Lighthouse Arts in Brighton in September 2015. A series of talks were held during the exhibition, from Georgina (https://vimeo.com/139389985), Alice Bell (https://vimeo.com/139396091), and Ingrid Burrington (https://vimeo.com/139382693).
Georgina and I were invited to speak at the Open Data Institute on the discussions around Familiars, it can be seen here: http://theodi.org/lunchtime-lectures/friday-lunchtime-lecture-unfamiliar-topologies