Hackers, engineers, investigative journalists, writers, researchers, artists and activists unveil how the Internet works, how it is secretly structured, and in which way interlinked land and undersea network cables influence our political, cultural and everyday life.
The first event of the “Art & Evidence” series by Disruption Network Lab 2016 investigates the cultural, historical, geographic and technological dimensions of the Internet, tracing fiber-optic and undersea network cables. At the root of the Internet infrastructure lays a very material dimension, that influences how the Internet functions, how it is organized and controlled, and its geopolitical configuration.
Recently disclosed N.S.A. (National Security Agency) documents demonstrated that telecommunication companies, such as AT&T, have been particularly important to N.S.A. allowing the access to billions of emails across domestic networks. Large amounts of the world’s Internet communications travel across American cables, and a broad range of classified activities work by installing surveillance equipment on Internet hubs. The materiality of the wired network is crucial to understand how surveillance works physically, and more in general, how the whole Internet infrastructure is conceived.
In this event, researchers, engineers, investigative journalists, hackers, writers, artists and activists, are brought together to unveil who runs the Internet and in which way its infrastructure influences our political, cultural and everyday life. Starting from this very concrete subject, the physicality of the network cables, the event culminates with the discussion about digital-divide and breaks of connectivity in strategic landing sites, where the discrepancy between poor access to bandwidth and high presence of cable infrastructure is caused by military, political, and economical reasons.