Clouded Glass and a Politics of Light. Critical Network Aesthetics and Data Transfer Geographies in The South West United Kingdom

Lead Research Organisation: University of the West of England
Department Name: Fac of Arts Creative Ind and Education


This project will research and develop a series of innovative media artworks to engage audiences and participants with issues concerning the evolving data structures that inhabit, surveil, permeate, monetize and represent many aspects of their individual lives. The project focus is on theoretically informed practical work that exposes and critically examines the histories of construction, ownership and bandwidth leasing patterns andthe environmental impacts & materialities of transnational telecommunications network infrastructure in the South West United Kingdom & Bristol Channel. It will explore and produce works interrogating the following questions:

At what point does the study of the physical infrastructures that supports data transfer and collection reveal the patterns of politics that support said infra/structures?

How can a critical study conceptually move past simplistic binaries of the visibility/invisibility, transparency/opacity, legibility/illegibility of data transfer infrastructures and related corporate and state power structures?

How can a critical study transcend replicating the existing power structures that it is undertaken within?

The project practical work will produce video and interactive works that draw on archival material and documentation of the implementation and expansion of bandwidth infrastructure in the South-west region of the UK. Theoretical and audiovisual research in the areas of critical infrastructure, digital technocultural studies, media geology and other relevant areas will inflect and support the practice-based research.


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