Marc Garrett interviews Isabelle Arvers about the AntiAtlas of Borders project. Control systems along land, sea, air and virtual state borders are the subject of work and mutation for scientists, artists, filmmakers, performers, hackers, customs agents, and workers in the surveillance industries and the military. This first of two interviews attends to the inter-disciplinary border-crossing that underpins the operational production of the project.
How could anyone resist being enchanted by so much enthusiasm, so much passion and dedication? It felt like a privilege to be at the Libre Graphics Meeting and sense so much energy and warmth. Even though I didn't understand all of the technical details, it was good to hear the people who make the tools I use talk about them, how they make them, how much they care about them. I found myself wondering how many other people in the room felt the same way. I wished I could bring everyone who uses these tools for the work they care about into this space, urge them to listen, to think about how we, as users, can respond to this dedication and commitment, find other ways to share in the responsibility.
Trending Culture: You Can't Do it All
I was thinking about waves of expansion of creative discourse in parallel with the exponential increase of the production of information in media (Internet, etc). While I do not have quantitative data, my observations seem to sugggest we are undergoing another burst in the development of technological tools of production that challenges practitioners to keep up. Let me illustrate what I'm trying to get at through a historical observation.
recently i gave 2 guest lectures at dartington college of arts; in order to be paid, i had to fill out numerous forms (including one to opt out of a pension scheme) and there were many emails back & forth about my alien status & how my payment could be authorised. when i expressed surprise at this - surely visiting international guest lecturers are not such a rarity?
Given the opportunity I would certainly make this choice every-time.
Things I would do differently
1. Learn at least a few words in the language of every country I was passing through: hello, please, thank you, excuse me, help.
2. Learn a bit about the contemporary and historical relationship between bordering countries and my own where I'm making border crossings.
3. Take a knife a spoon and napkins
4. Take antiseptic cream and sticking plasters (would have been put to good use at least twice on my trip)
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Background image: Original photograph by Gregory H. Revera. Remix version by Olga P Massanet (Furtherfield). Both the original and remix are licensed under: CC BY-SA 3.0.