Global Wiring is a sculpture made of recycled glass representing an ice core that reveals within its body the remains of our contemporary underground infrastructures. The original version of the sculpture is permanently installed in the 3-D Sculpture Park in Verbier.
Despite the rapid digitization of various aspects of society, our electronic storage devices remain energy-intensive, quickly become obsolete, and require the extraction of rare and exhaustible metals. In this context, the longevity of our digital data, and the knowledge it holds about our times, has become uncertain. In 200 years’ time, will there be any traces left for future generations to remember our own? And if so, in what form?
In a hypothetical future, archeological digs drill out frozen cables and pipes frozen in the ice of the last Alpine glaciers; they are proof of an era of hyper-connectivity. Preserved within a layer of glacio-lacustrine soil, these samples provide us with unprecedented insights into the technologies and underground infrastructures that were installed and then abandoned in the Alpine soil. The different layers of the ice core highlight a complex system of cables and pipes, ranging from pipelines to electrical cables, or from coaxial internet cables to high-speed fiber optic cables. The layering indicates that new infrastructure has always been built on top of existing infrastructure. Furthermore, this archaeological excavation demonstrates that obsolete cables were never removed, mainly due to economic reasons.
The sculpture consists of a glacial core placed horizontally on a metal frame and illuminated by a strip of LEDs. The core is made of different shades of recycled glass, and within its layers, cables of varying thicknesses and colors are integrated. Inspired by research conducted on the Alpine subsurface, these cables narrate the history of technological transitions in mountain telecommunication cables. While water is a vital resource for human survival, infrastructure (networks) have become indispensable for communication.
The title "Global Wiring" is a neologism derived from the combination of "Global warming" and "wiring." It expresses the tension that exists between climate change and the expansion of infrastructures, particularly underground ones.
The artwork belongs to the series "Obsology" (a neologism merging "obsolescence" and "archaeology"), which visually explores the concept of post-digital archaeology through CGI images, generative videos, and sculptures.
Fondation Vaudoise pour la Culture
Swiss Cultural Fund UK
Art Foundation Pax
Canton de Vaud
Ville de Lausanne
Ville de Renens
Migros pourcent culturel
Arts at CERN
Hospitalité artistique de Saint-François
Swiss Alpine Club SAC