Journey to the centre of the Internet is a piece of research-driven art that allows the viewer to explore how metaphors shape the way we understand and interact with the Internet. <br></br> The installation consists of a large blank television from which the viewer can hear a busy soundscape. To interact with the installation they put on the polarising glasses and pick up a copy of the Metaphor Map. Upon wearing the glasses the viewer is able to see an animated illustration that depicts all of the metaphors in one scene and invites the viewer to reflect on what they think the internet looks like. ________________________________________ The accompanying guidebook presents the research behind the project as well as containing a map of the illustration.
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Metaphors not only guide our imagination about a new invention, they influence what it can become - working as a self-fulfilling prophecy in which the technology gets progressively remade to fit its metaphor. Yet no metaphor gives a perfect representation, they are always incomplete, emphasizing a partial view of something. It’s in this way that the choice of metaphor can reveal the intentions of both those who use them and those who design them. When a metaphor obscures elements of the Internet, those elements are rendered less amenable to critique, investigation and regulation, making them a contested domain of political action.
The animation is a visual representation of several of the metaphors we use to describe the internet including The Cloud, Information Superhighway, Cyberspace, Global Village and The Dark web. By wearing the glasses you are given an insight into a world that is always there in our imaginations but rarely thought of or examined.
Alongside the project is the Metaphor Map. I chose to make it a map as it fits with the metaphor of going on a ‘journey’, the physical properties of the map, it being large and clunky to fold/unfold also draws on memories associated with travelling.
On one side is line drawing version of the illustration with the different metaphors highlighted and on the other is short essay which explores the invisibility of the internert, how each metaphor is used, it’s impact, what it hides and reveals as well discussion around the idea that what the Internet eventually becomes emerges from our current collective imaginations.
If you wish to examine the map in detail or read it’s contents it is available here:
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