Localising the Internet: Cuban Alternative Data Distribution Networks and the Social Infrastructures that Sustain Them
In this talk, media artist Nestor Siré and anthropologist and filmmaker Steffen Köhn will give intimate insights into the unique materiality of Cuban alternative data distribution networks and the lives of the people who sustain them. Their collaborative arts practice is based on years of immersive ethnographic fieldwork together with communities of tech enthusiasts who have created massive vernacular infrastructures that make up for the limitations of Internet access in Cuba. They will discuss the research, ethical and conceptual ideas behind two of their works that are exhibited at Aksioma and Ljudmila. MEMORIA is an expanded cinema installation and a documentary remake of William Gibson’s genre-defining Cyberpunk short story Johnny Mnemonic that they translated into the Cuban offline media context together with Cuban science fiction author Erick J. Mota. The interactive installation FRAGILE CONNECTIONS, developed in collaboration with Havana’s SNET community, documents the material and social infrastructure that sustains one of the largest grassroots computer networks in the world that is completely disconnected from the Internet.
Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.