alone together, 770m of ethernet cables, 2013
Alone Together, why we expect more from technology and less from each other is the title of a book from Sherry Turkle (2011). Internet reduces the physical distance between continents, and it also brings its load of misunderstandings. Alone together is specific to online communications and their positive, as well as negative consequences for interpersonal communications. I worked with more than 700 meters of internet cables, but all separated in 10 meters long pieces. I tied them together making them meet in many points and curves, but none of them fusion with one another. They all remain isolated, even though they are part of a whole. Knots are bonds, sometime strong sometime loose.
It is interesting how knots have to be tight, but easy to untie. The fishing net is a combination of thousands of knots, thousands of bonds.
«This society eliminates geographical distance only to reap internally in the form of spectacular separation.*»
For Debord, the spectacle works to separate, isolate and immobilize individuals, even if they communicate intensively. This captures their attention in order to regulate them as a disciplinary process. The screens of today (outside the mobile screens) are participating in the same power mechanism : they produce stationary, passive and isolated subjects.
* Guy Debord, excerpt no. 167 of the Society of the Spectacle (1971)