Global Wiring is a permanent sculpture by Swiss collective Fragmentin as the result of their artist residency with the Verbier 3-D Foundation in April 2022.
The artwork is part of the Obsology series (the artists’ neologism coming from a mix of the words obsolescence and archaeology), a visual research on the topic of Post-digital archaeology which takes the form of CGI images, generative videos and sculptures.
Retrieved from remaining icy landscapes of the Alps in an hypothetical future, frozen wiring and pipes found by ice drilling appear to be tangible proof of an era of hyper-connectivity.
Preserved in a glacial-lacustrine layer, these samples extracted from the ground, provide us with unprecedented information on the technologies and underground infrastructures that were once installed and used under the surrounding Valais soil.
The different layers of the ice core reveal a complex system of infrastructure cabling and piping ranging from water pipes, electricity cables and coaxial internet wires to fast fiber optics.
The overlapping of the layers reveals that new infrastructures have always been built on top of previous ones continuously contributing to a vast colorful underground labyrinth. Furthermore, this archaeological excavation exposes that obsolete cables were never removed due to economic reasons.
The sculpture consists of a glacial ice core partly embedded in a natural rock that was recovered locally. The core is made up of different tints of recycled glass. A minimal metal cage is elegantly protecting this archaeological discovery.
Within the different glass layers, local cabling of different thicknesses and colors are integrated at different levels. Inspired by research into the regional subsoil, they tell us the historical story of the technological transitions of the telecommunication cables in the Val de Bagnes.
While water is a necessary resource for human survival, other infrastructures have become indispensable for our comfort and communication. All competing for underground space.
The title Global Wiring is a neologism derived from the contraction of "Global Warming" and "wiring". It expresses the tension between climate change and the growing expansion of man-made infrastructures.
In this context, what new aesthetics can emerge from this hybridization between the natural and the infrastructural?