Right now you’re most likely sitting down reading this either on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. The tiny, compact plastic device in your hands manipulated by someone who lives halfway around the world can connect you miraculously and instantaneously to your college friends back in Virginia, as well as retrieve live updates from Syria brought to you by the BBC. This, may I remind you, is all traveling at an astonishing speed throughout outer space to millions of people all at the same time. To comprehend something like this is truly sublime. The idea of depicting what the Internet is in tangible form is next to impossible, especially by means of an exhibition. At Import Projects, curator Michael Ruiz attempts to investigate the physicality of the Internet with a collection of works by a group of international artists.
While sitting in a laundromat using free WiFi (brought to me by the tackily named HotSpots), I’m streaming the latest episode of Portlandia – a television show unavailable in Germany thus forcing me to pirate the show illegally on the Internet. I receive an email notifying me of an exhibition opening up at Import Projects here in Berlin. Between catching up with a friend living in New York on Skype and reviewing my Tumblr newsfeed, I overlook the gallery invite and am pleased to see that Future Gallery director Mike Ruiz is guest curating a show at a gallery dedicated to the “intersection of technology, personal identity and community.” I save a note on my iCalender saying that I’ll pay a visit to the space opening night, and message my roommate on Facebook to join me.
Upon entering the gallery late Saturday night, amongst exhibition visitors taking pictures with Instagram or those tweeting their thoughts on the show are three prominently displayed works of art. In the first room is a video by Dutch artist Constant Dullaart featuring an animated screenshot of the Google homepage along with the narration of a users terms of service.