The Alpine region of Switzerland and Austria serves as the geographical framework. Here, the myths of a disembodied Internet are confronted in a particularly complex way with the reality of infrastructures and their far-reaching effects on society and the environment: The Alps are simultaneously an ecosystem worth protecting, a significant energy producer, a geological and thus infrastructural hurdle and challenge, a place of tourism, transport, value creation and pollution. At the same time, the materiality of the digital often seems distant here, with value chains, manufacturing, and major Internet hubs hundreds of miles away. Here, the oft-cited “digital revolution” is confronted with some of its greatest challenges, but perhaps also opportunities. Through a series of interviews and artistic/scholarly field notes, this project illuminates this confrontation and inquires into the stories, imaginaries, and fantasies that emerge in the process.
This language-based artistic research project operates within media studies and, in doing so, within the field of media ecology. It draws on approaches and sources from literature, anthropology, social science, and information technology, and contributes to the topic of the relationship between language and reality, as well as the role of art in science.
The project is funded by the SNSF DOC.CH research grant for the period 2022–2025.