22 — 26 May 2019
About the Exhibition
The Circuit Breaker is a networked participated installation that critiques the culture of constant connectivity. It is complemented by a photo exhibition by the artist about energy, fossil fuels, and energetic landscapes of Helsinki. The installation aims to provoke reflection about the social and energetic impact of our constantly connected digital lives. While harmony between man and machine, body and the network are seen as the primary aspirations of our post-industrial digital society, it has the potential for long-term discord to both natural ecologies and wider implications to local communities. Constant connectivity is not only energy-intensive but could also result in growing dissonance in society at multiple scales: from the social to the political, from resource depletion to climate change. Infrastructures that support connectivity still remain perceived generally as intangible and ethereal just like the ‘Cloud’.
By placing online behaviour through community-participated criteria of diversity, as well as an environmental agenda, the installation seeks to draw attention to the materialities and infrastructures of connectivity. As a participated artwork in a gallery, the installation aims to engage local communities, elicit critical responses and reflection on the state of the infrastructure of the Internet that dominates our daily lives. Could artistic methods question the ubiquitousness of connectivity and address related materialities and environmental impacts? Could dis-connectivity remind us of our choices? Could it persuade us to think that every ‘click’ has an energetic footprint and every break in the circuit saves a piece of the earth?
About the Artist
Samir Bhowmik's multi-disciplinary art and research practice deals with contemporary issues in Media, Memory and the Environment. His work examines the architectural, infrastructural and energetic entanglements of Cultural Memory. His latest infrastructural performance art project ‘Memory Machines’ opened at the Helsinki Central Library in January 2019, as part of the Library’s Other Intelligences project organised by the Finnish Cultural Institute of New York.