Danae Valenza: Matt Arbuckle, ‘Low Cloud’

‘people talk or think about the ‘cloud’
they imagine effortlessly through the skies
lying deep beneath the oceans.
searching for the ‘cloud’
look on the seabed
in the sky
stretch to the moon and back
quietly become
a single day’

In a forest, buried in dank, soft ground, tendrils of fungus stretch and swarm. They bloom from the surface with clean squeaks of fresh skin. Little beacons in the dirt. Mycelium threads latch from tree to tree. Through a slick film of fungal live wires, trees communicate with one another, share resources and fight disease.

In the sky, a mist of sound and light is smacking back from satellite to satellite. It is The Cloud. A vaporous engine room, opaque and brimmed with pixel shaped data. We visit a site, but we don’t know where we are. We ‘share’ and ‘like’ what we’ve never experienced.

In the ocean, sunk into ink dark water, a lacework of cables have been dredged into the seascape. Some are the size of a garden hose. Thin sheaths of rubber encase coloured copper, or fibre optic. Once used to for telegrams and plots of Morse code, now bank transfers, blink-fast out-of-office auto replies.

In international waters, Russian submarine vessels are spotted floating over the woven paths of signal wire. The arterial infrastructure that captures our daily transmissions is vulnerable of tactical sabotage. The personal artefacts travelling through time and space could be destroyed or tapped, and used to shape the politicised actions of our existential bodies.

In Armazi, 10 miles from Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, a 75-year old woman is searching for discarded copper to sell. Her spade splits through an underground network cable. Armenia’s Internet is disrupted for just under 12 hours. “I have no idea what the Internet is”, she claims.

In this space lay exercises in conceptual En Plein Air. Walls are adorned with specific latitudinal/longitudinal coordinates that mark a place- distinct and delineated. Yet, these works are questions, not answers. What does interpersonal communication look like? Paintings are submerged into ink-dark pigment. Creases in the fabric stretch and swarm. Shreds of colour are smacked on canvas. Becoming mind-maps of sites where we have never been.

– Danae Valenza

Danae Valenza: Matt Arbuckle, ‘Low Cloud’