SEA-ME-WE 3 – Les Ateliers de Rennes
Filmic installation – alupanel, wood, metal, prints on vinyl, cotton – variable dimensions – 2018
Since 2015, Virgile Fraisse has been following the underwater fiber optic cable SEA-ME-WE, an abbreviation made from the different continents it connects (Southeast Asia–Middle East–Western Europe). Without ever appearing on-screen, this network forms the background of a series of films wavering between documentary and fiction. While we often see telecommunications as a set of floating and extra-territorial data, the artist uses poetic parables to broach the material nature of these networks and the geopolitical issues with which they interfere.
The action of this new part, SEA-ME-WE 3 (2018), unfolds in Singapore around the Singtel telecommunications company, a control instrument of the City-State. Through a series of tableaus, the choral film tells the parallel tales of a Tamil worker employed to lay cables and a precarious art critic with a great interest in cryptocurrencies, characters who are linked by the interface of a geolocation software called Dataspark, a subsidiary of Singtel. Inspired by Singapore’s urban furnishings, the installation in which the film is presented reveals a set of diagrams which extend the line of thinking about the strategies of expansion and security of computer and state networks. (Elsa Vettier – Ateliers de Rennes Biennial)
2018 Ateliers de Rennes – Biennale d’art contemporain, group show, cur. Céline Kopp & Etienne Bernard, Rennes, France.