1990, France ; lives and works in Paris
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 first stage took viewers from the shores of Marseille to those of Palermo, i.e. the cable’s first two points of connection, while the second part branched out as far as Mumbai, where Internet access represents a governmental challenge. 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.
Avec le soutien de / with the support of: Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, CNC-DICRéAM, Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Mécènes du Sud et / and Ateliers Quel Amour !
Avec la participation de / with the participation of: Triangle France-Astérides, Grey Projects, Décalab et / and Passerelle centre d’art contemporain
SEA-ME-WE 3, 2018
Video installation (27’)
Courtesy of the artist
Production Les Ateliers de Rennes – 2018.
With the support of : Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, CNC-DICRéAM, Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Mécènes du Sud et Ateliers Quel Amour ! En partenariat avec : Triangle France-Astérides, Marseille ; Grey Projects ; Décalab ; Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest.