Fast communications over long distances


Installation comprising of steel, cast aluminium, two VHF radio scanners provided by the Port of Rotterdam Authority playing live communications directed to incoming and outgoing ships; fragments of metal obtained from a ship salvage yard; paper; cast concrete; acrylic and woven steel wire.

Press: MetropolisM

Fast communications over long distances arose from a visit to a Rotterdam ship-salvage yard, where I was offered some scrap metal that had come from a former oil-rig supply ship. I began to look into the mercurial values of the used ship metal, which I’d intercepted just before its processing. The metal’s shifting economy — from working ship, to wreckage, to recycled goods — drew me to consider cycles of trade and value, into which I was marginally inserted. Meanwhile, I found an instruction manual which guided its reader to enact a particular set of hand gestures which are used by stock exchange brokers on the trading floor of the London Metal Exchange. The document brought the body into close proximity with value. The installation displayed a selection of cast aluminium gestures, replicated from this found document. Entangled amidst the gestures, was the scrap metal fragments and two VHF radio scanners playing continuous live communications between the Port of Rotterdam and the incoming and outgoing ships. It sought to draw attention to the volatile and violent relation between global trade and bodies - those who have control over economic value and those who are exploited by it.

Photo credit: Steven Maybury