DEEP SURFACING - Archaeology of Media Infrastructures Spring 2021 course exhibition

The exhibition features critical artworks by Master’s students as final outcomes of the Archaeology of Media Infrastructures Course.
Liga Felta: Inhale Deeply, Exhale

The Spring 2021 DEEP SURFACING* Exhibition features critical artworks by Master of Arts students as final outcomes of the Archaeology of Media Infrastructures Course at the Department of Media, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The works range from meditations on media aesthetics, cloud materialities, media temporalities to human-machine relations. Presenting deeper views of our daily superficial media, they trace aesthetics, imaginaries, speed, and behavior as related to their materialities.

Francesca Bogani Amadori - _Infrastructural Reality_Digital Time_Labor Time
Liga Felta - (An)aesthetics of the Surface
Alicia Romero Fernandez - Human-Machine Relations
Federico Simeoni - Free the Clouds
Tuula Vehanen - Contemporary Mandala

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*Surfacing is also a visualization project by Nicole Starosielski, Erik Loyer & Shane Brennan of the global undersea network ( It is an interactive map of undersea cables, which “provides a nonlinear way to access our undersea network, one that is geographically rather than narratively oriented.”

Francesca Bogani Amadori - _Infrastructural Reality_Digital Time_Labor Time

"bioBreak seeks to make visible how malleable our perception, and experience of time is. In a contemporary order grounded on media infrastructure where we process information through our devices, and through them we understand and create our reality. We are vulnerable to the information this “infrastructural reality” redirects to us without awareness of how it takes us into an inhumane pace to fit an ever-accelerating digital concept of “immediateness”. This project creates a made-up scenario where 3 different devices have accelerated time differently for their users creating a different class of citizens based on their experience of time. The outcome is different temporalities existing in a same time-space. The calendars show how infrastructural manipulation can affect our practical and physical realities. In this infrastructural reality, these desynchronized existences coexist, some being more hurtling than others, but all victims of digital acceleration."

Liga Felta - (An)aesthetics of the Surface

"Inhale Deeply, Exhale is an animated illustration for (An)aesthetics Of The Surface, an essay examining aesthetics of media technologies. The essay regards the prevailing technological imaginaries and pleasure derived from aestheticized representation as a means of hiding the slow violence of media technologies. By abstraction, spotless, frictionless, and elusive representation devoid of temporal and material complexity, aesthetics become anaesthetics, challenging the very act of seeing and sensing beyond the surface. Inhale Deeply, Exhale adds to these ideas and illustrates a speculative and atemporal infrastructural system, aiming to create an anesthetic effect by aesthetic pleasure."

Alicia Romero Fernandez - Human-Machine Relations

"In the dumb-phone project I study if the same affection we have for our smartphones can indeed be simulated with a fake object. The dumb-phone is a placebo smart-phone. Made out of porcelain, it is a copy of the iPhone 5. Its physical properties are the same, so only the materiality is at stake in this case. If the cloud was as pure, clean, and idyllic as it has been sold, then the material representation of it would be a fragile, white, shiny, and empty object made from minerals. This would fit in our hands, and we could adore it, with no other connotations or effects on us, nor on other humans and the environment. The product is presented in 3 posters with an ironic and dumb tone. I pretend to comment on how companies treat their clients, by not providing enough information on how their product works. I have created pictures of various individuals holding the dumb-phone in different situations. They look as simple as daily actions, that shelter some incongruence highlighted by the phrase that goes with it."

Federico Simeoni - Free the Clouds

"Free the Clouds aims to give visibility to what is under politics of invisibility, claiming that the Cloud was not an ahistorical inevitability. As Trevor Croker argues, this metaphor was created as a “marketing effort” that does not exist in the ether of cyberspace. In this series of collages, the paper layers echo the layered structure of the Cloud metaphor. Opening up the superficial visible stratum, the viewer can see where the infrastructure lives. However, here is the pun: the infrastructure cannot be revealed, it remains opaque since it can only be seen through its iconographic strategy: a sunny sky with some cumulonimbus."

Tuula Vehanen - Contemporary Mandala

"The Internet and social media have opened up to us an informational and social universe whose absence is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine. Despite their many advantages, they also have their downsides. Social media and the internet are tools for introspection and calming down, comfort to the lonely, they relieve stress for one and create addiction for another.  Holiness is replaced by quick stimulance, and the virtual world tends to a seek a place in the center of our focus. The internet is a contemporary Mandala.

Through this Mandala, we see the concrete essence of the machinery, which in this image has replaced the traditional sacred imagery. Deep in the universe of the device, one can see the ghost of artificial intelligence to which we mirror our own expectations and from whom we thirst for answers. The entity in the picture is dumb and our questions rush back in echo, forcing us to look for answers within ourselves."

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