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September 18, 2006



Real and Virtual Ports as Hubs of Globalisation

The project Ports by Armin Medosch is an investigation into real and virtual ports as hubs of globalisation. Ports is looking into traffic of goods, information and people, trying to map out their relations and transitions. Over the last two decades the traditional image of the city has given way to an understanding of cities as spaces of flow. Ports is an attempt to map this new reality with a variety of methods.

There is obviously an analogy or some sort of overlap between maritime traffic and the connections that the sea facilitates and the virtual world of networks. Sea trade and the global projection of force through navies was the basis of the first 500 years of 'globalisation'. Now the control of information flows in networks is seen as the defining component of a new phase of globalisation in the so called information age. But how to bring those two layers together, how to map one onto the other?

During his 9Pin residency commissioned by Scan and supported by ACE, Armin Medosch conducted a writing and research project that took him to Southampton, Portsmouth and Poole. Combining field work, research in libraries and on the internet he studied the history and present condition of the three port cities, focussing thereby on their role as communication interfaces. Using traditional writerly research methods such as walks, observations of the everyday and conversations with a wide range of people, he at the same time developed ideas for digital and networked tools which would serve the same overall research interest.

The research has lead to the development of five project proposals two of which have been developed further and are presented as working prototypes. The prototypes, the proposals and an extensive research journal are documented on the Ports Wiki, a multi-user open source publishing environment.

Posted by jo at September 18, 2006 08:52 AM