curated by Paola Paleari
Internet can be represented as an iceberg: its tip represents the “Surface Web“, i.e. that digital territory that we all know and where we sail on a daily basis. Then there is the underwater part, amounting to more than 90% of the iceberg, representing the “Deep Web“: a large encrypted network that escapes search engines and in which there is total anonymity. Accessible only through specific software, here virtually no action can be traced. Out of the mazes of this non-place, what emerges is a complex, structured online business of mostly illegal materials following the traditional rules of marketing: almost all the thousands of published ads come with photographs, in an attempt to capture the visitor’s attention and make their own styles recognizable. Likely shot by the vendors themselves, the selected images are unedited, anonymous, often exotic and surreal. Intended to self-erase once their function is exhausted, these pictures are impossible to trace in the traditional web: they only exist temporarily in the Deep Web.
In the Installation The Iceberg, these photographs are represented as invisible objects: printed with special inks, they can be revealed and shown only under ultraviolet lights. This is the same light used to search for traces of drugs; in this case it is necessary to reveal a representation of drugs themselves. The visitor will in fact be asked to navigate through a dark room and explore the depths of this submerged and temporary anti-archive by using a UV torch provided at the entrance. At regular intervals a white flash illuminates the space that will apparently be empty, with the exception of some print-outs: also representing drug offers, these are however of public domain. In the Deep Web these images acquire a different meaning and represent a junction point between the two worlds.