Pleased that my work A Worldwide Web of Somewheres is being included in Google Expeditions, an immersive education app that allows teachers and students to explore the world. Here’s the 360º photo that will be included.
The images look best on Google Photos’ website. See the rest of the artworks in 360º here – it works particularly well on smartphones.
I enjoyed their Q&A …
Q1 (beginner): What is the artwork made from and how is it made? What does the artwork show?
Answer: The artwork is made from rope. Using the macramé method, the rope has been woven by hand to create a methodical network of connected rope. The rope is knotted and braided in different colours and thicknesses. It was produced to reflect the City of London’s underground infrastructure, such as power lines, railways, internet cables and sewers.
Q2 (intermediate): Why do you think the artwork is called A Worldwide Web of Somewheres?
Answer: The artwork’s name partly refers to the internet, also known as the ‘World Wide Web’, a network that connects computer systems across the globe. This ’virtual’ network connects the modern world like the sailors and the sea connected the world of the past.
The title is taken from a quote from a biography of Joseph Conrad, a 19th century sailor who later became a well-known novelist. The full quote is: “A spider in a worldwide web of somewheres, London caught the world in lines of news.”
In Conrad’s time, London was at the centre of an information network of telegraph cables and shipping routes. So the artwork’s title draws comparisons between London’s history as a maritime capital, and its importance today as a centre of financial trade – which is mainly conducted through the internet.
Q3 (advanced): Look at how the net is installed. What does it remind you of? What could the net be a metaphor for?
Answer: The artwork hangs above our heads. Perhaps it reminds you of a hunter’s trap, or maybe a safety net for an acrobat. It could even remind you of an untidy cobweb.
The net could be a metaphor for the many ways of understanding systems that connect us. Sometimes we feel entangled or trapped by systems, like when we’re stuck in traffic. But at other times they can rescue us, like when an ambulance arrives to take us to hospital. Sometimes systems get old and messy and need updating or sweeping away. But when they do, they often need to be replaced.
What kind of systems make your city or country work? Are they messy or well-organised? What about systems that are not physical? Who designs and builds them? Do you feel trapped by them, or do they allow you to take risks?