in Universe / Documenta 11 Tour
From an interview by Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt with Tien Wei Woon (photo) on 7 June 2002. His partner Charles Lim Yi Young was on his way to Kiel.
Our idea for this piece is to walk from Kassel to the server in Kiel, where the Documenta website physically exists. The installation here is designed to track this 400-500 km journey.
While we are here talking, my partner Charles is walking to Kiel. He started on the 4th of June, and we expect it will take 30 days. The logistics are similar to that of an expedition, and Charles is an "explorer". He's carrying a server in his backpack, so at the same time he is this, too, which is how we are tracking him. The "web walker", a special software we developed with programmers, tracks Charles' movements with GPS (Global Positioning System). You can see this by the changing IP numbers (identification numbers assigned to every computer linked to the Internet) on the first screen of the installation. This then causes changes on the other three monitors: the browser, the mapping software, and the pinging tracer program.
When Charles gets to Kiel, he will set up a webcam so that we will be able to see "documenta.de" as a webserver, a real object in real space.
The way the Internet is being promoted in the media gives the impression that it is intangible and without borders. With this piece, we want to bring attention to the fact that there are physical objects and distances, and these are contingent to geopolitics. And really, there is still a centralized network for information.
Project website: www.tsunamii.net/
© Text: Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt, 2002