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Deep Down Tidal

Tabita Rezaire
Deep Down Tidal, 2017
HD video on curved screen
Variable Dimensions

Deep Down Tidal explores transcoceanic networks examining the political and technological affects of water as a conductive interface for communication. From fibre optic cables to sunken cities, drowned bodies, hidden histories of navigations and sacred signal transmissions, the ocean is home to a complex set of communication networks. As modern information and communication technologies (ICT) become omnipresent in Western lifestyles – rebranded global to further implement Western domination – we urgently need to understand the cultural, political and environmental forces that have shaped them. Looking at the infrastructure of submarine fibre optic cables that carries and transfers our digital data, it is striking to realize that the cables are layered onto colonial shipping routes. Once again the bottom of the sea becomes the interface of painful yet celebrated advancements masking the violent deeds of modernity. Deep Down Tidal navigates the ocean as a graveyard for Black knowledge and technologies. From Atlantis, to the ‘Middle passage’, or refuge seekers presently drowning in the Mediterranean, the ocean abyss carries pains, lost histories and memories while simultaneously providing the global infrastructure for our current telecommunications. Could the violence of the Internet - inflicted upon Africa and more generally Black people lie in its physical architecture? Research suggests that water has the ability to memorize and copy information, disseminating it through its streams. What data is our world’s water holding? Beyond trauma, water keeps myriad of deep secrets, from its debated origin, its mysterious sea life of mermaids, water deities, and serpent gods, to the aquatic ape theory, and sacred water spirits celebrated in many cosmologies. Deep Down Tidal enquires the complex cosmological, spiritual, political and technological entangled narratives sprung from water as an interface to understand the legacies of colonialism.