There is a small desk lamp on the table and a metal mug placed under the lamp. Inside the mug are plastic keys removed from a computer keyboard and an old electric heater. The table top also has a web address “scratched” on it (in the style of prison inscriptions on the walls and furniture) that recipients can enter into their mobile devices.
When the address is entered into the device, its screen begins to pulsate with a steady light in sync with the lamp on the table, which also begins to flash with light when it detects at least one visitor (someone who has loaded the website on their device). The device emits sound as well. If there are more visitors in the installation space using their mobile devices, their light and sound pulsations remain synchronized, creating a momentary, intimate audio and light environment around the table. At the same time, the presence of the audience turns on the power supply to the heater, which begins to melt the keys. The keys slowly dissolve into a uniform mass devoid of both internal distinctions and meanings.
The installation idea is a synthesis of several motifs: the story leading to the recent arrest of Julian Assange; some elements of the life of Richard Francis Burton (a freethinker, orientalist, linguist, and swordsman, the first European who reached Lake Tanganyika, translator of the “Arabian Nights” into European languages, and the author of the original poetic text “The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî” [written, of course, under the pseudonym Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî]); and the scientific achievements of Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (a Persian mathematician from whose name the word “algorithm” is derived). The installation deals with functioning in isolation, in opposition to the mainstream and the social status quo (even with the social gag imposed on individuality), as well as with communication discontinuity, but also with the possibility of a silent mutual understanding over cultural and semiotic barriers.
The work was premiered at “The Matter of Code” exhibition (a part of the Gdynia Design Days Festival, July 2019, Poland) curated by Wiesław Bartkowski.