Skaftfell center for visual art
16.06 – 02.09.2018
The exhibition highlights the major changes and advances that communication technology has entailed. Overload of information and increasingly fast-paced communication in the present time provokes ideas about the submarine cable – the cord that carried telephone communication for the first time in Iceland over a century ago and was connected to land in Seyðisfjörður.
When words fly, propelled by electricity, distance is relative between those who speak over the telephone or write telegraphs and facilitates much quicker their message than we are used to, with this many things that were impossible or to hard, will be much easier. […] Telegraphs and telephones are not here to create peace on earth but war, not privacy but disturbance, not peace and quiet, but hardness and activeness, more frequent vasculature, susceptible nerves, daring minds.
Those were the words of Hannes Hafstein, former minister, in 1906 during the inauguration of the National Telephone Company in Reykjavík. The submarine cable connected to land at Seyðisfjörður and established a telephone connection to the mainland, it served as a lifeline for Iceland to the world. We live in a technologically advanced world, and few, if any, technical revolutions have had a more substantial impact on human communication than the electrification in the 20th century. The telephone, landline phone, marine telegraph cable, telegraph, radio, microwave, mobile phone, email, internet, fiber optic cable, and digital technology are all examples of the evolution of electrification and of the information flow that has taken over our lives today.
Technology connects us with the outside world, influences our perception of time, and makes it easier to connect to each other, but it can at the same time create a distance in communication. This is the reality the artists in C a b l e are exploring. Each in its own way, their works correlate with the forward oriented thinking of Hannes Hafsteinn over a century ago.
Artists: Sigurður Guðjónsson, Tumi Magnússon, Unnar Örn Auðarson, Þórdís Aðalsteinsdóttir, Þórdís Jóhannesdóttir.
Curators: Aðalheiður Valgeirsdóttir and Aldís Arnardóttir
The exhibition is realised in collaboration with The Technical Museum of East Iceland.