Salvatore Vitale, Elusive Noise: Unfolding the Virtual (2014–2018)
Once precious digital information is folded as binary digits, it floats into a virtual world. Before it reaches its destination, data is temporarily stored, modulated, and repacked. The Switzerland-based visual artist Salvatore Vitalesets out to explore these virtual scapes. His quest is important as we need to demystify the technological secrets of “cyberspace”. The omnipresence of technologies, digital services, and social networks in our daily lives requires a constant reflection upon trust as the base of human-machine interaction.
Although the limits of the photographic prevented Vitale from catching a glimpse of the dark guts of the internet or the frictionless transfers of encoded data, he was able to depict the reticent, shatterproof cases that enclose digital “materials”. Vitale succeeded in gaining access to a relatively young Swiss industry. Companies located in the midst of cities or housed in former military bunkers create information technology structures that have recently turned the country into a prosperous haven for global data storage and data protection.
In his long-term project How to Secure a Country, Vitale tries to photograph visible traces of security and unravel the invisibility, fluidity, and abstractness of safety measures which render the complexities of the Swiss national security system. The installation on show here focuses on digital flows of data and tries to comprehend how we are all part of a network that, despite its elusive nature, is in fact made of concrete technologies and infrastructures. In doing so, malware, data hosting, hacking, supercomputers, and servers become concrete objects and expressions. Through adding video, sound, and interactive elements, Vitale offers a sensitive experience as to what happens when we trust our data to the online environment.
Salvatore Vitale (b. 1986) is a Swiss-based artist and editor born and raised in Palermo, Italy. A recipient of the Swiss Arts Council grant in 2015–2016 and the PHmuseum Grant in 2017. His works have been shown in museums and photography festivals including Photoforum Pasquart, OCAT Shanghai, T3 Photo Festival Tokyo, Gazebook – Sicily Photobook Festival, and JaipurPhoto. He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of YET magazine. Vitale is a member of the Academy of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. He has been a jury member of Krakow Photomonth’s ShowOFF section, the Grolsch Unseen Residency, and the Kassel Dummy Award. Vitale has led workshops in the UK, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Nepal, Russia, Belgium, and France. He also gives lectures, analysing some of the most compelling issues in contemporary photography.
MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow Beta Gallery
ul. Lipowa 4
26.04.2018, 6 p.m.
Tue–Sun 11 a.m.–7 p.m.