In a consumer society, LED signs are often used to advertise cheap or affordable services and products in store windows and flea markets because their low-res aesthetics and eye-catching colors easily attract the attention of passers-by.
Appropriating and combining two readymade LED signs that read “OPEN” and “INTERN@T,” Bartholl refers to the frequent use of neon signs in contemporary art as a medium to express messages that can be intimate and/or philosophical (“Open Internet” as a manifesto for a better and wider Internet infrastructure and net neutrality). He also turns himself into a sandwich man by advertising his own service—an open internet network available for everyone in the surrounding area through a 3G hotspot on his mobile phone.
I’ve been looking at these cheaply produced, super low resolution LED signs (the IRL animated gif 😉 for a while already. End of last year I filmed this meaningfull pair in a kiosk window in Berlin and fell in love with them. First I used the picture for the SPEED SHOW 5 title in Paris but I had to take it a bit further. 🙂 You find LED signs in any shopping window especially in EU these days. There are also many OPEN signs in US but hardly any INTERNET signs. I had to change that! 🙂
OPEN INTERNET was produced during a residency stay at EYEBEAM.
camera: Tim Clark, Claire Lacoste, Kaho Abe, thx!