Channel of the North

Description (in English): 

Channel of the North is a collaborative project by Jan Baeke and Alfred Marseille that combines data visualization, poetry, and telepresence through a series of poems that expand and contract based on the ebb and flow of the tides located in the Westerschelde river at the Dutch-Belgian border. Although a user may access this kinetic poetry anywhere in the world, the geological temporality of the poem is always rooted in a particular space and time in a way that sits in a tradition of artwork such as David Bowen’s tele-present water and tele-present wind. While the dissemination of text is not typically indexed to a physical referent, Channel of the North offers a contemplative moment when poetry becomes a vehicle for exploring the relationship between the flow of geological processes, the flow of networked computation, and the flow of language. Nicole Starosielski’s The Undersea Network charts the long relationship between water and networked communication based on how the subterranean network of private undersea cables are connected to a history of empire, colonialism, and geopolitical conflict and commerce. These undersea undulations between channels of water and data find poetic expression in Baeke and Marseille’s work as the Westerschelde is made to flow through an interconnected network of oceanic and electric currents.

(Source: ELC 3)

Pull Quotes: 

and the immobility of water
the shock a voice is coming forward from the background

Technical notes: 

The work pulls online data on dynamic events that occur elsewhere in the world, and its appearance changes based on these data.

Screen shots: 
The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Guro Prestegard