Autonomy Cube, 2015
After its presentation as part of the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Autonomy Cube by artist and geographer Trevor Paglen will be installed permanently in the newly designed entrance area of KW Institute for Contemporary Art. Embedded in the minimalistic aesthetics of Hans Haacke’s Condensation Cube (1963–65), the plexiglas sculpture frames a technological system that exceeds the historical reference and at the same time gives the work a concrete applicability.
The transparent cube contains of a row of four computer switchboards that are used both as exit nodes and router for Tor. Via Tor, which is an autonomous intermediate network for the internet’s data traffic, an open, safe hotspot with the access code “Autonomy Cube” is provided for visitors.
This cube also functions as a worldwide relay station for further Tor users who can anonymize their data tracks by the means of the providing institution’s internet connection.Thus, Autonomy Cube operates as a statement against the 21st century’s increasing monitoring methods and opens up a concrete potential space for saving the private sphere and maintaining the digital space’s autonomy. A hardware is presented that facilitates genuine freedom of the internet and both emphasizes and strengthens the role of a cultural institution as a socially, and politically involved space.
Trevor Paglen (born 1974, US) lives and works in Berlin.
With kind support by Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art.