Cleansing Rituals for the Internet, Dillon (2020). Image Credit Jamie Allen.

Cleansing Rituals for the Internet

As an infrastructure the Internet plays hosts to a multitude of relations. We utilise its servers, routers and packages for work, play, communication and speculation. Across its pipelines energies and legacies of extraction are held within its fibres. Taking the form of a guided mediation on the histories of the Internet, it’s environmental and colonial footprint, Cleansing Rituals for the Internet, brings attention to such thought lines.and the effort it takes to maintain such global connections.

Tubes, lines, pipes, fiber connectors, submarine communication chains, and colonial plumbing circumnavigate the globe. Copper wires  wrapped in the latex juices of the gutta-percha tree. Scouring barnacles from its back, a whale gets entangled in the line. The Amber Witch, a cable repair ship, is deployed to the Persian Gulf to investigate. There are dual landing points, forked ocean paths arranged in self-healing rings, backups for increasing network redundancy. What stories do infrastructures hold; those that support our exchange and communication? What is the price for maintaining this interconnected global network? Casting telecommunications spells, we activate our collective imaginaries, traveling through the superhighways of the digital. We trace our physical forms though screen portals and routers, to the underground and watery infrastructures, the landscapes and niches, that connect us.



Premiered as part of the New Alphabet School#4 Care, 14 June 2020 with participants from Germany, Argentina, Israel, Australia and the UK. With follow up performances at as part of the Akademie-Solitude, Nepantlas #02. »Cleansing Rituals for the Internet« with Daphne DragonaPost each performance a group conversation is facilitated on the histories of the Internet, it’s environmental and colonial footprint and the costs it takes to keep the Net and web going.

Team: Teresa Dillon (concept, performance, text). Kaisa Molga (CSS visualisation). Server support (Weise7).