The right to disconnect
The right of connection – to housing, health, education, the internet, financial capital – permits humans to improve the places they occupy in the world. Heightened connectivity can also demand the opposite tendency: the right to switch off, disconnect and disengage.
The exhibition On/Off designed and curated by Sibling Architecture takes an extreme position on connectivity through the construction of a type of Faraday cage. Discovered by Michael Faraday in 1836 it is a structure covered by a conductive material that prevents electromagnetic charges reaching its interior. It is the ultimate disconnection space. Within the mirror-clad monolith at the centre of the exhibition sits a starkly warm space where smartphone reception is blocked. Architecture creates a filter (or temporary firewall) between the individual and the world. The monolith is situated within a reflected grid that creates a flattened interior without hierarchy or end, a neutral environment from which to explore the meaning of ‘cold spots’, a place without digital connectivity.
On/Off was an exhibition at the University of Melbourne from September 13 - October 4 2013, as part of the ABP Alumni Survey Series. During the exhibition a series of events occurred (including arduino workshops, well-being seminars and lunches) to experiment within a space of disconnection.
On/Off takes an extreme position on connectivity through the construction of a type of Faraday cage.
It is a gesture to physically connect people in a space with architecture creating a filter (or temporary firewall) between the individual and the world.