4004 - Joana Moll

Sun 01 Aug 2021 - Fri 15 Oct 2021

On the Media Wall and online from 1 August.

4004 is a new work from Barcelona/Berlin based artist, Joana Moll, that explores the devastating, yet relatively unexamined, impact of technology on biodiversity.

Multiple thumbnails of microprocessors and bees

4004 - Joana Moll

Sun 01 Aug 2021 - Fri 15 Oct 2021

On the Media Wall and online from 1 August.

4004 is a new work from Barcelona/Berlin based artist, Joana Moll, that explores the devastating, yet relatively unexamined, impact of technology on biodiversity.

What escapes the eye is the most insidious kind of extinction -the extinction of interactions

Daniel H. Janzen

Drawing on previous projects and longstanding research, this new work from Joana Moll sets out to expose the links between the explosion of techno-capitalism, the acceleration of climate change and resulting decline of essential ecosystems.

The project’s title, 4004 is taken from the name of the first commercial microprocessor, created 50 years ago in 1971, for the Intel Corporation. Heralded as the most advanced integrated circuit design ever undertaken, the Intel 4004, marked a new era in technological development. 

Moll aims to establish a link between the exponential growth of the microprocessor and the decline in both number and diversity of species – in particular insects, who form an essential part of our ecological infrastructure and have been declining at alarming levels, with reports suggesting that a quarter of insects could be wiped out within just a decade.
 

Presented on the Media Wall and online on unthinking.photography, the work draws parallels between the internal anatomies and roles of microprocessors and insects, showing how both are small but key components of larger systems. 

4004 opens with a dense series of images of insects which fills our vision. Over the two and a half months’ duration of the exhibition, the insects are gradually and generatively superseded by microprocessors. The subtle but continuous replacement of the natural order by technological advancement, reflects not only on the cannibalisation of ecologies, but also on the problematics of visibly representing climate change. 

Screenshot of multiple overlaid thumbnails of bees and microprocessors

Biography

Joana Moll is a Barcelona/Berlin-based artist and researcher. Her work critically explores the way technocapitalist narratives affect the alphabetization of machines, humans, and ecosystems. Her main research topics include Internet geopolitics, data materiality, surveillance, techno colonialism, online tracking, social profiling, and interfaces.

She has presented her work in renowned institutions, museums, universities and festivals around the world such as Venice Biennale, MAXXI, MMOMA, Laboral, CCCB, ZKM, Ars Electronica, Bozar, HeK, Photographer’s Gallery, Science Gallery, Korean Cultural Foundation Center, Chronus Art Center, University of Cambridge, Goldsmiths University of London, New York University, Georgetown University, University of Illinois, Aarhus University, Rutgers University, Concordia University, ETH Zürich, École d'Art d'Aix en Provence, British Computer, Society, The New School, CPDP, Transmediale, FILE and ISEA among many others. Her work has been featured on The Financial Times, Der Spiegel, National Geographic, Quartz, Wired, Vice, The New Inquiry, Netzpolitk, El Mundo, O’Globo, La Reppublica, Fast Company, NBC or MIT Press. She is the co-founder and director of Critical Interface Politics Research Group at HANGAR and currently a visiting lecturer at Escola Superior d'Art de Vic (ES), Escola Elisava (ES), and Universität Potsdam (DE).

Credits

Author: Joana Moll
Technical development: Ramin Soleymani

4004 is a commission by The Photographers’ Gallery digital programmes, as part of the Imagin(in)g Networks year-long theme.

The early research for this project was possible thanks to the framework of Forecast - Skills e.V.

The artist would like to thank British technologist and novelist J.M. Ledgard for his generous advice and valuable inputs on the research and conceptualization and Evgeny Morozov, for his guidance during the early phases of the project.