video by Darko Fritz
6 min 27 sec
Mini DV transferred to .mov
directed by Darko Fritz
editing . Svebor Krantz
camera . Darko Fritz | Arnold Folkers
video archives . Talking the City - Transpublic [Linz]
sound . Maxim Shaposhnikov
production . darko fritz propaganda production . 2004
Migrant Navigator is the project by Darko Fritz (2001- 2012).
Darko Fritz sees the immigrant experience as one shot through by two narratives. The first relates notions of home, belonging, and nostalgia to the often-traumatic changes experienced when moving from one world to another. The second relates to equally traumatic events of being lost in a maze of bureaucratic establishment, and of trying to find one’s way through this complicated and problematic machinery. In The Migrant Navigator Project, Fritz presents a website that further complicates information-seeking by leading the visitor to obscure pages. Some pages offer data on migration, and others provide excerpts from sites that promote questionable immigration policies. Fritz’s prints reference computer interfaces and point to the Internet’s impact on everyday life. The mechanistic, impersonal computer screen and its digital icons contrast with the idea of home and safety; the “coldness” of Fritz’s icons undercut notions of the Internet as a tool of connection. While it might be possible to get information online, and while the borders on the web are seemingly gone, the reality for migrants is one plagued by “real” borders—those that constantly surveil, measure, and profile “unwanted” bodies.
Darko Fritz Migrant Navigator project series can be seen as an abstract machine - a kind of GPS for an impossible (because inaccessible) space: a space of dislocation. The migrant can float because control can now float with the migrant. The migrant, for the vested system of power interests, is a controlled exteriority, a dislocated, dis-informed and therefore dis-empowered entity. It poses no threat as such. The distributed structure of the migrants' dislocated life invites a new microstructure of contestation and conflict to which the notion of homeland defence just seems a hopelessly antiquated response.