The Monopoly of Legitimate Use takes the very physical notion of inhabiting a space or territory into the technological world, where networks can form political territories and places where people can gather and align themselves to particular ideological beliefs.
Revell’s three films: Bumper, Blackspot and Stateless explore three individuals – migrants and refugees – in a near future, moving between the layers of this vertical geography to try and find refuge or exploit the geography to their benefit.
The films raise questions about the tools and methods we use to identify ourselves politically as well as the rebalance of control caused by network technology that is simultaneously globalising and localising.
On the southernmost tip of Dungeness beach, a lone figure hijacks the geography of this desolate place to piggyback wi-fi signals from France and trade as an EU citizen. Bumper highlights how established political and geographic borders are exploitable and malleable by networked technologies and how migration across borders, and the benefit that comes with it, does not necessarily need to be physical.
A businesswoman leaves the City in search of a blackspot, a near-fabled place where network coverage drops out so that she can receive a secret and important message over an independent mesh network. Blackspot looks at how moving through physical space can also mean moving through networked space and in an age of privacy concerns and overt sharing, the use of this space become more important.
In a public library, a controversial journalist deletes himself from the network and seamlessly replaces himself with another personality. Stateless expands on the old adage ‘on the Internet, no-one knows you’re a dog’ and looks at how the distance and anonymity granted by networks might be used by someone who’s political identity is under threat from the state.
The Monopoly of Legitimate Use is a joint commission from HOUSE and the Lighthouse in Brighton for HOUSE 2014 Festival