Access Granted Denied

Access Granted Denied

Tosia Bargielowska Johnsen

My intention is to provoke discussion about the questionable role of post-internet technologies in the strive for universal equality. We like to think that internet has made our planet a more egalitarian place, when, in fact, it has posed brand new threats to our hobbling democratic structures, as well as contributed to disparities related to access to information, knowledge and power. 

At first glance, internet appears as the perfect facilitator of everything. To a user equipped with a mobile phone and connection to the internet, a world of potentialities - potential knowledge, potential skills, potential profits, potential friends, lovers and dogs - reveals itself. Congratulations! You have accessed Paradise! 

By the same token, a QR code which I here present, once recognized by your (‘good enough’!) mobile device, takes you to an online website and reveals The Artwork. Crucially, those viewers whose technology (or for that matter, the knowledge of how to use it) does not live up to contemporary standards, are excluded from the appreciation of the virtual piece. For them, the experience is reduced to a static black and white square, which they interpret either (at best) as a suprematist homage to Malevich or (at worst) as some ‘contemporary bullshit’.