July 2, 2019

What is the impact of Information Technology overload?

David Mackay


My sculpture depicts a collapsed electricity pylon made from wood. Pylons form a vital and omnipresent feature of the landscape, seen and unseen. I use the pylon as a symbol of the power grid which enables our technologically connected world. As information from countless technological sources meshes into a haze of white noise, we risk a new Tower of Babel rising in the maelstrom. As the volume increases we may buckle – overextended and overloaded.

The sculpture is accompanied by an audio piece, broadcast into the installation space via concealed speakers or headphones. To make the field recordings I used a device which converts electromagnetic activity into audible sound. The unheard voices of everyday technologies including smart phones, laptops, cash machines and pylons are featured.

The ideas in my work are important because information saturation is a relatively new state of being that much of the world is now experiencing. It is clear that technological advances extend human capabilities, what is now becoming increasingly apparent is the potential for technology to ‘overextend’ or overwhelm. I aim to express the value of having the mental space and quiet required for rational consideration – vital for thinking clearly and making decisions.

Standing Reserve,
Pine Wood (Pylon structure), Paraffin Wax (Pylon Insulator), Rope,
4 metres cubed,
Audio Track,

Find more of David’s work on his website here and Instagram here.