10-day durational networked performance, installation, video performance documentation, and artist's book, 2011

The durational, online performance was devised as a 'self-experiment' testing the psychological burden associated with our increasingly networked lives. The rapid penetration of digital technologies into all facets of life was taken to the extreme as the artist completely surrendered her time to unknown internet users. For 241 hours, Louw lived in total isolation within a sealed, blacked-out gallery space, except interaction via the internet. The performance critically examined the dramatic and broad-reaching effect of advancements in telecommunications technology, and the erosion of public/private, leisure/work dichotomies, operating within a context where participation in the elaborate communication networks now underlying social interaction is no longer a matter of choice since failure to participate is akin to social withdrawal.

In 2011, Controlling_Connectivity framed some of the most critical questions and challenges facing post-internet society, positioning itself at the intersection of performance and net-based art. Now, a decade on, living through a global pandemic in a post-Snowden, post-truth era it is hard to recall that in 2011, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, one of the central narratives about social media and online communication was of its democratising, utopian potential. In many ways, Controlling_Connectivity was a kind of forewarning of that which has become normalised in the intervening years.
Exhibition Art Laboratory Berlin
Essay by Christian de Lutz
Artist Book PDF
Article on Rhizome

Hosted by Art Laboratory Berlin and curated by Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz
Supported by a grant from the Karin Abt-Straubinger Stiftung
Photos of the exhibition at Art Laboratory Berlin by Tim Deussen
Exhibitions / Screenings
Art Laboratory Berlin, 2011
Flux Factory New York, 2011
Grimmuseum Berlin, 2013
Stadtgalerie Mannheim, 2014
PLATFORM Munich, 2014
Waterman's Art Centre London, 2019