FLIP A SWITCH AND THE LIGHTS COME ON. Flush a toilet and waste disappears. Swipe a card and money is transferred. Sophisticated yet often invisible grids of power sustain contemporary life throughout the farthest reaches of our world, providing electricity, gas, water, sewage, finances, materials, transportation, communication and more. Rolling blackouts, economic fallout, climate change, and natural disasters test the viability of this interconnected system of dependence. Gridlocked aims to provide a multilayered expos6 of the structures and infrastructures of power, and make visible their origins, mechanisms, consequences, and alternatives. ln 1879 Thomas Edison patented the light bulb. In the push to make this invention useful, a mass of new devices was created. ln fact, a light bulb is worthless without the supportive interaction of complimentary switches, sockets, cords, wirings, cables, generators, and more. Electricity became the basis for our contemporary grid. Powering sensors, alarms. bells, monitors, switches, pumps, and valves, electricity is essential to the workings of a vast and varied grid that includes water systems, gas lines, railroads, traffic signals, telephone exchanges, sewer systems, even the stock market.
- ERIN ELDER, NINA ELDER & NANCY ZASTUDIL, ISEA2012 Theme Leaders & Co-founders, PLAND. Headquartered off the grid in Tres Piedras, New Mexico, PLAND is a hands-on, exploratory approach to Do-It-Yourself, alternative living.
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