spiders spin their webs, and we spin cables across the ocean floor to make the internet possible.
submarine fiber optic cable map
slave trade 18/19th century
I saw this connection between the middle passage and contemporary cable routes first made by Tabita Rezaire (who's website is more than worth a visit btw) in her work Deep Down Tidal she impresses upon us just how physical the virtual truly is.
Rezaire's work also proves again and again that the internet is far from neutral. Hard coded into our webpages, search engines, and ai algorithms is all the racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, fatphobia and exploitation of the poor that infects our IRL existances.
Below I have embedded a youtube link to Rezaire's Deep Down Tidal published by Art Dubai in 2020. Of any video on this site, this is one to watch all the way through with the sound on.