WORKS FROM THE MMK COLLECTION


Transatlantic Sub-Marine Cables Reaching Land
VSNL International
, 2007
color photograph
94, 8 x 113,9 x 3,2 cm
plate: 16,6 x 11,4 cm
edition 6/7+2A.P.
These VSNL sub-marine telecommunications cables extend 8,037.4 miles across
the Atlantic Ocean. Capable of transmitting over 60 million simultaneous voice
conversations, these underwater fiber-optic cables stretch from Saunton Sands in
the United Kingdom to the coast of New Jersey. The cables run below ground and
emerge directly into the VSNL International headquarters, where signals are ampli-
fied and split into distinctive wavelengths enabling transatlantic phone calls and
internet transmissions.
Underwater fiber-optic cables are laid along the ocean's floor by specially designed
ships. Cables are buried as they approach shore and armored to protect against
undersea landslides, marine life (sharks, in particular) and fishing equipment. Fishermen
are advised of cable locations as hooking one can interfere with international
communication services as well as sink a boat.
VSNL operates one of 14 sub-marine cable systems connected to the continental
United States. Exchanges originating in the U.S. are combined and enhanced before
broadcast and transmission across the Atlantic. As of 2005, sub-marine cables link
all the world's continents except Antarctica.
Aquired 2007
Inv. Nr. 2007/74
MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main
Gift of the artist
picture credits:
© Taryn Simon
Photo: Axel Schneider
Taryn Simon
* 1975 in New York, NY (US)