Insular Technologies

Ecology of Techno Mind, Lentos Museum, Linz, AT
04 September – 05 October 2008

Ars Electronica 2008

The INSULAR network project started already in 1999, but in 2008, a new set of communications tools and protocols were presented at the Ars Electronica 2008 festival, as part of the Ecology of Techno Mind featured art scene exhibition that followed Peljhan as the featured artist in 2007.

The project consisted of two parts, the INSULAR schemata and posters presented in the exhibition context in the Lentos museum and the INSULAR workspace/tent, with the radio encryption and communications equipment. Tests were performed and linked Linz with Ljubljana over the INSULAR network protocols, encrypted, over High frequency radio.

Since 1999, Slovenian artist Marko Peljhan has been developing the autonomous communication system INSULAR Technologies. The «International Networking System for Universal Long-distance Advanced Radio» is conceived as a worldwide, publicly accessible and decentralized radio network, which also transfers data, text, and language, alongside using customary communication structures. First and foremost, it should ensure dependable communication practices between independent cultural-, media-, and social initiatives, and between non-governmental organizations and individuals whose situations in remote areas and regions cause them to operate with a limited connectivity. A more stable communication is ensured through the use of coding, and the existence of an autonomous infrastructure aimed at making users less dependent on the existing proprietary telecommunication infrastructure. INSULAR Technologies should also serve as a backup system; in emergencies it replaces the existing analogue networks and telecommunication infrastructures.
(Source: Inke Arns, «Netzkulturen», Hamburg, 2002.)


Marko Peljhan: Insular Technologies, 2008
International Networking System for Unified Long-range Advanced Radio


Marko Peljhan is a theatre and radio director, conceptual artist and researcher. He founded and co- founded several still active arts organizations in the 90’s such as Projekt Atol and one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe LJUDMILA. From 1994 on he worked on Makrolab, a project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research in an intersection of art/science/engineering; the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation and the Arctic Perspective Initiative. He is the recipient of many prizes for his work, including the 2001 Golden Nica Prize at Ars Electronica with Carsten Nicolai and his work has been exhibited internationally at multiple biennales (Venice, Lyon, Istanbul, Gwangju…) and festivals, at documenta, ISEA, Ars Electronica and museums and art institutions worldwide (YCAM, ICC-NT, PS.1. MOMA, GARAGE…).

He serves as professor and director of the MAT Systemics Lab at the University of California Santa Barbara, the Chair of the Media Arts and Technology program at UCSB, the coordinator of international cooperation of the SPACE-SI Slovenian Centre for Space Sciences and Technologies and editor at large of the music label rx:tx. In the radio spectrum he is known as S54MX.

Marko Peljhan