In 1994, in the nascent days of the World Wide Web, Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans adopted the collective moniker JODI and began to experiment with the potential of the web, wielding what the writer Ed Halter has described as an “intricate and obsessive drive to derange the Internet from the inside out, taking advantage of the innate quirks and loopholes in available systems in the service of a punked-out creative jujitsu.” Understanding the web as a simultaneous form of broadcast and performance, JODI seeks to radically disrupt the language of the internet and computer systems by using and misusing their visual aesthetics, interface elements, commands, errors, and codes.
We use a map to find our way, to plot a territory, to mark a boundary. In their canonical work Geo Goo (2008), the Belgian-Dutch duo inverts the function of a map, unburdening it from any responsibility to accurately depict or represent a territory. Appropriating the visual interface and iconography of Google Maps and Google Earth, Geo Goo presents familiar topographical views that seem to bloom with a dizzying configuration of glitching, stuttering compass symbols. In this rapidly developing, randomly generated landscape you could be in the middle of the ocean one moment and then with a refresh of the page somewhere deep in the mountains the next. Markers that designate common roadside amenities like gas stations, sports venues, hotels, campgrounds or hospitals seem to lose their referent as they rapidly spread across the landscape like a virus, creating swirling decorative patterns. Geo Goo, which has taken myriad forms since its creation in 2008, will be presented at Société as a three-channel installation.