My name is Sarah Grant. I am a NYC + Berlin-based media artist and teacher. I have been a Research Fellow at the Tow Center for Journalism at Columbia, Adjunct Professor at NYU Polytechnic in Digital Media and am currently an Impact Resident at the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center. I make art with computer networks and radio technology while researching and developing educational tools and workshops that demystify these concepts for the ordinary citizen. I am the author of Subnodes and organize the Radical Networks conference in Brooklyn. Together with my partner Danja, we also run a studio for commercial work called cosmic.berlin.
What is "The Cloud"? This thing that all of our lives are stored on, that all of our devices phone home to whenever we open the laptop lid, switch on our mobile, or strap on our "smart watch"? For people who are not network engineers, it can be hard to know where to start when trying to break these black boxes down into their components. From the point of view of an artist, a teacher, and an ordinary human being, I am motivated to help with this process so that more people can understand how the Internet works and from that feel some empowerment versus blind participation.
I also like to think about network connections as physical matter, something that can be sculpted, cut open or otherwise manipulated. I find a lot of inspiration from this and am often working under this influence.
Sometimes you have to build something from scratch yourself in order to understand how it works. In many of my projects, I feel like I am doing exactly that, while sometimes happening upon some aspect of the original investigation that ends up being the place I would like to linger in.
Contrary to many people working with networking technology, my work doesn't specifically have political or exploitative leanings, as the primary cause. That comes up, of course, as this is the nature of exploring the medium. I am more interested in the visceral properties of radio technology, creating an emotional connection between you and the ocean of signals you swim through every day, and there is where my work ultimately sits.