“Fragments On Machines” Shows What the Web Looks Like in the Real World

Common phrases like “IRL” imply that the internet is a virtual space, somehow not as “real” as the rest of the world. But the popular lexicon for the web often forgets the very material means through which it is accessed and, perhaps more significantly, maintained. Enter Fragments On Machines, a documentary which lays bare the structure of the internet by going to it–physically. Director and artist Emma Charles visits the buildings where “the material nodes and connectors that comprise the physical manifestation of the ‘virtual’ world” are housed. Poetic narration accompanies in-depth tours of the infrastructure powering today’s financial powerhouses. It’s a fascinating reorientation of our understanding of the digital world.

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