Code, market



Provider’s lounge zone, model of a goat with a router, Wi-Fi network,
plasma screens, video (3’, 9’ 39”, 10’)
360×360×100 cm
Courtesy of the artists

ACCESSGOAT is a continuation of the project GOATHOTSPOT, conceived by the APXIV group of young artists for the 1st Altai Biennale of Contemporary Art (2020), which takes place on the Uimon Steppe. Having received an invitation to participate in the Biennale, APXIV began looking into the availability of wireless Internet, an essential modern-day commodity, in this area of natural beauty. Their research resulted in a speculative startup: the group proposed the “innovative” idea of using Altai goats as new “handy animals” (Alexander Pschera) to create an extensive Wi-Fi network called Non-GMO LTE in the region.

ACCESSGOAT is the next stage of the startup’s life cycle or, to be more precise, its commercial presentation, where provider aLTE invites potential customers to visit its phygital stand and take a look at the project’s advertising materials. The lounge zone is crowned with the symbol of the startup, a model of a goat with a router on its horns, and the space features attractive elements of natural and technological environments. Designed as a hilly landscape covered with green grass and reminiscent of both picturesque Altai scenery and the classic Windows XP desktop wallpaper, the stand has built-in chargers and a dedicated aLTE Wi-Fi network. By connecting to the Internet via this network, visitors create a temporary group of active users and, in accordance with the artists’ concept, become active participants in the project (participatory ideas are typical of much of APXIV’s work).

The fantasy proposed by APXIV can be embedded in the notion of ‘’transparent’’ nature, as defined by author Alexander Pschera. He suggests that the interaction between humans and nature, in particular animals, will become more intense in the future with the help of technology, and that nature will take on the role of an “embedded system” in a digital civilization. In other words, nature will join the global technological landscape, or technoscape (Arjun Appadurai). Without making direct value judgments regarding such a scenario of the future, APXIV ironically tackles the essence of digital capitalism and the network society, reflecting on the extent to which ubiquitous access to the Internet is really necessary.