Woven Chronicle, 2016

Installation view, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Woven Chronicle
Circuit boards, speakers, electric wires and fittings;
single channel audio (10 min.)
127 x 570 x 12 in. l 322 x 1447 x 30 cm.

view timelapse video

Treating electric wires as if they were yarn, Kallat created a woven map tracing the routes of contract workers, indentured laborers, asylum seekers, refugees, and other migrants across the planet.
The wires act as both conduits and barriers, simultaneously referring to global networks of communication and commerce as well as to barbed wires or fences. The work highlights the inherent contradiction in celebrating an increasingly connected world while stringent immigration laws, closed borders and prejudice face individuals seeking to transgress geographic boundaries. From within the woven web resonates a mixture of high-voltage electric currents, deep-sea ambient noise, slow electric pulses, the hum of engaged phone tones, a mechanical drone, factory sirens, ship horns, and migratory bird calls. These sounds awaken the map, transforming the cartographic work into a dynamic entity. Though mobility is often associated with wealth and privilege, the scale of the current global refugee crisis forces us to consider the impacts of forced displacement on millions of individuals.

process shot