Vertical Atlas is a research project aimed at the creation of a new atlas to navigate the complex techno-geographies of the world today. The project is developed through a series of five public talks and research labs that will take place in 2018 and 2019.
During Vertical Atlas five geographic zones will be explored and re-mapped, focusing on the technological and political borders, connections and frictions within them. The public talks will take place at Het Nieuwe Instituut on Thursday evenings, and the research labs the next day in Amsterdam. Prominent voices in policy making, law, art, design and technology will be invited to challenge the current maps and to draw new ones. The result of these efforts will be documented and published in a book.
Model: The Stack
Vertical Atlas applies the conceptual model of the Stack, as laid out by Benjamin Bratton, to actual geographies in order to unravel the mesh of intertwined conflicts among powers and sovereignties at different locations. With its different functional layers, the Stack is a way of schematising and investigating the accidental megastructure of planetary scale technological developments. Applying the Stack model reveals materialised techno-politics that remain hidden under current predominantly economic, technocratic or cultural modes of understanding geopolitics.
Each event in the series focuses on a specific geographic zone and its own set of frictions and fractures among the stacks’ political, economic and algorithmic sovereignties. Key voices from the regions will interrogate, challenge and/or implement the stacks at their own coordinates.
This project is initiated by Benjamin Bratton, Leonardo Dellanoce, Arthur Steiner and Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, and is developed and produced by Het Nieuwe Instituut, Hivos Digital Earth and Stedelijk Museum.