deLINK-when(?) is part of the Institute of Patent Infringement, from WORK, BODY, LEISURE, the Dutch Pavilion, Biennale Architettura 2018. Excerpts are reproduced below.
Described is a planned delay (based on US2015046146 A1) in audio/video communication intended to allow for translation between a company center and an offshore facility located in a different time zone and speaking a different language. However, the delay is equal to the difference in hours between the center and the offshore facility (ex: London UTC, Mumbai: UTC+5:30: delay of 4.5 hours). The resulting media is translated but bound to an anti-productive latency that is proportional to the longitudinal distance between the two nodes.
In 1884, the Prime Meridian or the center of universal time was placed in the London suburb of Greenwich, and time was differentially exported to the rest of the waiting world. Since the engraving of the Prime Meridian, decades of imperialism, colonialism, autocratic nationalisms, and neo-colonialism have result in a new international division of labor, consisting of a spatial distribution of production that sees in peripheral and semi-peripheral nations a site for devalued, “unskilled” labor and raw material. Technologies of communication and transportation have allowed transnational corporations to liberate their processes from geographic distance, outsourcing operations and extracting surplus value at optimal rates from the labor of mostly brown women and men.
While it is unclear how growing technologies of automation will influence the international division of labor, it is increasingly difficult to adopt positivist, problem-solving attitudes in good faith when technological progress is both driven by profit and obscured through patents and property rights. The delay in deLINK-when(?) is a form of human strike or technology as protest, weaponizing time and language against processes of value extraction and optimization, enforcing a delinquent de-linking between points on Earth that occupy not only different time zones and sociolinguistic spheres, but different living standards, labor rights, and arguably different temporalities.