Stephanie Rothenberg: Reversal of Fortune: Garden of Virtual Kinship

GLOBALE: Infosphere

GLOBALE: Infosphere
04.09.2015 to 31.01.2016
Interview with Stephanie Rothenberg in the context of the exhibition »Infosphere«

Stephanie Rothenberg’s interactive, kinetic installation Reversal of Fortune: Garden of Virtual Kinship thematizes a new cultural phenomenon, crowdfunding for charity. Rothenberg’s installation is tied directly to the website, from where it draws its data. Kiva is a US non-profit
organization with the mission to disburse, via the Internet, microloans and tiny, individualized amounts of money to small businesses and individuals in developing countries. This creates alternative funding models for business ideas in economically impoverished regions of the world.
To visualize this form of development aid based on the infrastructure of the Infosphere, Rothenberg has come up with an impressive metaphor – an irrigation system. In the exhibition space, water tanks are installed above a map of the world containing more than 650 small plants. A robot arm waters the
plants according to how much money is donated via the Internet. If there are no donations, the plants dry up. In other words, the map presents a direct picture of the thriving and withering regions across the world, while also making the abstract, hidden infrastructure of data and money transfer physically
graspable for visitors.

Video Documentary:

ZKM | Institute for Visual Media

Camera: Sarah Binder, Martina Rotzal, Christina Zartmann
Editing: Martina Rotzal
​Interview: Regina Hock