bloc // April 20, 2011

Fishermen Friends ⁄⁄

Fishermen FriendsFishermen Friends is a blog based project by artist Ross Dalziel to document research into marine traffic observation for coastal Wales. A virtual bloc commission, it aims to reveal a hidden technical celebration of the coastline and the constant flow of shipping data that underpins the mechanisms of global trade and commerce.


Inspired by Marine Traffic, an academic, open, community-based project hosted by the Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering at the University of the Aegean, Greece.

`There is a poetry and technical joy to the flow of data and community underlying ship plotting and marine traffic observation. For me it recalls everything from the post war mass observation project, `The Science of Us` and the community of planespotting and the radio enthusiast. These people are essentially interested in observing systems for a range of agendas, some well defined, academic or working on self contained and personal logics.

Im interested in the history or archaeology of `the network` how older network systems like shortwave radio still work in parallel with contemporary GPS and radar to observe and manage the flow of goods and data. I like to think of these technical worlds as the invisible network akin to an invisible literature; they seem disconnected to the social or cultural world but I`d argue they have considerable impact there.

Once you get the ship spotting bug its easy to get lost in the myriad journeys across the planet passing by our own local well known places.`

Ross Dalziel

Supported by Arts Council of Wales