‘The Israel Pavilion at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia’, 2023

Cloud-to-ground taps into the soul-less architecture of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Located between Asia, Europe, and Africa, in addition to the importance of its land to the three monotheistic religions, Israel has become the ultimate new silk route of data storage.

Its closure alludes to the physical nature of modern communication networks and the materiality of the technological cloud. Impenetrable structures commonly referred to as ‘black boxes’, connected by a vast network of cables, over land, underground, and underwater, are now in a transitional stage: Telephone exchange buildings using copper cables are gradually being abandoned and demolished, while huge data centres using fibre-optic cables are rapidly being built. Attesting to the progression of technology, these physical aspects also reflect the shifting powers—ownership of infrastructure as a means of sovereignty. Their opaque appearance paradoxically points to their importance.

Delving into the rapid changes these information structures have undergone over the years, the exhibition sheds light on the economic and geopolitical processes currently underway in Israel and the region, highlighting the dynamic between architecture and control. Unfolding as an immersive installation, it focuses on the transition from sound to light and examines the shift from analogue to digital communication, from accessible, city-centre buildings to sealed structures in peripheral locations, and from a direct to a decentralized connectivity. Cloud-to-ground introversively manifests its subject matter through a symbolic proposition, using space, sound, and light as its primary materials.