The ostensible subject of Known and Strange Things Pass is the transatlantic communications cables linking the UK and North America. But the cables are only one thread in a web of analogy that explores what it means to be in the world at the present moment. Known and Strange Things Pass is about the deep and complex entanglement of technology with contemporary life. It’s about the immediacy of touch and the commonplace miracle of action at a distance; the porosity of the boundaries that hold things apart, and the fragility of the bonds that lock them together. It’s about a reality in which everyday existence is shored up by an immense, labyrinthine instrument devised by us, but grown into something that we no longer fully understand.
A version of this essay was also published in 1000 Words, Issue 31