By Ruba Al-Sweel
When I think of a transmission, I picture a stream of digital signals passing from one point to another in fiber-optic cable networks, accompanied by the glitching and high-pitched screech of dial-up internet. In Sharjah Art Foundation’s “Passages through Passages,” a multimedia exhibition by Mumbai-based collective CAMP, visitors instead witnessed the transmission of information as a phenomenon that upsets the status quo and gives rise to new forces and tensions. Culled from the collective’s work in the past two decades, the survey’s video and audio works, archival materials, and interventions unfolded like a stream across two floors of the creekside Bait Al Serkal. The ground floor, dedicated to maritime realms, explored water as a messenger, calling upon the vast, ancient bodies of water that connect Southeast Asia, China, the Indian subcontinent, and Somalia to the Arabian Peninsula, and that have become precious pipelines through which commercial and cultural trade occur. The upper floor, however, addressed transmission through cybernetics that, if left unchecked, become the advancement of evil.