The Navigator Monument, 2018
Since the dawn of the Internet our browsers have been anchored in the mythologies of early globalisation and have taken names such as ‘Navigator’, ‘Explorer’ or later, ‘Safari’. Simon Dybbroe Møller’s imposing landmark-like sculpture, The Navigator Monument, is based on the logo of a discontinued search engine, ‘Netscape Navigator’. The search engine lost its web dominance to Microsoft Explorer in the late nineties, in what is often referred to as the first browser war. Dybbroe Møller has cast Navigator’s digital ship wheel logo in bronze, an extremely durable material that has been used for over 5,000 years. Returned to its maritime context, the salty environment will speed up the patination and eventually make the ship’s wheel, the original Netscape logo, green.
The sculpture is positioned against a backdrop of expansive sky and the ever-changing North Sea. We know, however, that below the water surface the seabed is crisscrossed with submarine communication cables; the spaghetti work of ridiculously long wires constituting the physical make-up of the Internet. Of course the Internet is not only a recent technological innovation. It is also the culmination of a complex chain of events encompassing the history of libraries, the Industrial Revolution, and periods of progressive social idealism. How fitting then that Westende, a city developed by the family of Paul Otlet, known as a prescient of the world wide web, now hosts this weighty monument of an influential but short-lived Internet software application.
Simon Dybbroe Møller
Simon Dybbroe Møller has recently had solo exhibitions at the CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania (2018), Kunsthalle São Paulo, Brazil (2016) and the 21er Haus in Vienna, Austria (2015). He participated in group exhibitions including Supergood, MAAT, Lisbon, Portugal (2018), A Rock That Keeps Tigers Away, Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany (2017), Welcome Too Late, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2017), De Toi à la Surface, Le Plateau, FRAC Île-de-France, Paris, France (2016) and Stranger, MOCA Cleveland, Cleveland, United States (2016).
Beach zone at the Kwinte, Koning Ridderdijk 100, Middelkerke
- Tram stop: Westende Bad
- Cycling node: 81
- Walking node: 73 and 74