Janetka Platun    
Gigacycle 10
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At opposite ends of Harlow’s Civic Centre lie two blue plaques. They acknowledge two pioneers who shaped Harlow in very different ways.

Frederick Gibberd’s vision of Harlow in the 1950’s included the largest extensive network of cycle routes in Europe, connecting people and enabling residents to physically move around the town quickly. Charles Kao ‘The godfather of fibre optic communication’ invented technology in Harlow in the 1960’s that enables us to travel instantly via a virtual network.

The first fibre optic communication developed at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (STL) in Harlow had information carrying capacity of one gigacycle. It was designed to avoid the loss of information. The beauty of a beam of light is that it can carry millions of conversations at one time. My residency honours these physical and virtual journeys, capturing information that could easily be lost,
and commenting on how technological advancements have changed our lives and the different ways in which we communicate today.
  ‘Gigacycle’ is a collection of encounters discovered using fibre optic communication or through cycling along the network of designated paths in Harlow.

Each encounter is geographically mapped in a site-specific light sculpture. Richard Epworth who worked with Charles Kao took photographs of the laser installation. His camera deliberately scanned during exposure to reveal the structure of laser beams. To view his images
> Click here

To download a copy of the booklet ‘Gigacycle’
> Click here

A ‘Harlow Happenings’ project in partnership between Essex County Council, Harlow Council, ACAVA and Gatehouse Arts.
  m: 07719 042325 · e: info@janetkaplatun.com