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by Nicole Starosielski, Erik Loyer, and Shane Brennan
Design and programming by Erik Loyer

Prototype developed by Craig Dietrich
Additional writing by Jessica Feldman and Anne Pasek

Undersea fiber-optic cables are critical infrastructures that support our global network society. They carry 99% of all transoceanic digital communications, including:

phone calls,
text messages,
digital images and video,
and even some television.

It is cable systems, not satellites, that transport most of the Internet around the world.

In Surfacing, you are a signal traveling across the undersea network. You begin on the coast, carried ashore by undersea cable. From your landing point, you can traverse the Pacific Ocean by hopping between network nodes. You might surface at cable stations where signal traffic is monitored, on remote islands that were once network hubs, and aboard giant ships that lay submarine systems. In the process, narratives about the history of the cable network, the companies that construct it, and the ecologies that it runs through will orient you in your journey.

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Sponsored by SubOptic 2016 & ICPC
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