The Internet can be likened to an iceberg: its tip represents the Surface Web, i.e. the digital realm we all know and navigate by means of search engines, social networks, blogs, news sites and so forth. The submerged part, on the other hand, which makes up more than 90% of the iceberg, corresponds to the vast hidden and not indexed sphere known as the Deep Web.
Within this non-place, an encrypted network of total anonymity has been developed and is still developing day after day. Eluding the search engines, the so-called Dark Web is an apparently lawless no-man’s land accessible only by means of special softwares. Due to its anonymity, a complexly structured online market in mostly illicit goods stands out from the myriad and manifold manifestations of the Dark Web.
Many of the original photographs posted, often shot by the vendors themselves using small cameras or smartphones, look surreal and abstract owing to the colorful, exotic aesthetic of the merchandise, on the one hand, and the poor quality of the photographs. Anonymously uploaded and designed to disappear automatically once they’ve served their purpose, these pictures are not traceable or visible on the Surface Web; they lead a transient existence exclusively on the Dark Web.
The Iceberg presents a selection of these photographs printed in invisible ink. Otherwise invisible and inaccessible, they can only be viewed under ultraviolet light – the same light real-life drug enforcers use to look for traces of drugs.