a multimedia installation
by Mariacristina D’Oria and Taufan ter Weel
collective experimentations in the context of the PhD research
University of Trieste, TU Delft, Villard d’Honnecourt
Stazione Rogers, Trieste, Italy (13-17 September 2021)
ECLAS 2021 online conference, SLU Uppsala, Sweden (13-15 September 2021)
CA²RE / CA²RE+ Ljubljana, Slovenia (24–28 September 2021)
Panelists/reviewers at ECLAS 2021: Nela Milic, David Malaud (TVK), Heidi Sohn*, Giovanni Corbellini*
Panelists/reviewers at CA²RE / CA²RE+: Tadeja Zupančič (moderator), Ana Telles, Pieterjan Ginckels, Esther Venrooij, Roberto Cavallo*
*PhD supervisors of authors
In the shadow of the global catastrophe we are encountering today, the multimedia installation explores different scientific abstractions produced from the Enlightenment onward in connection with their social and environmental implications.
A collage and ten panels show different spaces and times, geographically and historically separated but nonetheless connected by being subject to imperialist and colonial exploitation such as nuclear testing and military use justified by being supposedly deserted islands.
The sonic space consists of generated sounds (through computation and synthesis) as well as field recordings made in different places in the world. These sounds are combined and convolved, they are mixed together but also cross-modulate and affect each other. They are distributed to four loudspeakers composing an artificial landscape.
It starts with white noise which contains all frequency components with equal intensity and implies that there is no correlation or repetition in time. From this infinite field of possibilities different places and times start to become perceivable.
Synchronised with the sound the moving images are projected on different surfaces and semi-transparent layers, creating an entanglement of interrelated landscapes, maps, and abstractions of space, time, matter, and energy.
Diagram as explorative machine
We understand diagrammatisation as a material-discursive process that reconfigures our relation to the world, exploring latent potentials within an associated milieu and suggesting a broader set of relations connecting multiple environments – spaces and times. A diagram is deterritorialised, not bound to a particular territory, scale, and time-frame, but allows for drawing trans-spatial and trans-temporal relations.
The multimedia installation puts into operation the diagram, performing an exploration across, on the one hand, different abstractions of time and space, and on the other, the entanglements between various landscapes in formation, generating a warped cross-section or archipelago of places and multitude of times linked by the resounding echoes of exploitation.
The point of departure is the Mojave Desert, central in the current debate about building a nuclear waste repository inside Yucca Mountain. This extreme landscape stands in the collective imaginary as one of the archetypical loci of wilderness, a concept that has been historically instrumentalised to justify colonisation, capitalism, and exploitation. Under the formula “going West” large territories have been occupied, erasing lives, ecologies, rituals, and practices that densely inhabited these spaces. Critically arguing against the presumed emptiness of these places, rituals and everyday rhythms are retraced in the attempt to retrieve an erased conception of cyclical time from a pre-colonial past: cycles, calendars, myths, and indigenous’ practices begin to emerge, amplifying what is only a weak trace of these civilizations.