Call for proposals – Finalists


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Proposal title

Black Islands

Applicant(s)
Elena Fuertes, Álvaro Molins, Ramón Martínez and Jorge Sobejano

Occupation/Organisation
Taller de Casqueria, artist and architecture collective

Location
Madrid

Format
Presentation


Short description

The Google Earth algorithm is a constantly evolving system. Its database’s updates provide an ever-clearer view of the Earth’s surface, however, there are still dissonant spots. Momentary interferences in the connection between satellites and terrestrial receivers, errors in the process of mapping a flat image over a virtual topography or the censoring action of many states on certain points of their geographical representation give rise to new territorial typologies.

“Black Islands” delves into the influence of new ways of describing reality in the generation of new landscapes, borders and appropriation processes.

Extended description

The Google Earth algorithm is a constantly evolving system. Its database’s updates provide an ever-clearer view of the Earth’s surface, however, there are still dissonant spots. Momentary interferences in the connection between satellites and terrestrial receivers, errors in the process of mapping a flat image over a virtual topography or the censoring action of many states on certain points of their geographical representation give rise to new territorial typologies.

Google, Panoramio, Wikipedia and other virtual devices provide new ways of inhabiting, colonizing and occupying indefinite locations through techniques of collective appropriation. Present geopolitical tensions such us the South China Sea conflict, mainly based on the struggle for control over raw materials, enlighten open gaps for interpretation by means of these new representation techniques. Virtual borders offer new arguments for the real-world conquest. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an island is a natural extension of land surrounded by water.

Black islands are a series of errors manifested in Google Earth’s surface through black spots; Virtual voids. Vacation pictures, military videos, comments and threads geo-tagged on its surroundings provide these uncertain spaces with the necessary legal conditions to become real. Each image reflects the individual experience of a user in a given moment. The set of these experiences constructs a space out of fragments. Virtual devices enable the possibility of transforming random failures into new territory. “Black Islands” delves into the influence of new ways of describing reality in the generation of new landscapes, borders and appropriation processes.

Taller de Casqueria is an artist and architecture collective led by Elena Fuertes, Álvaro Molins, Ramón Martínez and Jorge Sobejano. Taller de Casquería's work focuses on the intersection between architecture and contemporary society. It's research based experiments and installations aim to find tools to be applied to space, city and society. Their work has been selected to be exhibited in several exhibitions, both collective and solo, such as the Venice Architecture Biennale or the Seoul Architecture Biennale. They have attended several festivals as speakers such as "Virtualities and Realities" RIXC festival, Riga, 2017, "Glitch futures. Data speculation, technocosmology and dispossession in times of accelerated capitalism", CA2M, Madrid, 2017 and Radical Networks, Brooklin - Berlin, 2018.

Related media/links

- Please hit following link to see a brief video about the project: vimeo.com/208524997

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