El salto es la primera entrega de un cuerpo de trabajo llamado Espejismos un proyecto que busca integrar aspectos de investigación de la historia del paisaje, para mezclarlo con la producción audiovisual, usando herramientas como la inteligencia artificial, tecnologías de captura y modelado 3D, al igual que software para el desarrollo de video juegos como Unreal Engine, con el fin de crear piezas de video experimental que busca abordar de manera crítica las políticas de la tecnología, en específico la visión de máquina y cómo estas nuevas formas de ver están transformado nuestra concepción de nuestro entorno natural y el paisaje, ya que aproximarse al paisaje supone, además de reconocer una iconografía, descubrir formas de pensar y entender el entorno en una cultura y un tiempo específico.
El paisaje es intervenido con un telón de color verde croma, con el fin de crear un meta paisaje. El telón se convierte en una pantalla de proyección, que recuerda la idea de pantalla, un dispositivo que hoy reemplaza a la pintura y a la fotografía como lugar predilecto para la representación de la realidad. Por medio del uso de redes neuronales, se crean paisajes alternativos proyectados sobre el mismo telón. En esta pieza narrativa de ficción el paisaje es creado, no desde la visión antropocéntrica, sino desde la visión de máquina.
Ubicado en las afueras del suroccidente de Bogotá, la caída de agua del Salto de Tequendama fue durante el siglo XIX y la primera mitad del siglo XX un símbolo nacional que refería tanto a una falla geográfica singular, como a una experiencia romántica de naturaleza e inmensidad. En el caso del Salto, la primera imagen determinante fue la lámina grabada impresa en el texto de Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859).
El Salto (The Jump/ The Waterfall) is the first iteration of a body of work titled Mirages, a project that seeks to integrate aspects of research and history of landscape, and blends them with audiovisual production using tools such as artificial intelligence, 3D capture, and modeling, as well as game development software such as Unreal Engine, with the goal of making experimental video pieces that tackle critically the policies of technology. The use of machine vision shows how it reshapes our conception of natural surroundings and landscape, given that it approaches what landscape supposes, besides recognizing an iconography, it discovers ways of thinking and understanding our surroundings framed within a specific culture and temporality.
The landscape is intervened with a green chroma key, so as to compose a meta-landscape. The screen turns into a projection surface, which reminds the idea of device-screens, a device that today replaces painting and photography as the preferred site for the representation of reality. By means of neural networks, alternative landscapes are created and projected upon that surface. In this narrative fiction the landscape is not made from an anthropocentric view, but from that of the machine.
Located on the outskirts of southwest Bogotá, the Salto de Tequendama waterfall was during the XIXth century, and first part of the XXth, a national symbol that captured both the singularity of geographical reference point, as well as the romantic experience of nature and immensity. The first image of the Salto was an engraving in one of the texts from Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859).
《El Salto（一跃/瀑布）》是名为《海市蜃楼（Mirages）》的作品的第一版，该项目旨在整合研究景观历史的各个方面，并使用人工智能、3D捕捉和建模以及游戏开发软件（例如Unreal Engine）等工具将其与视听作品融合在一起，目的是制作能够严格解决技术政策问题的实验视频。对机器视图的使用显示了它如何重塑了我们对自然环境和景观的构想，尽管它可以尽量逼近真实的自然景观；除了识别图像之外，还可以发现、思考和理解特定文化和时间框架内的环境。
Salto de Tequendama 瀑布位于波哥大西南郊，在十九世纪到二十世纪初，是一个象征着地理参考点的奇异性以及体验自然与浩瀚之浪漫的国家象征。 《Salto》的第一个图像是亚历山大·冯·洪堡（1769-1859）的一幅版画作品。
It’s funny, isn’t it?; to see her weakened, fragmented; defeated even. To only catch a glimpse of this moment pulling towards an impossible, enraged future; one governed by a technological mono-culture fostered by the West as some sort of cosmology.
Once, rage would unleash chaos and chaos would create life. Chibchacún would punish and Bochica would save. Water flowed, finally, through a mineral-rich territory, full of treasures protected by an enraged lake, a protective lagoon that the Muiscas adored and conferred it with the state of being the soul of the Savannah.
Today, those same minerals are voraciously extracted; they are reorganised in complex manners that serve the development of the gadgets through which we inhabit reality.
We swapped Bochica for the magic released by technosphere’s black box.
Furious Guacheneque, who imbues life into the Funza or Bogotá river, was forced to yield her power when a foreign gaze chose to lay its interest on that páramo and go after the treasures that lied dormant underneath its soil.
The origins of the extractivist history of the area are found in the documents that registered the journey that Alexander Von Humbold made to the Tequendama in 1801, when Von Humboldt questioned why there hadn’t been intentional floods in order to fertilise the soil in order to plant wheat and non-native grains.
The legacy of over exploitation of resources was handed down to us, juxtaposed to colonial histories and to the notion of development of these lands… the launch of new electronic gadgets in the first world accelerate the extraction of minerals in our territory.
It would be a century later, in 1910, that the agricultural frontier, seeking to expand over the paramo, caused people to spill tonnes of salt into the lake in order to dry it and thus search for the gold that Guacheneque once received and protected; long, long ago.
In time, the subterranean energy of these lands turned into a mirror of the capitalism’s unbridled extractivist mindset, where Muisca mysticism was lost amidst the yearning for generating electricity with the force of water falling down 157 vertical metres down the Salto del Tequendama.
Our territory was stripped of water a synonym for life, in order to turn into a barren land at the mercy of neoliberal growth and of an annihilating frame of mind that maintains mining as its backbone and agricultural expansion as a model for territorial organisation.
In time, also, water turned dark and thick, viscous and frothy. Water turned into a malnourished, fragile and toxic body. A stream of artificial objects, a route-detritus that widened the abysmal distance between body and river, between intellect and matter, between industry and nature.
It was then that paradise became dark and it didn’t pour like it did for the Muiscas. We were punished once again; this time with drought and disdain, with an antiparadise where nothing bloomed, and the soil disintegrated.
That land, described as a wonder by martyrs and heroes from the old continent, was stripped of its power and its vital energy.
Abrupt extraction at foreign hands was concealed behind the prints that reminded us of the olden days, just after Bochica released the waters and created the Salto del Tequendama… When the abrupt flow crashed against the rocks and we didn’t poison it or seek to profit from its force.
But this print wasn’t enough. Not even Humboldt’s support was. If travellers once gazed upon this land with exoticising eyes, these very external figures now trespassed against its soil, its water, and its air; and redirected its force.
The Salto always looked at from outside; always desecrated by the gaze of strangers that don’t know about the Muisca spirit unleashed by the waterfall. Hence, the sublime was a mere superficial translation of a territory that was much more than just landscape, where the collision originates between inherited thoughts from western and Eurocentric thought (imposed and self-imposed) with those cosmologies that exceeded the illustrations we became used to seeing and that, regrettably, still feed the collective imaginary of the Tequendama.
We are foreigners to this soil that still fights to recover; over whom the weight of what we now call technology falls. A soil that is fragmented and mutates into condensed zones, into cosmopolitan devices and ways of life replicated from screen to screen. We no longer see this soil, that waterfall, that pure or impure water. Instead we see their erected illusions. An illusion that is projected from the virtual sphere and articulates the reality of Latin American soils, perpetuating the colonial cycle of these lands as a base for the technosphere’s sustenance which, as if it were a bubble, contains contemporary life.
We see complex image systems that collapse, one after the other, in succession, articulating narratives of the world whose current main mediator is the human being. We have acquired a mechanical vision, a brain that tends to extraction, a gaze that dissects our surroundings and our body. In a perennially authoritarian fashion, the human being proclaimed himself as mediator of a relationship between technology and nature. Algorithms, artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies are the new frontiers that shape our lives, but that practically no one is able to understand or explain how they work. In some cases even the programmer has lost control over his creation.
We are the barrier that breaks two moments, two languages apart: two narratives that may well be made to live together. But, what would have happened without that human mediation? If the technologies we use today had been organically developed, becoming articulated around nature? What happens with this relationship between human and nature is broken? And what are the possibilities for constructing a world without human intervention, where distant categories develop harmonious relationships?
Perhaps only if we are willing to break that division between nature and culture , where humans use technology as a means for dominating nature, we might be able to see this territory as a unit where human beings are part of an organic layer that is inserted in the planetary Sensorium, a sort of cosmology unconsciously drawn by the machine and that, by means of a complex infrastructure that envelops the plane, produces graphics, studies and satellite images, offering us a quite different cosmovision, where humans aren’t sovereign owners of the planet. Leaving absolutist cosmologies and returning to a biotic relationship with our territory, maybe then landscape will cease to exist and there will only be nature.