The Migrants

$800.00 USD

2021
Single channel video
17 min.
Edition of 5

The Migrants is a project based on a real bird-migration history from 2014. The Golden Warbler birds faced adverse conditions due to global warming that generated storms on the coasts of Florida, which was their main destination. This caused the birds to alter their migratory routes, being forced to explore an alternative way through Mexico and Central America until arriving in Colombia.

In its video version, The Migrants recovers the Amerindian technological gesture of adopting the point of view of the animal who must overcome obstacles by detecting magnetic fields and seeds with infrared vision. The video problematizes Umwelt relations with the technological and political activities that pollute the environment: walls, electric fences, communication antennas and pollution.



Rethinking the relationships between technology, animal worlds and culture through art generates the possibility of imagining new scenarios and alternative atmospheres where biodiversity as a production of difference from nature recovers its power in a gesture of resistance to our current global scenario.

The project started with the Umwelt concept, translated as the surrounding world by the zoologist Jacob Von Uexkull, who had a musical idea of nature- as a symphony of bubbles that surrounded animals and determined their ecological relationships. These bubbles contained everything that is significant to the animal. Umwelt goes against anthropocentrism and allows the animal to be thought of as an agent that possesses a world and not as a passive machine of reactions. Following Viveiros de Castro, we find in Amerindian cultures a way of seeing animals very close to the Umwelt: for Amerindians animals are also agents, indispensable for the cosmogonic organization of their community: skins, fangs and canes are technological prostheses that complement the human body and create bridges of communication with invisible dimensions, by extending the mind to other realms, acting as enablers of an inter-umwelt communication.

Understanding the implications of migration has to do with understanding that the bird, in its journey, is a seed disperser, a forest weaver. The bird recovers and feeds ecological niches. It’s ​Umwelt serves as a contrast to think about the complexity of migrations and massive displacements in the human sphere, which make the news and whose motives involve climatic, industrial, political and technical causes of the contemporary form, but also are displacements in which cultural and communal fabrics are produced.

In its performance version, The Migrants recovers the Amerindian technological gesture of adopting the point of view of the animal. The prosthesis is the control of the main character of the game, who must overcome obstacles by detecting magnetic fields and seeds with infrared vision. The game problematizes Umwelt relations with the technological and political activities that pollute the environment: walls, electric fences, communication antennas and pollution.  

 

Our prostheses (this project was coproduced by Atractor Studio) are rooted in this context and are the retroactive control of a video game about the Golden Warbler bird Umwelt. The prosthesis was manufactured from a biological study and a real migration history in 2014. The birds faced adverse conditions due to global warming that generated storms on the coasts of Florida (their final destination). The birds had to alter their migratory routes, forced to explore an alternative way through Mexico and Central America and finally arriving in Colombia: it allows us to think about the complexity of human migration, its causes and effects. 

About Atractor Studio: We are a group of artists who work with mechanical, electronic and computer engineering techniques from the field of the arts. We focus on the visualization of natural phenomena, mathematical and scientific paradigms related to socio-cultural phenomena not only of the hegemonic western culture, but also of other ways of knowing and understanding the scientific, through the interaction of the viewer with a digital and analog substrate.

We understand technology as a field of struggle from our Latin American context. In this scenario, assimilating and experiencing technology always as active users implies that electronic arts and creation have the power to detonate conversations and create spaces for community dialogue.

Atractor is an open studio that seeks to nourish itself from the conversation with beings from other disciplines and interests. We believe that horizontal creative relationships are much more enriching than the specialist and segregating vision of academia and traditional creative spaces.

 

Edition Pricing:

Edition 1: $800
Edition 2: $900
Edition 3: $950
Edition 4: $1,500
Edition 5: $2,000

 

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Included with the work

Certificate of Authenticity, Customized Thumb Drive