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Anachronic Landscapes – Automation and coevolution in nature

Created by the SCI-Arc faculty Curime Batliner and Jake Newsum in collaboration with Paralelo Architectos, Anachronic Landscapes is a robotic system that lives inside of an abandoned industrial structure overgrown by nature. The system executes its daily routine, nurturing the plants with water and fertilising it with fluorescent fluids. While the machine keeps the plants alive it simultaneously ignites a process of transformation forcing the plants to adapt to the new condition.

“Humanity has entered into a new phase of the Anthropocene, a hyperconnected, terraformed world, where a megastructure has emerged that is both a computational apparatus as well a governing architecture. The development cycle of new information technologies, infrastructure projects and systems of political gouvernance are vastly out of sync. Former “cities of the future” now Ghost towns, are growing in number around the globe, dying suburban shopping centers as result of the shift into a post digital society are only harbingers of what’s to come. Incited by neoliberal ideals we are cementing reductive infrastructure at global scale for eternity.”

The project explores the concept of ‘evolutionary anachronism’ which describes a phenomenon in which certain species are favorably selected in the past due to coevolution with other biological species that have since become extinct. When this context is removed, said attributes appear as enormous amounts of energy investments on the part of the living organism, with no apparent benefit extracted from them, and can even be prejudicial to the continued reproduction of the surviving species. This concept mainly discussed in the context of seed dispersal and passive defense strategies exhibited by plants that had evolved alongside disappeared megaherbivores, proves to be a useful analogy tool to reflect on the megastructure. The project questions where it is possible that our very nature is another?

The project was presented at the 2nd installment of Voltaje – salon de arte y tecnología and installed in the parking structure of Centro de Textura located in the industrial district of Bogota. The four-day festival invited artists and visitors to explore, speculate and question on a panorama of themes – utopias, paradox, impossibles, transpositions and assumptions.

The project uses Staubli TX40 industrial robot with automation done through Rhino Grasshopper a custom plugin and Val3.

Project PageSCI-ArcParalelo Architectos

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