Archipelago. Meteorites and odd rocks have been collected from locals, mainly from the South African Karoo Dessert and Swiss Alps.

"The Archipelago" series explores the link between matter and meaning of rocks as proxies of exobodies and alienated territories:

"Always Calling Home", (2018)
"Nea player", (2019)
"Manifesto for the Republic of the Archipelago" (2019)
Always Calling Home
Bontle Spirit playing
Bontle Spirit playing
Foto ©Beautiful_Bontle_Spirit
Foto ©Beautiful_Bontle_Spirit
"Always Calling Home" (Archipelago Series, 2018) is an interactive sound installation of 11 suspended rocks from South Africa and Switzerland emitting sonified data from the space by the South African Astronomical Observatory. These are proxies of near-earth-asteroids, which are related to mass extintion events and also represent the next frontier of extractivism. The alienated exobodies are floating territories roaming the void, always calling home. Some of the sound they stream, are influenced by the stories of their carrier, they person who donated the rock to the artwork.
"Manifesto of the Republic of the Archipelago" is a performed VR ritual and VR installation that underlines the subtle violences that precede the formation of asteroids.
While "Nea player" is a transparent turntable to sound out the approaching orbits of highly magnetic meteorites fallen on Earth.
The "The Archipelago" series started within "Always Calling Home" at the Art & Science research program "Artists-in-labs" from the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (ICS) at the Zurich School of the Arts (ZhDK) in collaboration with the South African Astronomical Observatory from September to December, 2018. "Always Calling Home" has been later on expanded as "The Archipelago" series for the Fak'ugesi Festival held in September, 2019 in Johannesburg.
Near-Earth-Object (NEO) NF23, data courtesy of Dr. Nicolas Erasmus from SAAO, NEO NF23 is an asteroid observed by the Instrumentation Division at SAAO with the Sutherland node of the Korean Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet). I braved to process the data corresponding to the V-filtered light magnitude, processed with DS9 to make this sequence. CC-By 4.0 N. Erasmus & V. Lorenzo, 2018.
Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) are celestial bodies that have orbits that bring them close to Earth's orbit. The majority have crossing orbits with the Earth and have potential risk to impact Earth causing  mass extinction-related events like the recent Chelyabinsk airburst in 2013. The initial collaborators of the project, the mentor Dr. Daniel Cunnama (SAAO) and the  postdoctoral researcher Dr. Nicolas Erasmus (SAAO) facilitated scientific training and raw data from the astronomical observatory in Sutherland. The asteroids reflect beams of light and fluctuate within a range of frequencies in and out of the visible spectrum. Sentinels secure their positions to capture patterns out of waffled memories and ultimately enabling droning dialogues of the yet-to-come.
Whether celestial nor terrestrial, wandering rocks are core to different meaning-making processes in apparently opposite cultures: indigenous and modern scientific ones. Both attempt to predict or simulate critical events that stress out communities, civilizations. In indigenous Khoisan culture, certain rock gongs, special vibroacoustic boulders, are used to produce soundscapes and intersecting cosmovisions, weaving different socio-economical traces.
Thank you very much for all the support:
Dr. Daniel Cunnama (SAAO, Mentor), postdoctoral researcher Dr. Nicolas Erasmus (SAAO, Fellow Scientist). Amanda Sickafoose (Head of Instrumentation Division), Hitesh Gajjar (Head of Electronics), Piet Fourie, Willie Koorts, Pieter Swanevelder, Michael Rust, Reggie Klein, Keegan Titus, Avahapfani Mulaudzi. Communication: Natalie Jones (Head of Communication). Engineering: James O’Connor (Head of Engineering), Egan Loubser. Mechanical Workshop: Craig Sass (Head of Workshop) & Lega Maerman.
Supervisors Irène Hediger (Artists-in-labs ZHDK) and Flurin Fischer (Artists-in-labs ZHDK).
Generously supported by ProHelvetia Johannesburg.
Artist collaborators and helping minds and Hands: Miranda Moss, Rhéa Dally, Mitchell Messina, Matthew King, Anitha van Deventer and last but not least Daniel Zea.
Many thanks to all.

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