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Sensoria ArtBo featuring Jakob Steensen and Patrica Dominguez.

As part of the 2020 ArtBo edition, the Bogotá art fair created an online version of a large number of exhibitions due to the corona virus. In addition performances, academic discussions and interviews with artists, galleries and art organizations were also converted to digital spaces. Hyphen Hub was invited to take part in this edition by inviting artists from our global artist community to present their work.

Beyond the notion of a state of crisis, we are facing a profound change in our relationship with the planet. Once again, the instability of the current landscape has forced us to rethink how we can communicate between culture and nature.

When speaking about nature, there is a collision between the notions of science politics and culture. Ordering the world is also giving orders about things. For this reason, nature is not alien to the law, since its limits and coexistence agreements are established between humans and nature that cohabit in the same space. Faced with this reality, the arts and sciences have enough power to respond with a plethora of ideas capable of articulating fictions that provoke the opening of alternative futures and other ways of relating to the environment.

Temporality is at the heart of fictions. SENSORIA curated by Colombian artists Juan Covelli and Juan Cortés, is composed of works in which the linear temporal narrative is fragmented and altered in search of new conditions and possibilities to understand the present and lay the foundations for other possible futures. The scope of this fiction reminds us of the idea of time machines, hence when rewriting history we run the risk of changing the future.

Hyphen Hub members of the artistic community, Janet Biggs and Jakob Kudsk Steensen were part of this curatorial selection.  Steensen’s Re-animated (2018-2019) starts from the story of the mating song of the last Kaua'i bird that died in 1987, leaving the entire species extinct. This song was originally recorded in 1975 and then digitized in New York to later be uploaded to YouTube in 2009. Re-Animated is a response to this song, in this project Steensen makes a reconstruction of the habitat of the bird during that time period, in a process that led him to use scientific methodologies to find and scan contemporary fauna and flora in search of a faithful representation of the past.

Sensoria is also manifested in the new and sophisticated technologies designed to feel and see the planet. Around the globe an infrastructure network embodied in fiber optic cables, satellite cameras, unmanned aircrafts, mobile phones and machine vision technology which are used in modern governance and geopolitics. 

This is evident in the work Madre Drone (2020) created by the Chilean artist Patricia Domínguez, produced during her residency at the Kiosko gallery in Bolivia. This audiovisual piece transports us to a dreamlike place, where a search is proposed to understand Latin American cosmologies, which have undergone a process of transformation from the indigenous, and new cosmologies that are configured through neoliberal ideologies of extraction. In this piece we witness the birth of a new era of surveillance, embodied in power animals (drones), which go in search of natural resources, inserted in these planetary cosmologies seen from extractivism. The video proposes a new mythology where a snake-woman is born with laser pointers that direct their light to different South American conflicts. It also presents a totem made up of blind toucan eyes, along with human eyes skewed by rubber bullets in the 2019 Chilean protests, crying together for a cosmic cry.


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