Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation
In April 2018, a process was launched to create a Cyborg Garden: a project that considers the Matadero space as a testing ground and case study in which to develop strategies aimed at adapting to climate change and prototypes that can be replicated in other spaces in Madrid. The IMNA's Cyborg Garden is also a meeting place for different species in which to try out ways of co-inhabiting with non-humans from a space of desire and care.
The Matadero Madrid site, with its vast spaces devoid of vegetation or shade, is located in the middle of a “heat island”, which means that it suffers greatly from the extreme temperatures and heat waves that are tending to occur more and more frequently in the city. The project took this adverse situation as its starting point for a series of working groups led by artists and architects, with the participation of geologists, botanists, engineers, sociologists, anthropologists and designers.
Nave 16 at Matadero Madrid was the setting in which the prototypes for this Garden were unveiled. They were created by artists such as bio-designer and Doctor in Computer Science Orkan Telhan, who worked with new species and with the care rituals of these hybrids, both natural and artificial; the uh513 collective formed by artist María Castellanos and technologist Alberto Valverde, who, through cyborg prototypes and virtual reality, invited us to expand our sensory capabilities and interact with the plants in the garden; the Double Happiness architects' collective (Joyce Hwang and Nerea Feliz) who devoted their attention to the other inhabitants of Matadero Madrid: the insects, our neighbours who though not always visible are nevertheless crucial in the dynamics of the urban ecosystem; the TAKK architects (Mireia Luzárraga and Alejandro Muiño) who designed a number of shade-generating living spaces that will add to the local biodiversity, and the collective formed by Rachel Armstrong, Rolf Hughes, Pierangelo Scravaglieri (Newcastle University) and Ioannis Ieropoulos (University of the West of England), who designed a purification system to transform visitors' urine into water that can be used to irrigate the cyborg garden.
In this way, Matadero Madrid acts as a testing ground and case study for trialling prototypes that can be replicated in other areas of Madrid, in addition to other scientific and technological innovation processes designed to test nature-based solutions through art.