Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation
Bárbara Fluxá and Raúl Alaejos
LIVE: Thermography of the Forest is a collaborative project between artists Bárbara Fluxá and Raúl Alaejos. This project involves research and artistic creation centred on a new and affectionate approach to the forest, an essential habitat for the development of life on the planet and a place where conflict arises between the instrumental reason of contemporary society and the natural right of agency of non-humans. They therefore propose a reconsideration of nature through the subjectivisation of the data offered to us by the new technologies for the datafication of life to encourage us to distance ourselves from the dominant anthropocentric paradigm.
The increasing popularity of live IP cameras IP and the ability to connect to meteorological stations that gather climate data allow us - without having to leave our homes! - to connect to other distant space-time realities that are quite different to ours, especially during these recent months of lockdown brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. One example would be the LIVE CAMs of all those nests of “wild” griffon vultures which were originally conceived as a scientific research tool but are today a device that provides us with content for mass consumption via YouTube: domesticated birds living in freedom.
The project will feature a data collection station installed in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park; and a multidisciplinary artistic installation set up in the exhibition hall and connected to the forest enclaves, broadcasting different types of non-humanising data live from the geolocated forest. We might well consider this to be an affectionate station for the capture of phenomenological data that does not offer any manner of sublime delight to humanised living beings, through a non-intrusive strategy that makes it possible to “take the real temperature of the forest ” from a distance. In short, it is about experiencing the natural environment in a way that has nothing whatsoever to do with extractivism in order to thereby intervene, collaborate with and relate to the forest in a non-instrumentalising way.
While continuing to work on their own individual professional projects, ever since 2017 the artist and researcher Bárbara Fluxá (Madrid, 1974) and the artist and filmmaker Raúl Alaejos (León, 1978) have also worked together on different research and multidisciplinary artistic creation projects. Both have received the BBVA Foundation's Leonardo Grant for Cultural Creators and Researchers, which is how they met, (in 2019 and 2017 respectively). As a collective, they have recently obtained the 2020 Propuestas VEGAP Grant.
In their projects they propose a revision of the concept of instrumental nature that is so characteristic of the West and the way in which society relates to the environment so that we can address the ecosystemic crisis in which we are immersed. Their hybrid works establish dialogues with the new humanities and/or the natural sciences in such formats as film essays, video installations or experimentation with interactive and narrative tools provided by the new technologies and the datafication of life in order to cast light on the current problems between humanity, technology and nature.