Territoires instables

Unstable territories is a rusty landscape. Formed of traces of history, those bring memories of abandoned objects and stories, an improvised run away. Is dark and cold, and at the same it feels close and personal. It drives the memory into a visceral state of dark warmness. Like a known dream, a known space where you’ve been before…

Its fundamental source of inspiration comes from “Pollen”, a cyberpunk novel written by Jeff Noon. The city of Manchester is changing into a world controlled by the Vurt, the world of dreams. Modifying the map of Manchester city and introducing a biological virus to take over the control of the city, is the mission of Persephone, the daughter of the creator of the Vurt. Persephone roots herself into the real world spreading pollen seeds into the city causing species to be transformed into a mix of human and plants. When the pollination takes place the world as we now it vanishes, meshing into a strange world where the dream needs no dreamers…


The action of walking in Unstable Territories implies the desire to pierce and irrigate the landscape.


Work in Progress by Laura Colmenares Guerra in collaboration with Yannick Antoine

Unstable Territories is an installation piece conceived for public space. A ground projection invites pedestrians to enter into a territory and modify it by walking, the act of stepping, of defining consciously the presence of one’s self in the present. It’s a participative and a collaborative work. It has no restricting of participants, if there are 1, 5 or 100 participants the software is able to accommodate dynamically to the influence of the number of people presented in the territory, by finding a medium point generated by the position of the people in space. This aims to encourage a collaborative interaction between people. A time-based scenario guides the participants through Unstable territories.

The scenario will be script based, defining different moments that evolve in time regardless the actions from the participants. Nevertheless every component in the script is interactive.

Two (2) layers visually form unstable territories essentially. The first layer is 3D - video based and the second layer is based in procedural generation of graphical content. Both layers are potentially interactive.


Layer 1 (3D - video based): Geographical Layer:

The video layer is composed of a collection of maps, aerial photos and body limbs. The geographical layer is inspired by the thesis of the Colombian geographers Fabián Orlando Ramírez and Felipe Osorio Vieira. Their thesis analyses the war phenomena, armed conflict, in a specific and central zone of Colombia: “Magdalena Medio”. They relate the control of space with its dependency of territorial specificities in the political, economical and cultural order. They visualize the construction of territories, driven by the forced occupation.

I will extend this study in a further state of the project, but I find essential to clarify that I do not pretend to make a detail analyses of these socio-geographical problems, but rather maintain an ontological perspective.

The geographical layer is composed of various types of maps from the region of “Magdalena Medio”, Colombia; including: Climate, economical, environmental, political, topographical maps. As well treated and displayed alluding the construction and modification of territory by imposition of war.




Layer 2: Biological Layer, sculpting the circulatory system (based in procedural generation of graphical content):

The graphical generation will induce a flow of blood that it’s adherent to the territory, and that is generated by the act of stepping, of walking in that territory. The action of walking in Unstable Territories implies the desire to pierce and irrigate the video landscape. The design of the biological circulation system will take into account the human blood distribution network parameters. Those parameters will shift during time emphasizing different aspects of the network: creation of nodes, irrigation of the main arteries and veins, encouraging or avoiding the proximity with the mother participant or source, etc.
The scenario will subtly interpolate between these different modes of graphical generation, with the help of the interactive temporal sequencer (which will be explained further in the text, section 4: software, media, technologies applied).  Both the geographical and biological layers will integrate and disintegrate constantly in relation to the participant’s behaviours. The behaviours of the participants reveal and conceal invisible geographies, implying a particular role of the individual in groups: the biology of selfishness and altruism, and/or how cooperation can be evolutionarily advantageous.