About Laura's residency at iMAL
Rivers is a project based on the topography of the Amazon Basin; it explores the relationship between language and the construction of territory. The project proposes a lecture of the topography of the Amazons basin based on observation and analysis of metadata - hashtags from social media, in combination with actual data related to socio-environmental issues associated to the territory of the basin.
Rivers consist of a series of sculptures (various materials & dimensions). The sculptures are cartographic collections that combine:
- Topographical data from the Amazons basin.
- Geo-reference data from socio-environmental threats in the Amazons territory.
- Amazonia related data collected from semantic analysis from social media.
The integration of these data sources will result in the creation of a series of sculptural cartographies rising from the process of combining data features, proposing a de/construction of the topography. Each sculpture produced in the context of Rivers is delimited by the geographical areas formed by major tributary rivers nourishing the Amazons River.
The sculptures act as archaeological pieces, as containers, as archives of historical moments that register the semantic relations between hashtags related to the Amazons environmental and social problematics. The project aims at creating an archaeology of the difficulties associated with the transformation of the Amazons rainforest by understanding the relationship between deforestation and commodities supplies. The connection that relates the ecological and social damage infringed to Amazonia by human extractivist practices, including the construction of water dams, the extraction of minerals from the soil and the rivers, the extraction of oil and gas, the deforestation of the rainforest to accommodate cattle (beef and leather) and to support the production of soy, palm oil and timber.
Laura Colmenares Guerra is a Colombian artist based in Brussels. Her main axes of work are installation, sculpture, clay 3D printing, 3D graphics, & film.
Laura has a transversal research-based practice that implies long-term processes of creation.
During these processes, she engages in transdisciplinary collaborations with people from different disciplines to create a strong conceptual and technical foundation for each work.
Her work explores the impairment between contemporary western societies and the living ecosystems, the environment and the inhabitants of the planet. This questioning drives her to conceive settings that relate to the politics of landscape and the notions of territory. She explores the constructions of the concepts of nature and natural and language as a foundation medium for reality.
In the field of interactive installation, Laura has developed works that use technology to create an immersive experience for the viewers. In these works, the viewer is encouraged to use his body to complete the work of art. Laura's use of technology aims at an increasing awareness at a deep body level, i.e., by breathing (Lungs [the Breather]); or through interaction with water valves (Lagunas) to make clear the impact and responsibility that as individuals and societies we have with the environment. In these works, the choice of interactive devices is based on the possibilities of deepening this understanding.
In parallel Laura has worked as a video performer, starting as a VJ in the early Techno scene of Bogota. This practice evolved into concrete experimental live audiovisual performances with musicians on stage, but as well into the creation of independent music-video pieces, that imply collaborations with musicians and composers but as well with various music labels.
Laura is currently, and since 2018 engaged in the conception of a body of work based on the geopolitical and neo-liberal extractivist practices striking in the territory of the Amazons basin.
Her work has recently been presented at:
The Centre Wallonie- Bruxelles (Paris, FR), The Alexander Kasser Theatre, Peak Performances (NJ, USA), at Kings Place (London, UK), The Glasgow school of arts (Glasgow, UK), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal, Canada, during the International Biennale of New Media Art, at festival Elektra-Mutek, EM15 (Montreal, CA), at the Cube - Centre for Digital Creation (Paris, F), the International Computer Music Conference (Huddersfield, UK), iMal, Center for digital cultures and technology, Sint-Lukasgalerie and at the Museum of Bozar (Brussels, BE), in between others.