Usumacinta. 2019. Five synchronized video channels and thirteen sound channels, computer playback system
I have always been intrigued by rivers, but reading Michel Serres, a son of a bargeman, heightened my interest, especially through his ideas about time explained through rivers.
Rivers are a source of various velocities and rhythms. As Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers explain in the Order out of Chaos, there are multiple space and time scales in turbulent water, which is an extraordinary form of self order on the microscopic scale, but is seen as highly chaotic from afar.
Intrigued by turbulence, vortices and calm waters, I decided to explore the river by means of the moving image. How does turbulent water look from within the phenomenon? What kind of moving images could be produced by the effects of various rhythms inside a river.
I designed a snake-looking artifact to submerge five gopros into the Usumacinta river and let the current take them. The cameras went down the river while I recorded audio and video.
I showed this work as a synchronized multi-channel installation with immersive sound (8 speakers). Here is a video fragment of that work.
The Usumacinta is frequently known as the only living river in Mexico as it does not bear any industrial discharges or dams along its course. The entire river basin is considered to be a living system of exchanges and movements.
Sound design by Esteban Chapela. Created with the support of Alejandro Mejía