SUPERTOPIA 



BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts Brussels
iMAL, FabLab
GOETHE Institut Brussels  
 

︎︎︎ FERROFLUID from old audio tapes 
︎︎︎ LASER printed mercator world map
︎︎︎ DOUBLE-glazed repurposed window 
︎︎︎ MAGNETS


Supertopia is a multi-layered project that deals with archives, maps, and human migratory movements based on climate displacement predictions.

Even today, with a significant decrease in paper-based maps and the use of their digital counterparts, there is a sense of “egocentric mapping”: the user’s desire to first locate him- or herself on the digital map, and zooming in to see that location. It literally centres individuals, while also elevating them like gods, looking down upon the earth from a divine viewpoint. Surveying the whole world in one look, they witness the events apparently from a distance, as if suspended in time.

Supertopia tries to make use of this viewpoint to instil a visual and tangible model of the impact our collective actions are taking on our “blue marble”.

For the ongoing experimental part, I laser-printed a world map, using the conventional north-up Mercator projection. This projection exacerbates the size of bodies the further away they are from the equator, given the forecast of human displacement following the north and south poles.

I also started researching ferrofluid for the initial tests. Ferrofluid is a colloidal fluid that reacts in the presence of a magnetic field. It is composed of these nanoparticles, suspended on a carrier liquid. The polyester-type of tape from old cassettes also has magnetic properties, so I removed this layer with a solvent (acetone) and used it for the project. 

The vertical display offered by a repurposed double-glazed window served as a kind of proof of concept for the recycled ferrofluid,  and to conduct tests with different liquid substrates. 

The Halaqat Media Arts Residency involved prototyping, experimenting, and exchanging ideas between artists from different backgrounds, as well as local cultural players. 

I worked at iMAL’s fablab, together with the artist Sally Samaan: “The residency was an opportunity for the artists to explore common grounds, share knowledge and provide each other with constructive feedback on the work they are developing. Nourished by one another, personal projects were developed, influenced by the larger topic of ‘Politics of Space and Bodies’ to which each of the artists responds in their work. The four creative minds explored topics such as: climate migration, the digital self, the definition of past, present and future imaginaries, and representations of power” (Halaqat Project).

The European project Halaqat is implemented by the Goethe-Institut in collaboration with Bozar - Centre for Fine Arts Brussels. Halaqat is co-funded by the European Commission (under the designation: EU-LAS CULTURE), the Goethe-Institut and Bozar.

Check the video Halaqat - A Media Arts Residency Between Two Shores | Bozar here

Check the Halaqat: Lessons for the Future publication here

Thank you:
Prof. Nuno João Silva (UA, PT), Sally Samaan (SY), Vasco Barbosa (PT), and Xavier Klein (FabLab, iMAL, BE)

Photos © Samir Amezian and Ana Teresa Vicente