Mercurybodies: Remote Sensations is investigating sequences of satellite images of the Atrato River in the Chocó region of Colombia. The displayed riverbed, highly contaminated with mercury and cyanide molecules from illegal gold mining, has been protected by the Colombian constitution since 2016, which grants it biocultural rights to „protection, conservation, maintenance and restoration“ of all forms of life and knowledge. Many institutions from civil society, science, art engage nowadays in the support of the protection of the Atrato river. Often in these projects a techno-ecological mentality has been established which approaches this environment from a technological distance, through Remote Sensing, a vertical form of empathy.
The focus of knowbotiq’s image production, unfolding within the satellite images, lies on the unstable alloys, amalgamations, diffusions and accumulations of mercury. They investigate the affects and violence of mercury on the social and environmental. We call these entanglements of mercury molecules “mercurybodies”. In the technological unconsciousness of mercurybodies one still can find traces of the European history of coloniality, psychotropic desires, transgressive values of a humanistic education and often violent philanthropic affects.