Practicing Sovereignty - Means of Digital Involvement Weizenbaum Institut | designtransfer Investigation | Interactive Installation Berlin 2020

Since the implementation of a peace agreement in December 2016, over 265 social leaders and environmental activists have been systematically murdered in Colombia. The number keeps rising every week at the same time that territories formerly controlled by guerrilla group FARC, suffer from illegal mining and deforestation. Meanwhile, devices on the market continuously track our geolocation while the data obtained is exploited for advertising purposes and surveillance.

For some years already an idea has been growing: “DATA is the new oil”. Repeated as a mantra of the modern world, this phrase was possibly coined in 2006 by British Mathematician Clive Humby. Later on in May 2017, The Economist published an article called 'The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data'. Today, the vertical sight of satellite imagery is used in combination with algorithms for the exploitation of oil and other natural resources. The vertical and extractivist relationships to our natural environments have been extended to our digital/artificial environments.

What if we were to purposefully reveal our geolocation? Could we warn of and denounce environmental harm in our territories whilst protecting our identity?

Geofilters is an experimental reaction and investigation of the environmental situation in Colombia. It explores ways of revealing while hiding. GeoFilters is a collection of face filters generated using the texture of satellite pictures. The images depict the geo-position of a territory under environmental threat.

This project seeks to draw parallels between data exploitation and territory exploitation, exploring ways of reappropriating one’s own data to reclaim digital and physical territories.

Special thanks to
NYKSAN, CHANCHA VÍA CIRCUITO and SHIKA SHIKA for their generous support with the tracks used in this documentation.

Jardín Secreto • Avistambiento by Nyksan
El Macá Tobiano by Chancha Vía Circuito (A Guide to the Birdsong of South America)

'A Guide to the Birdsong of South America' is a non-profit, crowd-funded album of music inspired by birdsong. Each artist used the recorded song of an endangered species from their country and created an original track. The album aims to raise awareness about the plight of these birds and also to raise funds for those working to protect them.