Nanodrizas proposes an example of an emerging mode of environmentally engaged media art practice, which we might designate ‘tactical eco-tech’. Nanodrizas addresses immediate local environmental concerns utilizing multiple wireless networked devices, in this case floating devices which collect and send data about water pollution, and respond to the conditions with both chemical interventions and acoustic expressions. The Nanodrizas are autonomous floating devices which monitor pollutants in real time, generate sound, send data to centralized data interpretation and visualisation systems via wireless communications and also disperse bacterial and enzyme remedies in situ. The work thus moves beyond other environmental tactical media interventions by making an attempt to be actively therapeutic. The work will also functions to alert and sensitise people to the situations via, in the first location, the sound emissions of the Nanodrizas and second via displays in exhibition centers and online.
The artist identifies two specific locations for engagement : La Constancia in Puebla, the first textile factory in Latino America, and its adjacent waterway, from which it derived power, and into which it no doubt dispersed waste; and Lago de Chapultepec, an artificial lake in Mexico City, built by Porfirio Diaz. In both cases, the artist engages specific and general histories related to the locations.
Technically the Nanodrizas exploit contemporary paradigms of flocking robotics, ‘motes’, adhoc networks and realtime data sonification and visualization. In its goal to build a ‘symbiotic network of mutual benefit’, it harks back to the rhetoric of cybernetics, combined with the (cybernetically informed) sensibilities of environmentally-activist site-specific artwork of the 60s and 70s by Newton Harrison and Helen Mayer Harrison and others.
The project thus exemplifies an admirably holisitic kind of art practice which is simultaneously technologically well informed and technologically inventive, while being engaged with complex social histories and activist with respect to fundamental problems of our time.
About the author
Multifaceted artist who develops work with an experimental and playful character, formally and conceptually reinforced. Part of his productive attention has been turning in a loop, feeding from the obsolescence of technological objects and redefining them in the artistic context, as well as experiencing market events as a sociological phenomena and a source of inspiration.
His activities draw on implementations that give meaning to obsolete objects and events based on basic electronics and their operation, conceptual recycling, the construction of low-tech electromechanical systems and the extrapolation of ideas about different creative fields. Active in the net.art scene, he has had a series of projects online since 1997, the year he started this activity. He is a member of hell.com, and in line with his artistic productions, he is curator and independent manger, organising exhibitions and events at the Cyberlounge of the Tamayo museum. He was a member of the curator board at the Festival de Arte Electrónico Transitio Mx, and the Dorkbot, Mexico City board. He is the director of the emerging gallery ¼; he has exhibited his work in festivals and exhibitions in countries like, Holland, Argentina, Peru, Korea, Japan, Germany, France, Puerto Rico, Canada, Italy, UK, Uruguay, Brazil, Australia, Spain and Portugal; he won the Rockefeller MacArthur grant for new media and is currently a member of the Sistema Nacional de creadores FONCA.