Femke Herregraven. Captive Portals

24 Jun 2017 – 29 Jul 2017

Future Gallery

Berlin, Germany


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‘Captive Portals’ presents an ongoing investigation into the relation between financial value, self-organizing systems, and geological instability.


Captive Portals

Terabytes pushing terrabites
Spectral signatures in ultraviolet ink
Airdrops in algorithmic skies
The birth of a new ocean
A solidified wave on one camel
Where do I place myself in all of this?
In the infinite space between image a and b.

In an economy of sci-fi capital and speculative exits some places are projected as zones of relief while others as zones of hostility. While data servers and calculation hubs migrate to cold regions in the north or beyond the atmosphere, less mobile life is confined within the blazing heat of inhospitable terrain. When a landscape gets dubbed as the hottest and cruelest place on Earth, our lazy air-conditioned desire for new frontiers is instantly fulfilled. Extreme soil, extreme heat, extreme life, extreme survival distilled into .jpgs of manageable risks. A cube satellite frames a splash of geothermal energy ahead of time. Timestamp. But the rains failed anyway.

‘Captive Portals’ presents an ongoing investigation into the relation between financial value, self-organizing systems, and geological instability. A new series of works explore the orbits of different actors that cross a geological depression in East Africa. Cyclical movements of a shield volcano, a telescope lens, a salt desert, extremophiles, salt trading caravans, and a swarm of CubeSats inspired a spatial model from which out-of-place artifacts are created by using silicic ceramics, color correction, salt printing, and remote sensing. In addition, ‘Sprawling Swamps’ (2016-ongoing) sketches a series of scenarios located on swamps, waves, ice, and shifting shorelines that simultaneously question new forms of value as well as the binary presumption of land and water which become ineffective on these unstable terrains. Uncertain matter creates uncertain value. When territories melt, erode or sink it becomes unclear what is to be governed. Exhaustion, regression, rumors, and empathy as new forms of value. Preserve or empty cache. 

Mining sediment and sentiment,
a splitting continent offshores its own future,
What deserves to be framed and what not?
You cannot control what you cannot measure
Debt orbiting as an infinite shoebox satellite
A rain of payload ashes
What sense of place is imagined in a satellite picture commissioned by a hedge fund?
Prediction and deep time as allegoric props of the present
Blinding heat
A geologic depression sets the stage

Exhibiting artists

Femke Herregraven


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