Ongoing research / Proyecto en desarrollo: A Study of Beaverness or How (not) to be a World-Destroyer
How (not) to be a World Destroyer. Two-channel video. 8min37sec. 2020. Selected frames.
A Study of Beaverness is an ongoing visual and text-based research project about the role of narrative structures and visual representation about the concept of Invasive species. This project is based on a particular case of twenty American beavers (Castor Canadensis) that were purchased by the Argentinian government and brought to Tierra del Fuego, South America in 1946. Once released to the wild, the beavers became one of the main threats to the biodiversity and hydrological cycles of the region. This project seeks to be a critical exploration of the binary and colonial logics of the term Invasive but also to pose the broader question on how representation mediate and define our relationship and understanding of nature and nonhuman beings. Using diverse visual languages such as video, sound, installation and multiples the project will focus on finding speculative counter-anthropocentric strategies of representation as lines of escape to the logics of consumption and intensified instrumentalisation of nonhuman entities. Ultimately, A Study of Beaverness also addresses the ethical and political implications of visual languages and narrative frameworks regarding how we render nature and frame ecological disasters.
There are bodies of water, sediment, saliva, kin and havoc. There are carbon dioxide emanations too. Then foreign species came and there were new wetlands; a plethora of ravaged land with dams, lodges and land management data. Later, cattle-grazing pastures were filled of fallen trees and dislocated bodies, and the transparent eyelids looked like stones on a riverbed that dissapeared by ﬂooded roads, broken bridges and raindrops. Stones don’t talk but they know it all. Yes, there are worlds withins worlds, beginningless and endless, they come and go as those hands carefully picked twigs and the hind-webbed feet kissed the marshy ground. Splash, splash, splash, splash, splash, we heard the sound of running water, yes, they heard the sound or running water splash, splash. The hydrologic cycles, the soaked bodies, the dead Lengas, the tasty branches and bark, the freshwater, splash, splash, and the iron-enameled incisors are disseminated all over the territory like the tiny trees planted by the reforestation campaign. The beginning of life they sang, an ode to the world-making and world-healing. Then, the bone and the burrow tickled the mud and the aquatic vegetation, while also caressed the open wounds of extracted territories, and then the river, the soil, the nitrogen, the sheeps, the algae and slippery ﬁshes held their extremities and made a circle around the erradication-control program while chanting: haaa, haaa, these are miracles of the world, the future overflows with life, splash, splash, splash, splash! Oh, there is water leaking again, the sound of running water, splash, splash, splash. Later they go gnaaaaw gnaaaw and then splash, splash, and plaf! A new fallen tree. The sound of running water again, splash, splash, splash, splash. A Magellanic Woodpecker laughed and then analyzed the climatic and hydrological models, as well as the biotic and abiotic conditions that allowed the expansion and the migratory routes for Castor Canadiensis, Ondatra zibethicus and, perhaps, Neovison vison. And from the debris a new ecosystem came and then, oh so many new watersheds and habitats were born as they planned so many things for the brightest ecological futures. The refuge and the muscle, the love and the alliances built for the bacteria, for the growth and for the arboresence of thoughts.