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Hadean Stories | Open Studios at Jan Van Eyck Academie (Maastricht, NL) |  2018-2019 | photo Romy Finke || Mixed Media | porcelain, porcelain plaster, crystals, copper, water

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In the depths of the ocean, beyond the reach of human mastery, lies a mysterious territory known as Blind Sun. Inspired by the enigmatic era when the solar system was still forming, this Hadean ecosystem blurs the lines between organic life and human technology. The archaic underwater landscape, populated with sculptures and fossils inhabited by primitive biological species, is littered with contemporary transatlantic fiber-optic cables - the backbone of the global information transmission system known as the “cloud.” The cables emit electromagnetic fields that attract sea creatures such as anemones and sponges, which establish symbiotic relationships with the electricity, becoming one with the infrastructure. The Hadean ecosystem is immersed in the musical transposition of the process that make up the Sun, our primary source of energy.
Relics from a time long past and a future yet to come form a complex and otherworldly terrain that recalls mysteries beyond our reach, both in the depths of the ocean and the enigmatic origins of our solar system. In this underwater territory's temporal porosity, the ancient and modern, organic and technological, merge, exploring the intricate interplay between organic life, human creations, and geological time.

In 2017, I began to focus on infrastructures related to the cybernetic hypothesis, specifically the undersea network of cables for transmitting information. My interest was to look at the infrastructure beyond its ordinary technical function. A cable comprises ancient materials formed by stars and can convey information in the form of electricity. This electricity or energy is derived by capturing the force of rivers, altering remote mountain peaks, disrupting atomic structures, harnessing the sun's rays through silicon panels, and more. By examining a cable in its materiality, rather than just considering what it is used for, we can uncover complex stories that reveal paradoxical and mysterious aspects of our contemporary world and the history of our planet.

BLIND SUN | Hadean Stories and Third Nature | Culturgest Porto (Porto PT) | 2018-20 | Mixed Media |  Porcelain, stoneware, copper, alum crystals, sound (30 m), video projection full HD (6,30 m) | Sound piece with the collaboration of Roberto Francesco Dani (composer) and Beatriz Ventura (singer) |

Photos by Alexandre Delmar 

CURATOR Delfim Sardo | CURATORIAL ASSISTANT Sílvia Gomes | PRODUCTION COORDINATOR António Sequeira Lopes | PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Pedro Lagoa |ARTIST ASSISTANT Jessica da Silva (trainee), Theani Amarasuriya | ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Ana Bustorff Martinho, Anselmo Gomes, Ar.Co – Centro de Arte & Comunicação Visual, Ceramic Workshop of the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Fábrica Bordallo Pinheiro, Jan Van Eyck Academie Maastricht, Jimmie Durham, José de Arimateia, Luciana Florence, Maria Thereza Alves, Nuno Barra, Patrícia Pereira, Tiago Mendes, Vasco Futscher

Unfolding a fiber optic in its materiality allows us to traverse great distances. A fiber optic is composed of materials extracted from various parts of the planet. Tracing the history of these materials takes us back to the origin of times — from the Big Bang to the formation of stars and, from their dust, the creation of planets like Earth itself.

Despite contemporary science's efforts to objectively explain how nature works, the mystery of 'the origin' remains a realm of conjectures and enigmas, where 'truth' reveals itself as speculation.

The Hadean territory is a place of mystery and contemplation where foundational forces such as gravity, magnetism, erosion, and more are explored through embodiment. Sculpture-making becomes world-making—a practice where encountering the other-than-human is a material gesture of cosmogonical speculation.

Reproducing the shapes of cooled lava, the forms of iron stones carved by the atmosphere  into clay, is an act of understanding, study, and embodiment of non-human agencies. The merging of biological and inorganic entities in one solid body of petrified Earth (porcelain) gives rise to hybrid forms, where geological matter and organic elements unite and transform into ever-changing bodies in an unstoppable symbiotic process.

The Upwelling | Video full HD |  2018-2019 | 6.30 m

The internet age is celebrated for the free flow of information that fosters global interconnectedness. However, while information 'effortlessly' traverses thin fiber optics across seas and oceans, the act of crossing the sea remains a matter of life and death for many attempting to escape conditions of war and misery.

The Upwelling traces some of the fiber optic cables departing from Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, to reach Tunisia. Following the infrastructure leaving the shore, we hear Abiola' story about his travel odyssey from Nigeria to Italy.

BLIND SUN |  Hadean Stories and Third Nature | Trade Winds in the Age of Underwater Currents | A Tale of a Tub (NL) | 2021 | Curated by Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk |   Mixed Media | Porcelain, stoneware, copper, alum crystals, sound (30 m), video projection full HD ( 6,30 m) | Sound piece with the collaboration of Roberto Francesco Dani (composer) and Beatriz Ventura (singer) | Photos by LNDW Studio and Silvia Arenas.

Cables are processed geological matter. This material, assembled and reorganized into artifacts, becomes a functional component of the human umwelt, inserting itself as an alien entity into the natural ecosystem. Simultaneously, once cables are submerged in the underwater world, they slowly integrate into the environment, hosting various marine species and establishing ambiguous relationships with them. In fact, some anemones as Metridium farcimen, seem inexplicably attracted to the electromagnetic currents emitted by transoceanic cables. Even when buried under the sand, these creatures have been discovered to follow the fibers, revealing a symbiotic relationship with technology.

BLIND SUN Hadean Stories and Third Nature | Fidelidade Arte (Lisbon PT) | 2019-20 | Mixed Media | Porcelain, stoneware, copper, alum crystals, sound (30 m), video projection full HD (4,30 m) | Sound piece with the collaboration of Roberto Francesco Dani (composer) and Beatriz Ventura (singer) | Photos by Bruno Lopez​

Conceived primarily as an element designed to automate work processes, technology is now assuming an intimate role in human life. Machines are playing an increasingly fundamental role in shaping our relational and emotional lives, conveying, structuring, and determining the forces that move us in every aspect of our life experiences. Third Nature explores this symbiotic relationship, hybridizing the cables with physical components of the human body associated with the emotional system.

 "The works depict cables and streams of information re-appropriated by nature: anemones attracted to electromagnetic fields grow and blend with technological relics resulting in cybernetic pieces that remind us of moving body parts suddenly coming to a halt. Furthermore, their fluidity and light-pink shade evoke genitalia and disguise a sensual undertone, merging the boundaries between nature, technology and the body."

From Space to the Deep Sea: Poles of Inaccessibilitt Galerie im Turm by Annalisa Giacinti.