Anca Benera

* DEBRISPHERE. LANDSCAPE AS AN EXTENSION OF THE MILITARY IMAGINATION


This artistic research investigates how the military imagination shapes landscapes, climates, and communities and how it intersects, or rather interacts, with economies of earthly extraction. What results from this collision is a world of debris. I call it Debrisphere. The resulting debris turns into waves and particles that materialize into written and spoken ekphrastic poems, “mind travels”, and intuitive maps.
The absurdity of war and the geographies of militarization shape the Debrisphere, an as-yet-unnamed stratum of the Lithosphere that overlaps and permeates the spaces and places we live in. This thesis tries to map and analyze how this stratum has formed over time through the lens of environmental history.
From climate and weather engineering to the future of extractive economies that the military relies on, prediction is key. My methodology relies on prediction as both an analytical lens and a technology of future-making and world-crafting. I engage in conversation with a bunch of uranium rocks sitting on a museum shelf, staring at me through the glass. We investigate, speculate, and predict the future of nuclear power, plutonium hearts, and “atoms for peace”. This is mediated by radiation and light, traversing geographies, industries, and ideological narratives.
 

The Last Particles (detail from the installation), credits photo: Fanny Trichet, FRAC des Pays de la Loire
Anca Benera collaborates with Arnold Estefan as artist duo, working across installation, drawings, video and performance. Their research-based practice reveals the ecologies of power and invisible patterns that lie behind certain historical, social, or geopolitical narratives, where the making and marking of landscape (as a form of spatial modification) goes hand in hand with heightened state violence and the overexploitation of resources. Their works have been shown at the Tinguely Museum Basel, Whitechapel London, Migros Museum Zurich, Istanbul Biennial, Palais de Tokyo Paris, The Jewish Museum New York, Kunsthalle Wien, MUCEM Marseille, and Camden Arts Center London, to name but a few.
* Note: Debrisphere is an umbrella title for a body of work I have been developing in collaboration with Arnold Estefan, since 2017.

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