Invisible cartographies

Ana Laura Cantera – Demian Ferrari

The project is about the territory resignification, to visualize invisible information of the environment.


In the actual Anthropocene Age, humanity is the main risk for nature (and for us), because it has become the dominant factor in the ecological balance of the planet. Humans are changing its environment very fast as a consequence of their economic interests and all the society doesn´t know the completely environmental conditions where they live.

Foucault said once, that devices are machines for seeing of for talking. They allow to us we could access to invisible information we could not have without them.

For that reason, we decided to build a cyborg robot to get this invisible information to make possible the visualization though maps site specific. The biorobot was created  as a new species in this Anthropocene Age, and it was in balance with animals and with Nature as well. It was a metaphoric way to make visible the human activity, exploring natural resources and visualizing different aspects that are very important to take care in order to live in a better world.

This robot was made of a mechanical part and a living one (a mushroom). The biotic part was constituted as the brain of the robot guiding its movements and changing its behavior for seeking better environmental conditions.  The Life Guardian was like an electronic animal with vegetal parts as a hybrid organism that can be born in these new ages of naturalization and increase of new medias and bio-machines.  It had different sensors for collecting the color of the mushroom (in order to know if it had changed), temperature, humidity, as well as the presence of pollution and kind of gases in the atmosphere. In Mongolia, although the place was very clean, the robot detected a very little bit percentage of NH3 (presumably, as a consequence of cows). All this information could be seen in the lcd that the robot had.


This information was used for creating cartographies site specific in the places the robot  walkes. Each maps, was done depending of where the robot found the best conditions to survive (according to the mushroom). Each change of NH3 level, was represented by a  stick , and then, these were joined with string . In this way,  these lines showed the areas with high levels of gas emissions.

The gps device the robot had, took the coordinates where the robot walked and saved the data about the environmental conditions together with pictures and videos.

The robot was programmed with open source software (Arduino).  .


Invisible cartographies was selected to be done in the 5th Land Art Mongolia Biennial.


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