5. Salon

Myopian Survey

Mit Kerstin Ergenzinger.

Myopian Survey started as a conceptual and physical exploration of the idea of nature, in particular of the North Amercian landscape and the ambivalent topos of the American ‘wilderness’. During this Salon I will enfold and partly stage some of the tracks and bypasses I encountered and explored walking along a line of thoughts and analogies.

The venture took its point of departure in the geological and scientific instruments collection in Harvard. Equipped with a backpack of conceptions, expectations and geared with custom made and todays technology, the research period was followed by a seven week hike along the Continental Divide Trail from northern Colorado to Montana through the mineral belt of the Rocky Mountains and areas under investigation during the so called Great Surveys of the western U.S. throughout the 19th century. Explorers, engineers, scientist, topographers and artist were brought together in a common effort to measure and map, to claim, control and tame the unknown, pointing out the - to date - close entanglement of exploitation and preservation.

By appropriating the medical term ‘myopia’, shortsightness, I propose that one chance to actually ‘see’ - in the sense of perceiving and understanding, encountering and connecting - lies in acknowledging the disabilities and limitations that inhere in us. I will share thoughts about trying to use artistic instruments and technologies to render ourselves sensitive to our surroundings, in a way that Donna Haraway describes: “To think with is to stay with the naturalcultural multispecies trouble on earth”.