Desert_Z uses a robotic arm to explore the relationship between Latin American landscapes and materials

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DESERT_Z represents the Guajira desert through two approaches. The first approach involves translating temporal and spatial processes using a robotic arm. Desert_Z explores translations between Latin American landscapes and materials using this arm. The project exhibited in October2023 as a 3-day real-time robotic exhibition which is led by Daniela Atencio and Dr. Claudio Rossi.

The movement and transformation of the pieces during the exhibition conform to a set of precise and performative changes and effects. The robot will use heat to edit the material, creating a double reading that references the heat of the desert, its population, its culture, and the global climatic effect that is inescapable and unstoppable.


The second approach involves the circumstantial space of the robot, which is reminiscent of the Pioi for the Wayuú’s Yonna. Ortega y Gasset suggested that space is circumstantial insofar as its etymology alludes to the stances that surround the forms of inhabiting. In this sense, the robot and its circumstantial space of action promote a surrounding and a temporal context between material agents as interpreters and results interpreted as new material capacities.

The robotic choreography is programmed to execute the edition of the 12 witnesses. 30-minute editions represent a time compression studied with precision from the material behavior. Each 30-minute session represents 1800 seconds. If each second translates into a day (and a night), we will be accumulating 30 hypothetical years in the six sessions of execution during Pavilion. Desert_Z is programming about the past, the convulsive present, and a possible future landscape in the year 2050.

Project Info

Authors: M.DesR. Daniela Atencio, Dr. Claudio Rossi
Collaborators: Valentina Aguilar, Valentina Trujillo, Daniela Duarte, Felipe Zorro, Laura García, Sofía Prado (students from Facultad de Arquitectura y Diseño, Universidad de Los Andes), Valeria Ayala y Camila Dussan (Alumni from Facultad de Arquitectura y Diseño, Universidad de Los Andes)
Year: October 2023
Status: Completed

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