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In the Shadow of Imagined Futures



03:44 TRT, 4k video with sound

In the Shadow of Imagined Futures moves between the UNESCO El Castillo cave complex in Northern Spain where the oldest known cave paintings were discovered, and the MareNostrum supercomputer installed on the lower level of a Gothic church. The cave paintings found in El Castillo at the back of the cave complex have been dated to 40,000-70,000 years ago, very likely making the authors of some of the paintings Neanderthals. Before arriving at the Panel de Los Manos (the oldest known cave painting) at the back of the cave there is also a form of proto-cinema that exists within the same complex.

It is thought that Neanderthals carved into the stalagmites of the cave so when passing with a torch the shadow of a "bison person" or what 45,000 years later became known as a minotaur in Greek mythology would pass you moving in the opposite direction. The pairing of this site with the supercomputer site installed within a Gothic church moves between conflating many pasts and presents in the continuum of mytho-poetic cosmology.  The shadow of the anthropomorphic "bison person" flickering across the walls of the cave might be one of the first known moving images. This shadow-image can be thought of as an ancient proxy for the supercomputer that today effectively extends images back and forth in time, simulating new conditional realities by developing new pharmaceuticals, climate change models, astrophysical simulations, and human genome research. If we extend the Western Theory of the Minotaur into the present it conjures the primal fear of the unknown; but it is in this symbolic ambiguity of both authoring and mythologizing that allows unknown shadows of the terrifying and the sublime to roam new labyrinthes.

Camera: Aaron Watson, Daniel R. Small

Audio: Choir practicing within the cooling room of MareNostrum supercomputer



Copyright © 2024 Daniel R. Small. All rights reserved.