Commisioned by Agustina Woodgate in the context of 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale.

Techniques: AI, Latent Space Manipulation, Generative Systems.

The New Times Atlas Of The World
"The New Times Atlas Of The World". Installation view.
AI Research and Generative System Development: Błażej Kotowski
3D Modelling and Robotics: Germán Pérez, Sungeun Lee
Electronic design: Gabriela Munguía
Supported by the 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale, Barro, Buenos Aires, and Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Through sculpture, installation, public interven­ tions, social interactions, and data development and manipulation, Agustina Woodgate’s practice foregrounds research and processes that reveal and seek to change the relation­ ships between infrastructure, information technologies, and the power systems that configure daily life.

The New Times Atlas of the World takes the artist’s 2012 work The Times Atlas of the World as its point of departure to reimagine notions of mapping and technology. The origi­ nal work comprises a 550­page atlas in which the maps and indexes have been sanded down, thereby erasing their cartographic represen­ tations of nation­states and borders, political markers, and landmarks. By reshaping the arbi­ trary demarcations of colonial mappings into an abstract and muted visual field, Woodgate proposes an unlearning of Western geography that facilitates alternative mapping experienc­ es and explorations.

The New Times Atlas Of The World
"The Times Atlas Of The World". Original artwork by Agustina Woodgate.

New additions of a mechanical page flipper and automated scanner continuously scan the book from cover to cover through­ out the exhibition period, further highlighting the role of maps as tools and contemporary technologies as agents in the distribution and imagination of the landscape. As an image of an erased map is scanned, a script activates to interpret its structure, extending into a hidden layer of the neural network respon­ sible for image creation. This hidden layer, molded through deep learning on an extensive dataset, is continuously transformed by the script, in a way that echoes the sanding of the physical map, eroding and reshaping the virtual representations. These changes reflect not only physical geography but also human understanding of space, boundaries, and divisions. This system reverse­engineers the operation done by hand in 2012. It renders a new image of the world that is no longer an object of colonial expansion, but a combination of artistic imagination and neural net learning, an interplay between tangible geography and the territory of abstract concepts.