This work is a video atlas exploring the relation between environmental restoration and re-inhabitation in rural Europe. The atlas is composed of images, videos, and interviews collected during field trips to rural Salamanca, Zamora, and Galicia, Spain. It presents two separate conditions. First, rural areas of Spain suffering from depopulation and land abandonment, and second, an indigenous community restoring their common woodland through collective action. The work can be shown as a single or two-channel video projection.
The artist employed open-source environmental sensing techniques by creating cameras to capture the rate of photosynthesis in plants. Rigging them to a simple helium balloon, he undertook a series of ‘sensory walks’ to register different processes affecting the land. Slowly moving through the brush, navigating the spatial threshold of communal land, private property, and abandoned parcels, these walks provide a low-tech near sensing of these conditions.
The work is part of an ongoing investigation exploring environmental restoration as a process of resistance and posits that a network of territorial commons could become a key framework for re-inhabiting our rural areas and generate participatory environmental restoration projects.