Mined Landscape

Bárbara Fluxá

15 June 2013

Audiovisual installation

Under the basins of the rivers Nalón and Caudal, in the Asturian mountains, run kilometres of galleries, gigantic underground constructions, abandoned after the closure of the mines, which are slowly being invaded by the phreatic water. At the top, the derricks that stand above the trees, marking the entrance to the old shafts, are the only remains that remind us of what is hidden underground. The life cycle of coal connects with different time scales. In human time, it is linked to the history of progress, where its footprint translates into crisis and bonanza, ecological impact and social justice. In geological time, the time of the Earth, it takes us back to 300 million years ago when the great forests of the Carboniferous, the world’s first forests, became plant fossils, the origin of the mineral. Mined landscape. Drawing the destruction of another time alludes to this superimposition of worlds that appear and disappear. The laser engraving – which carbonises matter – outlines the underground territory in the form of cartographies of shafts, stratigraphic maps or plans of workings. “Living maps”, redrawn every day, which appear to the layman’s eye like hieroglyphs: an enigmatic writing that tells the story of these immense structures sunk into the ground, possible future monuments.