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Cartography of the Imagery
Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum - La Llotja, Palma 2023

Artist: Xavi Bove Studio
Direction: Imma Prieto
Artistic direction: Xavi Bové
Artistic collaboration: Dalumen Lab
Sound composition: Zinkman
Technical production: Auvipro Audiovisuales and Block AV

Xavi Bove Studio team
Xavi Bové
Xavi Maixenchs
Sarah Agustí
Patrícia Vàzquez

Dalumen Lab team
Mitos Colom
Javi Cadavieco
Joan Lluis Oliver
Diego Blanco

Comissioned by:
Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma

Collaborating institutions:
Govern de les Illes Balers
Consell de Mallorca
Ajuntament de Palma

Collaborating organisation:
Redeia

Photo: Txema Oliver
Video: FilarPrim Productions

Since ancient times, human beings have oriented themselves by looking at the sky, observing the stars to guide their travels, plan their routes and reach their destinations. In it we discover a map that gives rise to the constellations, the horoscope, calendars and other fundamental aspects for our species. We look to the sky to understand and imagine the world. In this way, we want visitors to look up and be amazed by the details of the magnificent architec­ ture of the Llotja de Palma, which becomes transformed to set out a journey that begins precisely here, in the cosmos, which becomes the basis for the Atlas, as it has been throughout the entire history of universal cartography.

Based on the imagery that Cresques drew in his Atlas, cer­ tain elements are taken as a starting point for a series of journeys. Artificial intelligence tools are used to establish a critical view of the interpretations that technology grants us, questioning whether it helps us to better understand the world in which we live.

The setting in which it is presented is the exceptional Llotja de Palma building, its mercantile past clearly linked to navigation maps. The installation enhances its architectural qualities, such as the striking beauty of the twelve vaults that make up the ceil­ ing, their ribs supported by its extraordinary helical columns. Special attention will be paid to the specific acoustic reverbera­ tion conditions of the space, designed so that conversations become incomprehensible at a certain distance, and dynamic effects will be created by means of different sound channels.

On the occasion of the exhibition “Aimless: Confronting Imago Mundi”, produced by Es Baluard Museu, a parallel activity has been organised that focuses attention on the research and study of the Atlas by Cresques Abraham (1375). To carry it out, the museum has prepared a unique immersive installation by Xavi Bové Studio, with the aim of establishing an exchange between the materials and elements of Majorcan cartography and the architecture of the Llotja de Palma.

A project that integrates video mapping, lighting, multi­ channel sound and lasers, transforming the ceiling of the Llotja into a remarkable space in order to represent the importance of this extraordinary document, which, for the first time in history, included annotations and details that illustrate what the world was considered to be like at that time (seeing as the existence of the Americas was not yet known in the West). The activity is part of the acts that celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Statute of Autonomy of the Balearic Islands, marking four decades of cooperation between peoples, coexistence, social, political and economic progress, and the common bonds that unify Balearic society.

Inspired by the fact that the Majorcan cartographic school was already capable of imagining the world 700 years ago, with this project we invite citizens to enter a magical space where the images from the Atlas allow us to explore and imagine the world of yesterday, today and tomorrow