↳ Madre Drone

Patricia Domínguez on “Madre Drone”

In my practice I trace relationships between living species that are emerging from the current digitalization of life. These relationships are contextualized in situations of labor, affection, extraction and spirituality. My projects are focused on emotional and territorial extraction, as well as on invisibilized ethnobotanical healing practices in South America.

My artistic practice is a personal ritual of adjustments and symbolic thinking in order to survive and live in this corporate system. A personal capitalist hack from a female point of view. It’s another way to access our precarious realities, but through a more feminine, intuitive, inclusive, dream-state, and not so obvious or utilitarian way. The processes of life are not linear.

Madre Drone examines the complex possibilities of weeping, environmental and social crisis, and healing in the digital age.

As fires raged in Bolivia’s Chiquitania region and in the Amazon rainforests in 2019, I was volunteering at an improvised animal sanctuary to tend to animals injured by the flames. My caring for a half-blind toucan is at the center of my installation Madre Drone, which contextualizes the wildfires with considerations of indigenous land rights and the whirring of police drones surveilling protesters in Santiago de Chile.

The video was born from the experience I had of taking care of the injured animals. It was my turn to take care of the blinded toucan. While I was in the shelter, I wrote the following: “Quiet, the blinded toucan felt me with its right side. It also looked at me from time to time with its left side. It is a mystical mask, a mythological animal that has emerged from the fire of the Chiquitanía and the Amazon. It has two faces, they have burned its right side, the masculine side, the side that capitalism requires of all of us. By losing its eye, its has been transformed into one of the seeing machines, into monsters that see beyond the visible”.

That same month in 2019 , I returned to Chile and jumped into the Social Uprising where more than 407 people have suffered eye injuries from police repression. The fires of the conflict symbolically jumped from Chiquitanía, to Ecuador, and to Santiago, leaving animals and blind people in their path. The eyes of the toucan blinded by the fires are the witnesses of this bastard reality crossed by a thousand stories. On the other hand, the eyes of a blinded human, are the brutal consequences of the social protests in Chile, where people ask for dignity. In the video, the eyes of the toucan and the human eyes cry together, in a South American cosmic cry.

Madre Drone imagines new planetary mythologies, which encircle the social, environmental, political and spiritual changes that are taking place in South America. It’s a myth that updates the possibilities of crying in this capitalist era. A myth in which drones weep, where blinded toucans can no longer see fire and where young humans protesting for dignity are forced to transcend the visible for the invisible, for a new vision, in every sense. They become a kind of amulet that try to capture the spirit of the contemporary.