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Branding by Michelle Mildenberg Lara

What theoretical benefit can the repositioning of Bogotá, Colombia not as a city but as a sensitive, multi-dimensional membrane that transduces changes of the physical world into binary information provide?

This project proposes that doing so can provide a synecdochic window on the Earth and the homeostasis it seeks in adapting dynamically to the forces of the cosmos. Recent events that inspire this exploration include a massive cloud of Saharan dust that transformed air quality in June 2020, the crash of a Loon Project high-altitude helium balloon in Central Colombia in March 2017, and the ongoing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic. The centrality of Bogotá is an intentional nod to the Bogotá Declaration signed in 1976 by Equatorial countries declaring sovereignty over geostationary orbit above their territory. The larger remit of the work, though, is an inquiry into planetary phenomena. These include the new emissions and pollution of the Anthropocene as well as the deeply telluric, deep-time forces inherent to the planet.

Near Space Interface focuses on the troposphere and stratosphere as extensions of Bogotá and establishes three interlinked components:


1. Lower Stratosphere Creative Research Center

We will design, implement, and launch a series of near-space experimental missions with weather balloons to explore the troposphere and lower stratosphere above Bogotá.


2. Surface and Upper Mantle Data Observatory

This portion of the initiative entails the identification, re-collection, documentation, and dissemination of public data sources from sensors monitoring Bogotá.


3. AI and Cosmopolitics Lab

The final, integrative outcome of the initiative is the creation of a series of computation experiments based on machine learning techniques. These will stochastically correlate the data of the Lower Stratosphere Creative Research Center and Surface and Upper Mantle Data Observatory.