Digital Careoutside the circle

fluvial bedrock I

2021 By Su Yu Hsin
Black and white pencil drawing of a mountainous landscape with webs below
if connecting to each other
Su Yu Hsin, fluvial bedrock I, 2021 , Digital print, courtesy of the artist

At first glance, fluvial bedrock I might appear to be a pencil drawing. In fact, this work is the product of numerous technologies. Artist Su Yu Hsin deployed remote-controlled drones to capture photographic images of bedrock in Lüshi, an area of the Liwu River in Taroko National Park, Taiwan. The images present 2D photographs of Lüshi’s bedrock as 3D computer models, creating the landscape you see here, which – on closer inspection – is actually a series of vector shapes.

Across her work, Su explores the relationship between ecology and technology. The bedrock presented here is studied by scientists to measure erosion, a metric for tracing the progression of climate change. Because bedrock erosion happens very slowly, the data that earth scientists collect in Lüshi represents massive timescales, an interesting merging of contemporary innovation and geologic history.

Though fluvial bedrock I is a still image, it prompts us to consider the ways in which objects we consider static, like rocks, actually do move in some way over time. Through technological innovation, we are now able to ‘see’ this movement. How might other such methods of tracking and observation allow us to perceive slow- and fast-moving crises differently?