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NomadicMILK in Ghent

Monday, April 28, 2008 10:34

Originally published by Cluster, written by Esther Polak

NomadicMILK Kameroen version 2008 by Esther Polak and team ‘NomadicMILK’ is an art project on the experience of space. This version of the project focuses on the mobility of dairy by the Nomadic herdsmen in North Cameroon. The project portrays the migration from the dry season to the wet season camp in search of the best grazing grounds. Video recordings are realized in the floodplain, the wet season location.


During the wet season this area is totally covered by water. In 2006 two Zebu cows were equipped with a GPS-collecting collar. The intention of Esther Polak and her team was to visualize the thus obtained routes, and subsequently confront the herdsmen with them. To realize this, a small robot was developed that could redraw the routes as sand drawings, scaled both, in space and time, and based on the original GPS data. In this case the route from the dry to the wet season area was drawn: a trip that in reality took about four months and covered about 85 kilometers. The installation consists of a beamer projection that shows imagery of the daily life of the Fulani families. The monitor on the ground shows the herders commenting on their own track, of which an exact copy is presented in the exhibition. Based on a highly technological visualization, the shown sand track is a simple drawing that commented by the Fulani people turns into to a complex experience of space and time. The radios hanging from the ceiling make the voice of Esther Polak audible who translates and retells the comments of the Fulani herdsmen.

Video impression of the NomadicMILK presentation in the Zebrastraat, Ghent, Belgium.

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