"Since the Enlightenment times, science and knowledge were perceived as a positive power, able to liberate the humankind, drive the social development, make life better. However, the realization of scientific ideas put a question if men armed with scientific methods and means are capable of understanding the depth and consequences of their actions.

I use archival material from the last century scientific studies of Central Asia region. The scientific papers were illustrated with the photographs of the landscape, yet untouched and unchanged. This landscape is shown as a raw material for the massive landscape transformations. Scientific research in the area began in the XVIII century, continued in the XIX century and unfolded in full force in the XX century. Findings from the research led to massive constructions: many channels, reservoirs, irrigation systems and hydroelectric power stations were built across Central Asian republics. The research and the intervention were driven by the positive goals to improve life in the region, but at the same time, transformations led to irreversible negative changes, such as the disappearance of the Aral Sea.

I am visualising a metaphor that scientists used their scientific writings, like runes, to cast a spell on the landscape and as a result, the landscape was transformed. Changes have brought both blessing and tragedy and there is no way to measure which one dominates."

Natalia Baluta

b. 1976, Russia

Artist, photobooks collector, co-founder Russian Independent Selfpublished. Works with photography, collage, installation and artist books. She graduated from the University of Electronics, in ‘Photography as a Research’, FotoDepartament, ‘Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management’ course, Universität Lüneburg.

Her art projects are focused on the interconnections of space, time and information, local mythology, decoding and creation of new rituals and myths. In her works Natalia combines methods of art and science, employs various research methodologies.

Natalia's works were included in exhibitions, collections and libraries in Russia and abroad

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