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KHIPU

Presented by: Constanza Piña

 

The stars, in their harmonic and perpetual movement, trace mysterious shapes in the celestial vault. These figures have been observed since time immemorial by our ancestors, who came to understand that behind the visible sky there is a calculating power that orders everything. The astronomical khipus were technical instruments to capture these configurations, using strings and knots that symbolize magic numbers, at the same time representing days, months and stellar years, as books of prophecy and divination. An ancestral computation system that reveals the divine character of the cosmos.

During the boreal summer of 2017, we gathered to spin the universe. We created a codified language through knots, giving order and orientation to our cosmological map. We coded the celestial events that governed our spinning work. The data encoded in the present khipu correspond to a spectral classification of the stars of the constellation Bootes (constellation located in the mid-sky during all work sessions), a calendar based on the phases of the moon, a solar eclipse, two earthquakes, and the position of the sun and moon in relation to the elliptical at the time of our birth.

This installation consists of a semicircular antenna of 6 meters in diameter that is composed of 180 ropes. Each one of them was hand-spun by mixing copper wire and alpaca wool. These strings are connected to an electronic circuit that amplifies and sonifies the electromagnetic changes present at the installation site.

Our khipu is an open source electro-textile computer. In addition to encoding the cosmos, we wanted to express the idea that the universe is governed by harmonious numerical proportions and how the stars generate frequencies through their orbital revolution. Thus, what we hear is an amplification of the inaudible frequencies of space, the voices of the "void" visited by spectra, a celestial score, the sound of the spheres, the voice of silence.

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