Earthbound — In Dialogue with Nature

Gilberto Esparza

«KORALLYSIS», 2019 - ongoing

The installation KORALLYSIS by Gilberto Esparza involves kinetic systems developed to be embedded in coral colonies, forming a symbiotic relationship with them. The project’s initial experiments have already been placed underwater as artistic interventions in various locations in the Mexican Caribbean. Its aim is to raise social awareness for, and actively counteract, coral reef destruction caused by marine pollution and climate change. Modular ceramic structures, which function like prostheses, are integrated into the damaged coral reefs and as the ocean’s currents cause their kinetic structures to generate energy, a new process of reef colonisation is triggered. This attracts natural organisms such as plankton, algae, and barnacle larvae, which accelerates the growth of corals. Here, man-made constructions implanted into the dying reef enable its revitalisation. The creative and cooperative development process of KORALLYSIS involves art students, engineers, biologists, physicists, and civil associations.

Gilberto Esparza’s (MX) work explores how electronic and robotic technology can have an impact on daily life. Whether through recycling technological waste or the use of biotechnologies, his practice offers new ways to reduce and balance human impact on the planet. He studied at the School of Fine Art of the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, and the Faculty of Fine Arts of San Carlos in Valencia, Spain. Esparza’s projects involve the collaboration of various research centres from a wide range of disciplines. His works have been shown in numerous exhibitions around the world and he has received several awards, such as the Prix Ars Electronica (2015). Gilberto Esparza lives and works in San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City.