A Knot in Motion: On the Accident of Rain

For the »Magical Hackerism« web residency, Islam Shabana and Luiz Zanotello propose tying a knot between El Kharja oasis (near the Tropic of Cancer) and Jundiaí (near the Tropic of Capricorn) by tracing the material/discursive/poetic accidents around one topic of interest: the rain. They propose to set up two nodes of the Futura Trōpica Rhizome, collecting/spreading rain-data on both sides for future intertropical exchange.

Islam Shabana (El Kharja/Egypt, Cairo/Egypt) & Luiz Zanotello (Jundiaí/Brazil, Berlin/Germany) — Nov 22, 2022

Akademie Schloss Solitude - A Knot in Motion: On the Accident of Rain

Islam Shabana and Luiz Zanotello, A Knot in Motion: On the Accident of Rain.

On the tropical desert side, the rain binds with scarcity in times of drought. On the Atlantic forest side, the rain binds with abundance in times of flooding. Though seemingly dichotomous, both sides are connected through rain’s indeterminacy in the midst of the climate crisis in the colonial aftermath within the tropics. Beyond the verticality of north/south, could tying the tropical lines in a knot turn the axis horizontally instead? What forms of wet knowledge, poetics, and practices emerge from encounters with rain? How can tropical/global justice be (re-)imagined through the lenses of rain as contingency? The project consists of the entanglement between two artists whose birth towns lie on opposite tropical latitude lines. By setting two nodes of the Futura Trōpica Rhizome collecting/spreading rain-data on both sides, we propose to dialogue through the trope of rain as a source of contingency and set up an initial infrastructure for future intertropical exchange. A web space will be built to visualize our conversation, operating as a digital Qanat (a well with a distribution system) whose water flows in the form of datasets, text fragments, poetic utterances, archival materials, and 3D visualizations created throughout the porosity of tropical knowledges on the matter of rain.

Islam Shabana (born in 1988, El Kharja, Egypt) Islam Shabana is an interdisciplinary artist and a digital media designer. Shabana’s work is situated in the intersection of technology with Islamic philosophy, mythology and studies of human cognition. In his works, he explores concepts such as system-social dynamics, religious performative rituals and occult practices, by means of poetry, simulation, science fiction and speculative scenarios. Examining how different technologies are interweaving these concepts producing/reproducing entangling structures between myth, fiction, and physical realities. Within such complex intersectional realms, the digital medium is emphasizing the shift in cognitive processes, oscillating the human experience and imagination between reality and hyperreality, human and non-human, physical and mental spaces.

Luiz Zanotello (born in 1986, Jundiaí) is a media artist, researcher, and educator. In his current artistic research practice, he reappropriates emerging technologies toward a renewed understanding of time, space, and movement within a postcolonial condition. He holds a BA from Unesp, Brazil, and an MA from the HfK Bremen, Germany. He currently teaches New Media at the UdK Berlin, Germany, and pursues his PhD in Artistic Research at the HfK Bremen, Germany, in partnership with the Leiden University and the Royal Academy of Art The Hague, the Netherlands.


The web residency will take place in November/December and the projects will be published at the beginning of the year 2023.

Find more contributions in the archive