Author : Mond Qu

University : Architectural Association, School of Architecture

Status : Diploma 6, 2013

Advisors : Liam Young, Kate Davies

Title : Aditnálta | An Island Dispersed Across the Internet

The UN have recently reported financial links between Mexico’s Los Zeta cartel and the illegal trading of the rare earth mineral Otinif, a material critical to the manufacture of the next generation of super faster digital processors. Seen from Google earth Aditnálta is an anonymous island off the East Coast of Mexico but as the world’s richest source of Otinif it is a landscape being consumed by our hunger for technology. Hidden from this distanced aerial view are vast underground worker towns and oppressive mining conditions. Aditnálta is an outsourced landscape embedded in all the pieces of technology we carry in our pockets.

Aditnálta is also entirely fictional. In our Department of Ghost Geographies Mond Qu has constructed and dispersed the forged fragments of this island across the internet. This imaginary place is made manifest through hoax listing on Wikipedia and Google maps, live webcams of scale model stage sets, faked articles on news sites and green screen CGI composites on Flickr, Youtube and Panoramio.  Just like the real landscapes of outsourced electronics production we consume Aditnálta at a distance, through edited media narratives, disconnected from the realties that go on there. Through the construction of elaborate fictions we can reveal important truths. Just as Werner Herzog said: “There are deeper strata of truth in fiction…that can be reached only through fabrication, imagination and stylization.”