The Regime of The Visible

Artist multiple for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ARTMargins journal, 2017

The Regime of the Visible is an artist multiple and text commissioned for the MIT Press journal ARTMargins artist Project, conceived for the volume 6 issue 2, published in 2017.


Following an expansive understanding of American politics, the work looks into NATO activities during and after the Cold War on a small plateau near the Netherlands- Belgium border. Constructed in the form of a pocket map- an essential tool for tourists, treasure hunters, scientists, engineers, and military personnel- the project interweaves NATO's activities with broader histories of land and ownership before and after the organization's engagement in what is now the European Union.


The work uses the format of a pocket map to introduce two ways of exploring Cannerberg, a small hill nearby Maastricht. One side of the map traces the ownership of land by mapping cadastre parcels and their corresponding buildings, as well as underground tunnel structures. The other side traces a variety of sources from the history and geology of the Caestert plateau, with a focus on Cannerberg.

Excerpt from the text: "From Neolithic times, the continuous mining of flint nodules and, later, limestone created a complex network of underground tunnels around Maastricht that was popularly called “the caves.” Flint nodules were used to make tools and weapons, as well as to build fire. Up until the era of industrialization, limestone was extracted by hand in the Limburg province and used for building. Large parts of the Caestert plateau were transformed into a surface mine by the ENCI cement factory. By the time of the plateau’s industrial exploitation in the early 20th century, limestone mining in Cannerberg had been stopped. Until World War II, when German troops repurposed Cannerberg as a storage and assembly facility for V1 rockets, the maze of underground corridors left behind was regularly used for farming mushrooms and keeping animals. A few years after the end of World War II, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rented out the same "cave" and used it as a headquarters for potential war operations during the Cold War. However, the NATO headquarters shut down in 1992 due to severe asbestos and oil contamination. That same year, the Treaty of the European Union was ratified in Maastricht, its twelve signatures memorialized on the walls od Cannerberg's cave."


The Regime of the Visible collapses narratives of property and history through superposition of Canerberg's storylines. The project draws from a variety of sources from private and public archives, tracing characters as they surface from different media: black-and-white or color photographs, VHS tapes, scanned documents, natural history books, military brochures, tourist guides, and the most recent unclassified records from the NATO archive in Brussels. The Regime of the Visible is part of a long-term research project on the history of Caestert plateau, and it functions as an introductory work to "Portrait of the Mountain" an upcoming video essay. Threading throughout each drawing and the map as a whole, are some of the core themes and questions relating to the politics of representation. 

Commissioned by the MIT press in 2017, support by Jan van Eyck Academy  and Limburgs Landschap, graphic design by Giulia CordinPrinted in Canada