The Regime of the Visible
uses the format of a pocket map to introduce two ways of exploring Cannerberg, a small hill situated between Maastricht, the Netherlands, and Kanne, Belgium. One side of the map traces the ownership of land by mapping cadaster parcels and their corresponding buildings as well as underground tunnel structures. The other side traces varied sources from the history and geology of the Caestert plateau with a focus on Cannerberg. From Neolithic times, continuous mining of flint nodules and later limestone created a complex network of underground tunnels around Maastricht, 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 and used for building in the Limburg province. By the time of the plateau’s industrial exploitation in early 20th century the limestone mining in Cannerberg had been exhausted.
Until World War II, when German troops repurposed Cannerberg as a storage and assembly facility for V-1 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 Organisation (NATO) rented out the same “cave” and used it as a headquarters for potential war operations during the Cold War. 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 in Cannerberg’s “cave.”The Regime of the Visible
collapses narratives of property and history through the superposition of Cannerberg’s storylines. The project draws from a variety of sources from private and public archives, tracing characters as they surface from different mediums: black-and-white or color photographs, VHS tapes, scanned documents, natural history books, military brochures, tourist guides or the most recent unclassified records from the NATO archive in Brussels.The Regime of the Visible
is a project developed by the artist Kristina Benjocki
, as part of long-term research on the history of the Caestert plateau and it was published on MIT Press Journal (July 2017).
Research: Kristina Benjocki
Graphic Design: Giulia Cordin→ The MIT Press Journals