For Standard Deviation I wanted to examine science’s often colonial stance towards nature, as well as the complications of conducting scientific research in Cabo Verde in a time of global capitalism and neocolonialism.
I approached this project by thinking about science from its positivist perspective and questioning the technical and philosophical devices associated with the scientific method. I looked at science and scientific research as this place where the natural and physical world are comprehensively — obsessively — observed, measured, classified and ordered in the name of surveillance and climate data modelling. Throughout this project, I developed a strong collaboration with both local and international scientists working in Cabo Verde and was able to grasp a tip of the entanglements and contradictions associated with climate change-related scientific research. In the process, I came to understand that error plays a fundamental role in illuminating the path to knowledge and focused my approach on the most humanising and intimate aspects of science, where failure, improvisation and “unimpossibility” are most visible.
Grateful acknowledgement to all researchers involved, in particular: Luís Neves (OACV), Vito Ramos and Elizandro Rodrigues (OSCM), Osvaldina Duarte Silva and Sandra Correia (INDP).
*This project was developed in the scope of Parallel Platform.
Diogo Bento (b. 1984). Lives and works between Lisbon, Portugal and São Vicente, Cabo Verde. He studied Photography at Ar.Co, in Lisbon, holds a degree in Landscape Architecture and completed postgraduate studies in Photography and Contemporary Art. He has been working in both photography and installation, where landscape has been the primary backdrop for expressing his ideas and concerns about the world. His artistic practice is informed by an understanding of the landscape as a space of cultural embodiment, a place where natural, physical and symbolic dimensions interact and colide. By engaging with themes of ecology, nature, architecture, urbanism and science he hopes to arrive at discussions involving decoloniality and social justice. He has been involved in several artistic and educational projects as a photographer, trainer, curator and founding member of AOJE, an organization dedicated to photography. He is one of the driving forces behind Catchupa Factory artist residency. Currently holds a position as guest lecturer of Photography at Lusófona University, in Lisbon.