The Alluvials, 2023
HD single-channel video, playable video game, 11:10 min.
The Alluvials is a video and interactive game environment that posits a speculative narrative of a future Los Angeles River addressing water’s relationship to both human society and nonhuman life. By looking into the region’s deep past, the artist imagines a future water system in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles River, now confined within concrete channels, was once a communal resource for both human and nonhuman lives, and supported a wetland ecosystem that has now vanished. Foregrounding the Indigenous Tongva wisdom that views the river as an ever-morphing entity, this project highlights nature as an intelligent system, a technology in itself. Pooling resources from architecture, ecology, and data sciences, The Alluvials draws on both future climate forecasting and historical data sets that detail the conditions of water bodies in the Los Angeles region, using language and image-based AI tools to bring this data to life. Through co-constructing new worlds with human, nonhuman, and machine intelligence, The Alluvials extends the notion that the shift from anthropocentrism isn't an ending of the world but a start for diverse life forms.
Alice Bucknell is a North American artist and writer based in London and Los Angeles. Working primarily through game engines and speculative fiction, she explores interconnections of architecture, ecology, magic, and non-human and machine intelligence. They are the organizer of New Mystics, a platform exploring magic, mysticism, ritual, and technology.