I'd like to look at astrology as a systematized science in history with calculations for plotting positions of the planets at a particular time and place. Nothing occult or mystic there at all. In fact, the chart is simply a diagram of the sky at the hour and as seen from a place where an event occurs (in this case, an earthquake). The chart itself is visually interesting. I'm looking at ancient historical depictions of birth charts and they are beautiful! I was able to download a freeware called Astroscan to learn more about this. The myth of the gigantic fish at the bottom of the earth which moves and causes an earthquake in the Maguindanao in the Philippines is part of this proposal dubbed Heaven and Earth - A Quake Installation. Maguindanaons are known as People of the Flood Plain - very prone to earthquakes, floods, tsunami.
These images depict the earthquake occurences in terms of sky "geography", and it is possible, as in astrology, to make comparisons with each other and see if a "biological clock" relationship exists. Thus, instead of the heavens as the determinants, the occurence or birth are suited to the heavens - in humans, the effects of hereditary characteristics are more marked to a person whose birth sky corresponded to that of his/her parents. My assumption is that earthquakes (in fact, all natural phenomenon) are so woven together along its own "biological clock." If an astrologer were to bravely make an earthquake prediction for Maguindanao using the astro charts, he/she would forecast when the next corresponding sky chart would be based on the previous (parent) ones.
From the Maguindano Myth:
Earthquake is a familiar experience among the people of Mindanao in the Philippines, including the Maguindanaon. This phenomenon is believed to be the result of the "movement of a huge fish called LIMBO which lives beneath the earth."
Strangely, whenever I dream of water or flooding, an earthquake inevitably occurs. The more water there is, the stronger the quake
The installation consists of one large aquarium containing a large live catfish. Below the aquarium is a projector which projects upwards towards the belly of the fish an image of the sky. The map is projected to the ceiling of the room and is overshadowed by the fish and its movement. The entire room should be dimly lit.
The images included in this concept proposal may also be included in the installation as small prints on glass or plexiglass (acrylic) placed inside small aquariums surrounding the large aquarium. Everything is lighted from below with blue and green light. The images represent four historical earthquakes in Maguindanao with their corresponding birth charts.
This fish installation represents the Myth of the Large Fish whose movement causes the earthquakes. Myths provide the energy for survival in a world of phenomena. The installation also represents the ancient practice of observing the movement of catfish (and other fish variety in various regions) to predict an earthquake. The sky image stresses the practice of prediction, also a tool for survival.
The entire installation consists of movement and light. The movement comes from a living thing - the catfish - and the play of color and light is accentuated by water and glass.
Artist: Fatima Lasay (Philippines)
Fatima Lasay is an Industrial Design graduate of the University of the Philippines. She is an artist, researcher, writer and teacher. She runs and maintains Hoydigiteer.org, a digital and networked art initiative.