Bird in Flight Prize ‘19 Finalist: Into The Underworld
Chirag Jindal, New Zealand
“Into The Underworld” is a series of orthographic works produced using LiDAR – an emerging form of imaging technology applied in land surveying, built environments and archaeology. Taking light as medium, this instrument registers its surroundings in millions of precisely-measured points, translating the world into a digital facsimile of light and shadow.
The technique was employed to document the lava caves of Auckland – a mythified, dilapidated landscape devastated by a century of rapid urban sprawl. These sites are largely ignored by the developers that destroy them and are now found under the boundaries of suburban infrastructure. While rare enough to be in one of few regions in the world where they exist, most will be lost by the end of the century.
In a mode of exploring, archiving and revealing, the project brings tracings of something inaccessible into the domain of public visibility, casting a new frequency of light on an unseen fragment of the city’s volcanic identity.