Uyuni Super Mine
The landscape of the Bolivian Salar de Uyuni flashes by in the trailer for a Japanese racing game: a future landscape commodified to fuel our electric future and reimagined with the cold efficiency of the world’s largest mine, where endless fields of evaporation ponds feed lithium salts into the world market to be monetised in the battery production lines of Asia. This is a mine so large that no single national entity could support it as, like the space industry, lithium mining in Bolivia must be operated by a particular scale of multinational corporation, following the pattern of developed countries forming partnerships with the developing world to extract resources and disperse them across the planet. The Division’s Cultural Attaché, Jon allows us to see this landscape only through the cold eyes of the video game and to view one culture through the lens of another. In a new form of place that is caught between cultures, a race plays out in a landscape that has been forever altered in the moment of our green energy revolution. It is a glimpse into the landscapes on the other side of our screens, the landscapes that fuel the games we play for kicks.