The Regime of the Visible

The Regime of Visible, in the form of a pocket map, introduces two ways of exploring Cannerberg, a small hill situated between Maastricht, the Netherlands, and Kanne, Belgium. One side of the map traces the ownership of land by mapping cadaster parcels and their corresponding buildings and underground tunnel structures. The other side traces varied sources from the history and geology of Caestert plateau with a focus on Cannerberg. From Neolithic times, continuous mining of flint nodules and later limestone created a complex network of underground tunnels around Maastricht, popularly called “the caves.” Flint nodules were used to make tools and weapons, and to build fire. For centuries, up until industrialization, limestone was extracted by hand and used in building infrastructure in the Limburg province. By the time of industrialization, underground mining in Cannerberg had already been exhausted. The maze of underground corridors left behind was regularly used by local farmers until WWII, when German troops re-purposed Cannerberg into a storage and assembly facility for V-1 rockets. A few years after WWII, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) rented out the same “cave” and used it as the headquarters for war operations during the Cold War. In 1992 the NATO headquarters shut down. The same year, the Treaty of the European Union was ratified in Maastricht, its twelve signatures memorialized in Cannerberg’s “cave.” The Regime of Visible collapses the narratives of property and history through the superposition of Cannerberg’s storylines. The Regime of Visible is part of long-term research on the Caestert plateau history, and it functions as an introductory work to “Portrait of the Mountain,” an upcoming video essay.

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