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55 Cancri e

The world of global information capitalism constantly confronts us with extraordinary events whose evidence rushes rapidly through electronic superhighways. Myriads of images extracted from diverse sources, with heterogeneous qualities and varied formats, invade our environment inevitably adorned with screens and immersed in their luminous surfaces. We are already with them, and our ways of seeing the world, our affections, and representations inhabit their languages.

Is what their flashes offer us truthful? Are their narratives reliable? How much of what we perceive today is arbitrated by the ways in which electronic devices, their information flows, and what we seek (and download) from the web shape our beliefs and transform the complex realm of our corporeality?

The project 55 Cancri e seems to second that eagerness to question forms of creation linked to “compressed and flexible data packages” ready to be transferred and integrated into countless procedures and combinations. An ethics of remix and appropriation, as Hito Steyerl calls it, opens the tuning fork to a creativity without jurisdictions.

The possibilities opened by interfaces where a gigantic repository of information of all kinds seems to affirm the idea of a world where everything is available “at a glance” not only change our ways of seeing and appreciating but also reveal a horizon of uses where, thanks to the access of a connected majority, authorship is radically transformed. The creative subject flexibilizes their skills, blurring the differences between an artist, a web designer, a graphic designer, or an expert network analyst.

It is in the distribution of the web where creation, interactivity, and participation confuse their ranges of operations. Translation, assembly, critical and parodic editing, and other maneuvers of appropriation and transfer emerge as distinctive modes in artistic practices aimed at illuminating “the affective condition of contemporary crowds.”

These are processes that have modified perceptual patterns, making us more sensitive to images as surfaces and their effects than to the contents they embody.

We face a type of architecture where dissimilar forms of contiguity, fragmented apprehension of the world, incubate: a spatiality linked to the configurations and formats of devices, fostering a different commitment with viewers and users constantly exposed to mutable connections. Overlaps, displacements, and hierarchies activated in the experience with the medium itself.

Mónica López has always been interested in images that circulate on browsers and, in general, those produced technologically. Their flatness and meager materiality – aspects that she sometimes emulates in her drawings – have occupied her creative endeavors: as if the hand wanted to challenge the technical neatness born of the device. But her intentions have shifted towards questioning the dominant archetypes of visualization distributed by internet platforms. Her proposal is aware of the deceptive nature of images behind their glittering presence that, as Juan Martín Prada affirms, refers us to that “mythical-historical association between sources of light and sources of authority.”

She has long been nurturing her interest in exploring the porous edges between the languages of sciences whose discursive structure has, per se, effects of truth and the exploitation of their rhetorics authorized by a lucrative market that oscillates between the apparent seriousness of its statements, the novelty of a society eager for spectacles, and an economic sector that proliferates based on the pseudo-scientific speculation abundant on the web.

The possible existence of a planet composed entirely of diamond and the entire maneuver orbiting around its scientific treatment and media image emerge as the leitmotif of the exhibition. Its nodes are the images, devices, discourse, and corporealities residing in a field of promiscuous relationships between science, advertising, institutions, and transnational economic and strategic interests. And here resonates that suggestive idea of Fredric Jameson when he recognized that in an “era of surfaces and decentralized, textualized consciousness,” the reconstruction of a political unconscious (that latent narrative) would only be viable in the figure of allegory, glimpsed through associations and fragmentary texts as an approximate and partial articulation.