'Turbulencias', the new solo exhibition by Daniel Canogar for Galería Max Estrella, explores our capacity to organize, process and make sense of the flux of news we receive daily. Keeping up with the news has become a traumatic experience that generates rage, helplessness and, eventually, indifference. At the same time, we have an addictive relationship with social media, which hooks us in endless cycles of news that frustrate our need for rest and our capacity to assimilate events throughout the day. The exhibition 'Turbulencias' faces contemporary information indigestion and processes this unstoppable torrent of data through art and algorithms.
The first series in the show, Pixelweaver, is a project that draws on textiles as a metaphor for the social fabric created, and sometimes destroyed, by the news. These artworks pay tribute to the close relationship between information technology and textiles, beginning with the Jacquard’s loom in the early nineteenth century, considered by many historians to be the first computer. For this new series, Studio Daniel Canogar has developed a virtual loom based on craft techniques. This algorithmic tool enables the creation of a range of patterns from different sources or “spools”, a technology that has generated the artworks Chyron, Abacus and Túnica.
Chyron is rendered with the chyrons of news channels, that is, the information superimposed over the lower part of a screen. The chyrons intertwine like a large frayed fabric, a tangle that evokes the fragile and at times unstable balance of an information ecosystem that derives from disparate and even conflicting sources. Furthermore, Abacus displays and reinterprets real-time financial information from main stock market indexes. This artwork reformulates the ticker tape, the earliest means of financial communication, developed at the end of the nineteenth century. The prices from each index fund appear as intersecting stripes and turn into the warp and weft of a fabric that never ceases to change. Finally, Túnica is a generative digital fabric created with the names of those who were born and died in the Community of Madrid between 2020 and 2021. The names are embossed on silver and gold ribbons that intertwine: the weft for the births and the warp for the deceased. Túnica, a tribute to Covid victims, is inspired by the funerary gauzes of pre-Columbian cultures.
The second series, Wayward, evokes postwar artists who began to appropriate photographs from the press, such as Andy Warhol, Martha Rosler, Robert Rauschenberg and Wolf Vostell. In the sixties, social protests encouraged many artists to manipulate press photos of wars, political demonstrations and other social upheavals. Silkscreen prints, photomontages, collages and other appropriation techniques largely dominated this era. Fifty years later, Wayward reprocesses photojournalistic images, but this time filtered by the digital tool. Pictures from the daily news are processed with visual effects that evoke analog and photochemical techniques of the past. This endless stream of information becomes fodder for the generative artwork that is process-based and never ending.
Pixelweaver and Wayward manifest themselves not only as generative projects on screens but also as stills. Through large-scale wallpapers and digital photographs, there is an attempt to contain the unstoppable rhythm of our times and, therefore, to process the maelstrom of social, political and environmental issues that have shaken us so much recently. ‘Turbulencias’ captures our turbulent times through art history, textile tradition and digital tools that have profoundly changed our perception of reality.
Daniel Canogar, September 2022