3rd 01SJ Biennial September 2010

A global festival of art on the edge

Floating Chronologies

Jesus Aguilar
Floating Chronologies
Multi-media installation
Supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation for Intersections
Space 47
June 4-July 11, 2008
Festival hours: Wed. – Sat.,12:00n – 4:00pm
Fri., 12:00pm-12:00am

Jesus Aguilar’s multi-media installation builds on an ongoing exploration of electronic data retrieved by the popular Internet search engine, Google.com. Using the artist’s name, Jesus Aguilar, as the search criteria, the “raw data” consisting of text and images, is interwoven into ‘floating chronologies’. Inspired by the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, which argues that every possible outcome to every possible event takes place in its own ‘history’ and ‘world’, the installation explores the multiplicity of identity in the archive. Aguilar engages search data as a raw material, constructing chronological narratives and personal history in today’s de facto database, the Internet.

During the 01SJ Festival, Aguilar presented two chronologies at Space 47. Beginning with his year of birth (1974) and Aguilar’s name as the Internet search criteria, Time, Map, Space graphs the data on a linear timeline. Visually influenced by historical mappings of chronology, this mass produced poster is a timeline that is at once complex and simplistic, a schematic of text and icons portraying the activities pertaining to Jesus Aguilar and his namesakes. Births and deaths, graduations and executions, as well as banal activities coincide along a 33 ½ year span ending at 2008.

The centerpiece of the exhibition, a wall mounted video piece, Alternate Narratives: three stories, is a fictional construction of three separate narratives from the artist’s Internet searches. The silent video of static images and text, taken directly from the computer screen, subtly usurps the camera techniques used in traditional historical and biographical documentary films, resulting in an uncanny account of intertwined realities.