3rd 01SJ Biennial September 2010

A global festival of art on the edge

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

Artist statement:

My work investigates the fundamental logic of digital technology, communication, and mark-making. I am interested in how history, heritage, and human codes exist within these realms. The digital domain has changed the way that we relate to each other, to the world, and to information at large. Information and knowledge are simultaneously omnipresent and continuously fleeting.

Working primarily in video and photography, I attempt to humanize the technology by interacting with it on humanistic terms: perception, language, and the senses. I touch, inspect, and confront the technology as naively as a child would. The video piece ABC, 123 is a recording of my handwriting of the alphabet letters A to Z, the number system 0 to 9, and my first name on the surface of a screen of a laptop computer. My intention is to question the status of traditional forms of communication and learning in contemporary culture, where technology is further mediating our experiences.  I investigate the language within the computer’s logic in Binary Language: A Computer Simulation Lessons 1-3.  In this piece I attempt to speak in the digital language of zeros and ones, following the format of a foreign language educational video. The intent is to examine the extraordinary complexity of the binary system, whilst drawing attention to its bare-bone simplicity and incompatibility with human expression. In other pieces, I subvert the keyboard’s prescribed logic, or altogether remove its assigned meanings, and expose the gaps between thought, meaning, and representation.

My inquiries on the digital are analog in nature by simply recording a concept, a thought, or a proposition embedded into a simple gesture. As a conceptual artist, my materials are ideas and meaning. Evidence of this is in a photograph of a circular mark left on my forehead, imprinted from pressing a bare cardboard toilet paper roll onto it. This piece looks at mark-making from a fundamental and a primal point of view, getting to the heart of the inquiries within my work: what does it mean to make a mark? furthermore, how does a simple mark become an epic poem?