EPCOT: Experimental Prototype of Tomorrow
Island of Conscious Power in an Ocean of Unconscious Cooperation
i35
Map of a Twin Mind
Selling Air


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EPCOT: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
Mixed-media installation, 10 min, 2021

 

The body of work presented in this exhibition is conceived as the first iteration of an ongoing field research process throughout the community of Playa Bagdad (Tamaulipas, Mex), located a few miles below the US-Mexico border, on the shores of the Mexican Gulf. Up the shoreline—ten miles afar, lays SpaceX's launching facility of Boca Chica (Texas, US), where the space exploration enterprise is already performing the operational tasks needed to accomplish an ambitious agenda, including a forty thousand satellite-constellation floating in the low-Earth orbit aal impact protocols of SpaceX, which deliberately ignores the community'nd the colonization of Mars. Given the nature of its location, Playa Bagdad—a precarious community with an economy reliant on the fishing industry—materializes the complexities inherent in the US-Mexico border industrialization, resulting from international free trade agreements that have chosen remaining blind to the social asymmetries of neoliberal politics. Nowadays, Playa Bagdad embodies a systemic contradiction. On the one hand, the community plays a protagonist role by standing in the front row to witness the mutation of a world economic order, in which space exploration promises the emergence of an economic zone delimited by a new dimension of geopolitical frontiers. On the other, Playa Bagdad is being systematically erased by the opaque and biased environments actual existence.

EPCOT: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow borrows its name from the homonymous Disneyland's recreational park in Florida (US), first named "Progress City" and conceived as a settlement in which there would be pavilions where residents and visitors could learn about things such as technology, the oceans, communication, energy, and space. The works presented in this exhibition are imbued by an association between the latter's subjectivities and the critical condition of Playa Bagdad. This parallelism frames technological advancement as a truncated symbol of progress pervading in late capitalism, as a systemic spectacle in which the mere act of contemplating connotes a hierarchical structure where the audience is predetermined to passivity.

EPCOT: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow alludes to the political irony embedded in the potential fact that Playa Bagdad, a community economically dependent on a biosphere that now is endangered by the environmental impact caused by the detrimental engine noise of SpaceX's spacecraft, is on the verge to become a sighting touristic destination from where to witness the frequent lift offs persuading what once was only thought as fiction: an industrialized outer space. Furthermore, EPCOT: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow proposes a critical ground from where to think about the ambivalence implicit in the industrialization of space mediated through speculative frontiers, supported by colonial narratives in which the other remains invisible.

A mixed-media installation confronts the fragility and uncertainty embedded in Playa Bagdad’s topography to the techno-utopian mysticism characterizing the hyper-tech environments surrounding space expansionism. A modular structure made of reclaimed wood intersects the gallery room, holding a costume-made sound device at one of its peripheral sides. A black box reproduces an algorithmic voice conceived as a programmed consciousness. This metaphorical form of intelligence wonders about the subjectivities shaping a social order in which progress is determined exclusively through technological advancement. It revolves around notions of planetary objectification, knowledge empires, emergent geopolitical abstractions, and the duality intrinsic to the technosphere. The sudden intervention of a community member narrating the experience of living with the sound produced by the frequent lift-offs, opens a conceptual bridge that connects the micro to the macro. This relationship frames the industrialization of space as a subject matter capable of unfolding a dialogue questioning the biased power structures operating down here, on Earth. An array of two 7” monitors are reflected onto the glass panels, activating them as a contemplation mechanism displaying a panoramic moving image of Playa Bagdad’s architecture with a lift-off on the back. The panels also act as a sound output reproducing the actual recording of the sound emitted by the engines of a SpaceX’s aircraft. The vibrance from the low-frequency audio-clip represents in the form of resonance, creating a cathartic moment of fragility that aims at making visible a situation that, paradoxically, remains in silence.

Informed by the ontology of the souvenir, a tapestry made of twenty beach towels sawn together speculates about the potential reconfiguration of Playa Bagdad’s fishing economy, towards one reliant on SpaceX’s sighting tourism. Hoyo Negro suggests a critical connection between the former and the notion of the spectacle, which is constituted by unilateral dynamics between a protagonist and an audience. In this case, the protagonist —SpaceX— is the one who produces and controls those technologies that will enable the emergence of a new economic zone. Meanwhile, the audience is expected to remain in passivity, contemplating the industrialization of space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPCOT: Experimental Prototype of Tomorrow
Island of Conscious Power in an Ocean of Unconscious Cooperation
i35
Map of a Twin Mind
Selling Air


Home
Contact

CV