Speculating the Fragmented Copy

Juan Covelli / Bogotá, Colombia — Mrz 28, 2018

Juan Covelli, »Speculating the Fragmented Copy«, Ghosted, 2018

I am interested in the relationship between 3D scanning, heritage, archeology, and the copy vs. the original, and their interaction with digital colonialism. Advancements in technology have given rise to new ways of understanding the physicality of »things«; the rise of the 3D scanner as a tool to produce digital reproductions of objects with incredible fidelity has allowed us to encounter a new understanding of materiality. Western technology companies have turned their scanners toward archeological heritage, thus claiming to be the saviors and preservers of history. The issue is that in most cases this information is kept out of public reach, and therefore one could say that these practices are digital colonialism. This era opens up a space for generating new artistic productions within a broken and schizophrenic present, allowing me to speculate about matter and its digital destiny.

For this residency, I will work with 15 3D scans of Mesoamerican archaeological artifacts that I captured last year in Mexico. The scans would be reconfigured and reshaped, not as an iconoclastic act but as a way of liberating the object from its historical »baggage.« Alongside this web-based artwork, there will be an archive of the models that people can download, as a way of democratizing the object. The resulting models will be »the same but different« as they do not share the material or functional qualities of the original artifacts, and are removed from their culture of origin and historical trajectories.

Juan Covelli

Juan Covelli is an artist living and working in London. His work has focused on new materialities generated by the digital era, focusing, in particular, on the dynamics and approaches of the physical within the digital world. In his execution, he employs photography, video, 3D printing, coding, and data streaming, where data manipulation of the image is used to produce installation-based works, where digital and material collide. Recent shows include Nexicuitilamalt (2017) at ADM Galeria (Mexico City), Conecitng Columms (2017) Kochi Muzhiris Biennale (Kochi, India) Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2016).

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