Visual artist

The World Is not There

I’ve beginning to work in a series of photographs intended to feed a Processing software that I should write this season. I will publish the pictures in this Pinterest album and if the results are minimally appealing I will publish the algorithmic works in my web later under the title name: The World Is not There.

Follow Paco’s board The World Is not There (working images) on Pinterest.

I would like to think that the software will handle the pictures the way the old Ramon Llull invention: a cybernetic construction from the XIII century able to convert muslims and jews into christians. A machine thought to give all the explanations. I’m not that ambitious. My machine pretends to characterise any given pictures randomly. This random process deforms or tint minimally the picture. My pictures try to catch some relationship with the world but they fail. Now that the project is started I feel that my aim is simply focusing from style to simply choice. What can be added to them by the machine? You wait and see.
The World Is not There 16

The World Is not There #16

Voluntary workers

Floats above the whole project the idea of ​​avant-garde movements as volunteer workers
for a better world.
The base of the installation consists of an ordered series of large drawings of objects and buildings. Those forms reminds me the modern movement: Soviet blocks, manufactured objects, minimalist rows and mass accumulations.  They point out a number of critical associations that maybe can be read as a commentary on Robert Venturi in his studies on urban development of Las Vegas: Learning from Las Vegas.  b_co_co_tenants_11w

There graphite technique of some drawings creates images impossible to photograph. They have to be observed directly (as if it were a daguerreotype … or an all back picture by Ad Reinhardt ) .
The second important element , the photographs , reproduces abstract elements of the world around us : blocks, structures … subconscious remnants of the degradation of the world. Abstract forms of constructivism, Bauhaus … all with a taste totalitarian brutality. The photographs have been manipulated slightly to look even more abstract .
A third element consists of a ball pen installation called: “Voluntary Slaves”.


Drawing with code

Defining an art style, what a gentle business for an artist. In recent years I’ve been creating images in a certain way… whenever I was near to understand what I was doing I just get bored with the subject. Then I thought that it would be kind of interesting if I could explain those art patterns, that we artists develop, to a computer. Is it possible to design anything with algorithms? If not now… in the future?.

The software could be feed with a database of images and variables that explains a (limited) style (colors, lines, relations and so on) and be programmed to create automatically the works of art mostly based in a certain random.

I started writing that program with a very simplistic software that I used with my daughter: Scratch (we designed together a very simple video game). Then I learnt some javascript to make it better.

This is a sample of the code that I wrote

This is a sample of the code that I wrote

The program creates (just with a click!) the relations between the polygons, the colors and also picks up the pictures used in the drawings. The collages created are printed automatically. The software can print trillions of them without repetitions (one per second with my iMac). I could implement the variations but I think that I made my point. What you see here are the first 13 collages. I didn’t make more because otherwise I should choose the better ones (something human by now… because of my poor coding).

I used extremely large porno pictures because the drawings are also related to the much needed desire (or desired need) of good rendering in our society…and I feel that I have already said too much.

Here you can see also some of the first real collages that I used as references initally for this project.

Working per hour. The Emptied Actual project

Those are really collages although I didn’t make any cut-outs at all. They also follow the style of classical painting, because I have spent hours editing them on Photoshop. The invested time is important and I kept track of the hours of work (between 3 and 20 hours each!). I used different kind of found photography: trendy magazines, porn, cars, cheap material… you name it.

On the left a detail of the original image. On the right the image after the intervention

On the left a detail of the original image. On the right the image after the intervention

I had to descreen them and it gave them a kind of softness and age (don’t try to see that in these miniatures on your monitor!).

The final image

The final image

Finally I tried to erased the motive subject in the picture: people, cars… I consider these pictures an exercise in contemporary composition. How do we arrive to this? What do we see when the main subject is gone?. Are they formal art?. How do we perceive?. What does working mean?…but let all that crap wait for the critics.b_actual_12

On slavery


A drawing by David Shrigley

I’ve become more and more interested in the way I am enslaved by any serialized project, by a derivative idea that manipulates me in order to complete itself. It makes me think of myself as merely a colony of isolated members, where there is no real ‘me’ but an illusion of ‘me’. Do I really have a need of using those cultural vehicles? Is it just a way of delayed neurosis? Has it something to do with prestige? Maybe a narcotic? Well… I think that the methodology of working with series has something to do with a kind of parasite slavery, and maybe a way to escape from this situation is studying a subject until you could explain it to an alien intelligence (or better, to a machine: in some years time you could do that, that’s for sure). At this point, not being a person interested in accumulation or even authorship, I’d rather jump to another subject in the chain of evolutionary nonsense.

The "Technocrat" installation by Atelier Van Lieshout

The “Technocrat” installation by Atelier Van Lieshout

Perhaps I should do something more specific about this idea…

Walk before me

The Singularity project.

I guess scientists use the term singularity in situations where the known laws of the universe don’t explain a particular phenomena. It happens that there are pictures I’ve made for some reason, but I don’t know how to situate or explain. After some time in the basket, placed together in a certain context they acquire the value of a solid hypothesis. Well, it’s not the case, but you probably have now your own idea about the ‘Singularity’’ series. Just tell me! We know for certain that they are balanced compositions, shot in a cloudy day (most of them) and little else. They don’t have a precise structure nor a similar theme and initially, I erroneously tried to force the meaning of it all by placing a divine hand in every shot, trying to make an easy point. I did also a lot of pictures of reflections trying to combine two shots: the singularity shot itself and the reflection… before coming back to the original idea. Every time I add (or delete) a new picture the project evolves smoothly in a new direction.


A Christian interpretation could stand that every vulgar object in the world has its own holiness, that you can see the magnificence and at the same time the impossibility of the creation in the common and unaesthetic. The Hasidic teachings point out the sentence in The Book of Genesis, “Walk before me” , meaning that men shall be free choosing their way and that there is no previous guidance or interpretation for a lecture of life.


Narrativity as a degenerate process

Working unsystematically with portraits I realized that I have been loading everything with so much seriousness… What was missed in those images but fun itself? An over-rational thinking detach my objects from  the crazy stuff I used in merrier times. This ‘Accidents’ installation works as straight portraits of friends of mine as impersonators. It’s also a reflection on the internal laws of fiction and history, where the derivation of a narrated story becomes a mystifying lie, passing trough a degenerative process. Suddenly, you can place together the Hulk and Vincent van Gogh, a beheaded St. Therese, Billie Holiday and Wittgenstein, all alive and deformed as modern heroes. It looks like the misleading formative years of a generation of nearly illiterate folks, fed with mashed up information that needs to be erased at the same moment of reception, can make any historic character appealing enough for media exploitation. Anyway, this pop sandwich has become a powerful motor of narration and meaning from Neolithic times: you just juxtapose things with little or no intervention at all. These popular figures of history need to be seen today as contemporary heroes and also represented in a dramatic show in order to be understood.


The whole affair is meant to be seen as a big installation, where there will be ink drawings of the desolate place where a violent and improbable action has taken place, or where a possible philosophical confrontation has degenerated into a furious battle. You can get an idea about this project by observing the picture, or you can wait to see the proper work done (but… when?).