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Marginalia

Carlos Bonil

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01.05.2015

MARGINALIA #3

April 1, 2015 – April 30, 2015

Every month Marginalia invites an artist, curator or project to provide a series of images that will serve as the background of Terremoto, in relation to their practice and current interests. At the end of each month, the identity of our guest is revealed and the whole series of images is unveiled.

Objects provide satisfaction, joy, sadness, many times anguish. They facilitate and complicate life. While they are brand new, all is perfect. Every gear in its place; comfort, security, speed, performance, ergonomics, precision, stability. But time passes by and once this condition is over, the object is tossed, its original purpose is lost. Hardly anyone wants to do something about it, and many people don’t even consider it. Many times the object is broken (and in that case, what I try to do is find a new function for it), but in general, they remain in good condition and are upgraded due to the psychological pressure imposed by advertising.

The programmed obsolescence says that we must buy another computer, and soon. Sweeping under the rug. It’s more or less what happens every time a shipment of old computers is sent to Africa. The problem is that this rug under which the West is sweeping its ecological carelessness is in fact a garbage dump  that millions of people and animals call home. It is difficult to save the human from himself.

As technology moves forward in gigantic steps and becomes unbearable, one must find refuge. The longing for past times might be a good place. There is no reason not to play ATARI again, nor to be passive in front of the device.

For someone who builds new objects out of disuse, it is absurd to think that technology looses validity. There is no superior or inferior technology, before or after. A knife is as useful as a computer, and even surpasses it.

And let’s not even talk about rocks! They make and unmake themselves through time; they compact themselves, cook themselves, grow into polygonal shapes and have magnetic and electric properties.

Shape and material make the object; according to how hard or soft, coarse or smooth, twisted or straight, one can decipher its use. And what happens when that object becomes a work of art? Even if it’s not measurable, visible or evident, its use is suggested by the author, but decided by the spectator or interlocutor.

And the truth is, art, in some cases, is useless.

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