Himno de las máquinas
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Himno de las máquinas

An anthem prior to this resonated in the Machinery Exhibition of the World Columbian Exposition, in Chicago, in 1893. The early wonders of corporate capitalism that were exhibited included multi-phase power distribution systems, escalators, ferris wheels and oats processed: thus the political sense of the West began to spread in a fractal heterogeneity.

The song that accompanied that dawn of disintegration came from the swarm of engines designed by the Westinghouse company in order to provide electricity to the entire fair. It was President Cleveland himself who activated the system by pressing - of course - a red button during the opening ceremony. The anti-classical energy of the engine room was impossible to tolerate for the visitors, who were running to take refuge in the celestial tekné of the Japanese pavilion, in its ceramic peace and its ponds. In the shadow of a purely modern sensibility, Italian Futurism would propose just a couple of years later its aesthetic mediation about the intolerable; but in Chicago that first anthem of the machines operated as an inducer of neurasthenia and horror.

Hymn and instrument of interpretation become an operational unit also in this sample, an impure unit (or too pure) that is prohibited to human beings. Rodolfo Marqués then rehearses an elliptical fiction that completely despises the dramatic vestiges of human presence after some cataclysm.

The world he builds is one where the need to represent has dissolved and the compulsion to file found its final limit. The machines then resume the suspended course of artistic practices and dare to reproduce them as a kind of joke or as a shy attempt to enter the field of "de-optimization", an experimental will of sensitive self-development that leads them to pose imperfect systems and of temporary miscegenation. That is why the tubes cross the space like sloppy tendons; that is why Romanesque-style winks coexist with a stochastic score and unpredictable sound material; This is why the perspective of each vignette deforms into superimposed optical planes. They are not material remains of humanity after their disappearance but imitations of the remains;

As for non-fiction - what makes the object specific - if our present indicates that there is no dialectic between technical and social relations, and that society dissolves into a technological fabric at the same time as machines are deterritorialize on the ruins of society, Marquis seems to have some more hope. It returns anachronistic - even reduces - the aspect of technology precisely to separate it from the continuous experience of life. It shows how things are done, with what little. Under his direction, the tool is a means recaptured by human will and is refunctionalized as a utopian element, or acts as an externalization of the political need of a new paradigm.

The techno-commercial systems belong to the region of horror and exist in a superior state of amorphousness, without an inherent formal trajectory, where they also become one with the abstract of capital. In that same sense, the "machines" that under the mantle of this exhibition fiction composed a hymn for themselves, also exist as an invisible catastrophic potential. Some are real and the others are not, but Marquis seems to wonder to what extent the human hand, wielding his worn hammer, can bring both worlds together. How to modulate, through an operation that could be called sublime materialism, the infernal furnace of reality.

Himno de las máquinas

  • waldengallery's Exhibitions 5