Ecografía (no tocar, por favor)

Julio Adán

8 July 2011

Variable dimensions

Electric guitar, electric bass, drums, electric piano, amplifyers, cameras, projectors, engines, sensors, papel, graphite dust and cables. Variable dimensions

Courtesy of the artist

The 20th century engineer and art historian Sigfried Giedion defended the use of mechanics in art because he believed it was part of the natural relationship between artists and their times. By subverting the use of musical instruments, subject to a pattern of repetition/improvisation, Julio Adán (Madrid, 1977) shows that movement is a metaphor for historic change and technical progress. Julio Adán’s work revolves around the methods, solutions and modes of artistic labour – an activity that has no fixed method. Sometimes an idea can culminate in an image, while at other times it can generate a new point of departure within the working process.
The relationship between the artwork and the spectator is important, because the spectator completes or transforms the work through his contemplation and interpretation, and also through his interaction with it.
One of Julio Adán’s current lines of research is sound machines that can be used for drawing with magnetic dust, in which the process and the results are equally random, arising from deliberately controlled chance.
The installation presented in this exhibition is interactive and sound-based, and the motors and sensors are activated by the presence of visitors. “I’m interested in processes of creation, as part of the exhibition side of artworks, in mixing up concepts that are usually clearly defined and kept apart, such as author-spectator, process-result, workshop-gallery. For this reason, I use objects from everyday life or from my workshop, which lead to new readings that are always linked to the traditional languages of the visual arts, or I use word play in my artworks.”
Julian Adán reinterprets the classical Renaissance parameters of harmony and invention, in the proportions that they are used to make drawings, through devices based on mechanical systems. Tinguely used machines to make drawings, and was just one of the many artists who have been interested in designing a controlled function that can generate random images. Julio Adán mixes this with the use of musical instruments and automata, following in a long tradition based on research into programming chance and unpredictability.