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BNRW-01 Juanli Carrion

Building the Neverending Ruin of the World

General view at ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz    
Photography, netart, performance and installation    
2011-2012    
   
   

BNRW-02 Juanli Carrion

Building the Neverending Ruin of the World

General view at ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz    
Photografphy, netart, performance and installation    
2011-2012    
   
   

BNRW-03 Juanli Carrion

Basilica

Installation: Vynil, flash drives and wood    
2012    
   
   
   

BNRW-04 Juanli Carrion

Building the Neverending Ruin of the World

General view at ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz    
Photography, netart, performance and installation    
2011-2012    
   
   

BNRW-05 Juanli Carrion

Building the Neverending Ruin of the World

Detail view at ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz    
Photography, netart, performance and installation    
2011-2012    
   
   

BNRW-06 Juanli Carrion

Building the Neverending Ruin of the World

General view at Abrons Arts Center, New York    
Photography, netart, performance and installation    
2011-2012    
   
   

BNRW-07 Juanli Carrion

Building the Neverending Ruin of the World

Detail view at at Abrons Arts Center, New York    
Monitors connecting with Juanli’s Computer and ARTIUM    
2011-2012    
   
   

BNRW-01 Juanli Carrion

“Ruin” New York 04-11-2011

C-PRINT on Dibon 200x150cm    
Made of images downloaded from Google Images    
2011    
   
   

BNRW-09 Juanli Carrion

“Ruin” Vitoria 14-12-2011

C-PRINT on Dibon 200x150cm    
Made of images downloaded from Google Images    
2011    
   
   

BNRW-10 Juanli Carrion

RUINA Serie

6-C-PRINT on Dibon 200x150cm    
Made of images downloaded from Google Images    
2011    
   
   

2011 - 2012

Building the Neverending Ruin of the World

Building the Neverending Ruin of the World uses the image as a means to explore the idea of memory in the virtual world by analysing the new systems that generate it in that ‘invisible’ space that is gradually taking over the space of the contemporary social sphere.

The project originated from Victor Burgin’s essay “Sonnen-Insulaner: On a Berlin Island of Memory” in the book Memory Culture and the Contemporary City, in which a number of writers consider the theme of urban memory and the way that a memory culture is being constructed in and by the contemporary city based on its architecture, art and monuments. Burgin takes as his starting point Didi-Huberman’s analysis of Roland Barthes’ theory on the ability of the photograph to keep something alive and goes on to draw a distinction between the concepts of imago (image) and vestigium (vestige, trace, ruin) as a way to explain how the world bears the mark of a loss. He later cites the American painter Jasper Johns’ desire to produce an object that speaks of the loss, destruction and disappearance of objects. Burgin sees this object as being the photograph, which, as an image, is the trace of an earlier state of the world, a vestige of how things once were. He goes on to conclude that the sum of all photographs is the ruin of the world.

The project turns his attention to the concept of ubiquity and seeks to give material expression to the invisible space or the virtual space through two locations: Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain and New York in the United States. He begins by searching on Google for images that portray the word ‘ruin’ in these two places: Hondamen in Basque, Ruin in English and Ruina in Spanish.

As the basis of the process, the artist put together a collection of images that the Google search engine allows us to view. He then use these images to give material form to one of the possible ‘ruins’ of the world, which he construct based on the images found.

Juanli Carrión was in the ARTIUM exhibition space throughout the entire duration of the project, sometimes in person and on other occasions as a virtual presence through the live broadcast of the artist making the project at the Abrons Arts Center in New York. Using the Google images, the artist will gradually ‘construct’ in both venues a series of photographs and a sculpture that will give rise to a project that combines performance, net-art, audiovisual elements, photography and sculpture.
In this manner, the project deal with the theme of memory in the virtual world, as well as the changing concept of recollection.

Building the Neverending Ruin of the World talks about the concept of recollection that is changing as a consequence of the virtual era, of the organisation and subjugation of the power to which the image is still subject in cyberspace through language, location and even politics. In addition, the virtual experience is frequently reduced to the image and it is on this that the project focuses.

Today Google is the window through which more than 70% of Internet users worldwide begin their search for information on the Web (according to market research carried out by Google itself, the figures are USA: 81%; Great Britain: 90%; Australia: 93%; France: 90%; Germany: 92%; and Spain: 93%).

The project tells us about how it is the giant Google and its famous search algorithm that today determine the collective imaginary. An algorithm created for a useful and practical purpose when it comes to gathering information but which, with the passing of time, has become contaminated by other, mainly commercial, interests, the goal being, so Google says, to offer users higher quality hits. However, this directly affects non-commercial users of the search engine and the way in which memory works within it.

The Web is obviously becoming less and less the ‘public realm’ of its early days and is proving unable to fulfil its promise as a truly open place where individuals and collectives would find a forum for free expression that would turn the virtual world into a milieu de mémoire. The materialisation of our recollections is fading in a virtual locus that it would perhaps be more appropriate to call the non-lieu de mémoire. An undoubtedly far more environmentally-friendly system that will update itself after our disappearance and overwrite us.

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© 2012