All posts filed under “Personal Projects

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Capriccio 2014-2019

Since the sixteenth century, the term landscape was often used to depict scenery or inland paintings. After a century the term had subgenres and a landscape could be sometimes fantastic and fictional, the capriccios were born. Photography inherited the compositional rules of painting; therefore, the natural landscape is supposed to reflect its beauty. That concept has conflicted the author and for the past five years, she has been photographing different kinds of landscapes in different parts of the world to create an archive that can be deconstructed and put together based on unconventional compositions that are supposed to be beautiful and fantastic, her capriccios. The photographs have different languages of creation. Some are analogue positives from a lumen print, others are made with an infrared filter, some are digital double exposures and all of them have intense Photoshop work. Proving that enhancing one’s work often reflects on a beauty that does not necessarily come from a device but an intense postproduction process. The colours of the photographs are intense, artificial, as the abilities of photography are tested to tell a beautiful lie.

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ubica-t: una calle para NOSOTRAS (loca-t yourself: a street for women)

This project seeks to rethink and make visible the presence of women within the public, in this case the names of the streets of urban Quito. After an investigation based on printed guides of the city of Quito from the beginning of the millennium, and its updates on web pages and Google Maps, as well as the registration of streets of the Municipality; we check what we feared from the beginning, that women have no visible importance in the urban layout, that there are few names of women who cross each other and that the great streets and avenues are of a masculine character, in many cases and / or of names of male heroes.
What happens if the streets of Quito begin to fade slowly in a process that is destined to disappear? Through the Lumen print (an alternative photographic technique without a camera) we will re-make the maps of Quito, and avoid the fixation of the printed sheet, we will wait for the light to activate the paper and therefore the image will disappear in a time that is not controlled by us. To contrast how much presence of women there are in the streets of this city, we will draw the few streets that bear names of women to make their existence visible, this drawings will be permanent.
The installation consists of 101 lumen sheets that make up the map of the city of Quito, these maps are scanned from the book “Ubica-t: Quito Urban Guide” published by the Metropolitan City Hall of Quito in 2009. Additionally a list is attached – similar to a room sheet – of the women named, with a brief biography.
In the end, what will Quito look like in the future?
This collaborative work was made along with Clio Bravo and chosen by No Lugar Arte Contemporáneo through an open call for an exhibition about women representation and territory called “Narrativas Transitorias” open Nov 6-22. 2019.
More info:

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Object – selfie – machine

What is more important? the technological device, the person or the selfie? This work raises the question when facing the audience to take a selfie as part of an artistic installation, -it is not just any digital self-portrait-, it is the creation of a new visual context – born from the research archives of the different departments of the EPN (Escuela Politécnica Nacional del Ecuador) – in an analog-digital-interactive piece.
Through the use of a deep convitational network and the training of the algorithm with photographs of thousands of people, the program will recognize the person and isolate them from its background; creating a new photograph, a real-time technological collage with the ability to be shared instantly through Instagram @epnselfie
This idea stems from my approach to the selfie as an object of self-significance that goes beyond interactivity with the human being or what he/she can do or understand about it.

Technical description:
The technical challenge of this project was to identify and classify an image in real time (semantic segmentation). The model used is based on the methodology of L. Chen, G Papandreou (2016). This model builds a maximum-hope (EM) estimator from a semi-supervised learning process. It makes use of a deep convolutional network and a set of training data with hand-labeled images.

*This art piece was commissioned for the “Reprogramar la(s) Materia(s), an Art Show part of the celebrations for the 150 years of creation of the EPN, October, 2019.
“Object-selfie-machine” would not have been possible without the support, collaboration and hard work of the following people:

Work team:
Scientific advisor
David Villacis, Doctoral Student in Applied Mathematics

Laboratories that provided the images:
Acoustics Laboratory – Pamela Rivera
Meb Demex – Alicia del Carmen Guevara
Paleontology – José Luis Román

With special thanks to:
Ana María Garzón Mantilla – Curator
Juan Carlos de los Reyes
David Villacis
Carla Manciati
María Fernanda Orquera
Allyson Villamar
Sergio Sarango

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Duo Show in Más Arte Gallery, “Objetos Familiares Atemporales”

Getting involved with something as intimate as an archive of memories has been a time of crisis in my current production; but also an open window to continue with my ongoing research about the object-oriented ontology, which deals with the irreducibility of objects to their relationships; my object being the photographic one. I decided to question my role as a woman, answer certain questions that society has asked me and give an answer without hesitation, which is coded and decoded with each photographic piece proposed. For this reason, the work stays in a fictional space that oscillates between possible narratives and pure abstraction in Chemigrams and Lumen prints.
The transforming act of being subject to become an object when being photographed, gives way to my explorations, looking for abandoned images and linking them between questions and choices that began before my existence.
**This duo show was presented along with Clio Bravo´s show ” Saudade” in Más Arte Gallery. Quito-Ecuador in February 2019.

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This can change

I decided to cross-examine my role as a woman and answer certain questions that society has asked me. Therefore, I give an answer that is encoded and decoded with each proposed photographic piece.

The series consists of lumen prints and their digital alterations after being scanned. The lumen version has not been fixed and this allows the effect of the light to disappear the image; “This can change” refers to my drive as a woman and the life I give to each plant; in any case, I have modified the colours of the digital version, (which will be permanent). I explore a fictional space that oscillates between possible narrations and pure contemplation.

I have used some plants that are known for their harmful and beneficial effects for pregnancy, such as sage and rue are abortive plants and chamomile and mint are pregnancy relievers. I have investigated its effects from various sources, such as oral transmission from mothers to daughters and among local markets and friends.

I constantly play with the meanings and signifiers that the photographic object can infer in those who observe it. This series also deepens into my constant investigation of the object-oriented ontology, which deals with the irreducibility of objects in their relationships; this being the photographic objects such as the flowers that are directly fixated onto the photo paper.

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“To be or…”

This series is about my constant fear of being represented, no matter if this representation is by myself or by others. Is there only me who’s afraid of the click of any camera and the after image that it produces?
My work is about the endless representation of the self that digital media has enabled in the last few years and how this digital self has life on its own and it’s part of a new era where digital and human are becoming one, or simply the digital has its own reign, where the individual wants to be part.
I am in search of my own identity with the help of software manipulation and alternative photographic methods, although I believe this search is only causing a deeper sense of anxiety where I won´t clearly appear. I experiment with my own archetypes yearning for the feminine that fits in any space of representation or an artificial object that resembles this type of exploration. I have become an object waiting to be desired by others and by myself.

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Lumen Artist Residency

During the time of the residency, we wanted to reflect how the landscape transforms and is in constant change and how it lets the invisible for the naked eye be recorded with the photographic camera. We claim that time is a speculation and a social construct that let our eyes be deceived in order to create meaning.
Supported by technological tools such as astronomical apps and the analog camera, we searched for the right spots to see and capture the milky way, star trails and the Polaris star in the Atina sky. We are interested to see how the different time exposures in the camera vary and affect the images, how the same frame changes over time and gives a different meaning to what we see: a new ontological experience with each photograph.
We wanted to create a conversation between the analog and the digital that blend each other in this complicated time where the boundaries of the existence of being are oscillating between those two: the material and the digital world. We use the analog to make an image more permanent, and the digital to use its data and manipulate it.
The final photo for the exhibition in Atina was a composite of 447 shots of 14 seconds each of the Polaris star. We edited the photo and transformed the negatives into 12 Cyanotypes and created a unique frame. These photos were the result of a Fibonacci formula applied for a single day.
*We applied for this artist residency as a duo with Sergio, we are called “Bright, Dark Matter”, for more information:

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Orientation to the object

“Orientation to the object” is a body of photographic work, which investigates the relationship between the object and the machine by analogue-digital collapse, leaving aside the human being. The quest for the object-oriented ontology inspired by Heidegger and coined by Harman radicalizes the work that is involved in an unreal context.
With the use of a photographic scanner to intentionally manipulate the analogue negative, I have found ranges of colours that interrupt the image with objects that are allowed to capture and achieve a reality beyond the anthropocentric understanding, this new meaning does not include a proposal but an upcoming reality.

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“Fragments of the digital self” Artist Residency final show


Media: Digital photography with manual interventions, hologram on device.
Dimensions: photographs: 47 x 30 cm, 59 x 42 cm, 57 x 42 cm, 50 x 50 cm,
hologram: 12 x 10 cm.
Year: 2017

I have investigated the different characteristics of the human being when is online as well as the contemporary condition of the digital narcissus through the creation of a manifesto called “The digital self” as a starting point. Through several experiments over 10 months, I have examined the meanings of each point in the manifesto. This written statement was explored throughout video performances, WhatsApp conversations, a hologram and finally photographic self-portraits.
For the final exhibition, this body of work displays four portraits and a hologram which are a fragmentation of my connected self, just as they represent the universality of the “Post Internet”, tension. The artworks are manually intervened and this is because they are coming into the analogue sphere to inhabit a space beyond the digital.

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“Almas de Montaña” USA Exhibition

“Almas de Montaña” translated in English “souls of the mountain” is a photographic body of work produced by me and Sergio Sarango, my partner and a landscape photographer based in Ecuador. We have been working together for the past three years and joined our separate practices in order to give a narrative to a concern as both artists and people: To confront a disconnection with the natural and the impossibility to reach nature without technological mediation.

“Almas de montaña” portrays the Ecuador of today, the one that has unalterable mountainous landscapes, with people who converse with their gaze, their passage through the world. An Ecuador of beliefs and syncretism, which, in the midst of popular festivals, and normal days, does not allow time to play against it.

This photographic show was exhibited at the Art Gallery of UNAM Chicago. from 1-7 November 2017. 350 W Erie St. Chicago, Il.