MAISTERRAVALBUENA is pleased to present the second solo show by Regina de Miguel at the gallery. In this occasion, the complete project Nouvelle Science Vague Fiction can be seen for the first time.
The conception of Nouvelle Science Vague Fiction is that of a space thought to make connections between analytical situations and scientific perception (verisimilitude scales), non-experimental learning derived from technological imagination (surprising and projection) levels of formation and ideal and critical consciousness (new ways of guidance).
It is structured as a two-channel video, two series of photographs, objects and one slide show.
The work consists of a two-channel video. The left channel displays a stratigraphic tour departing from the Cerknica Lake in Slovenia and the caves lying underneath. This place is considered a very interesting natural phenomenon: the water level never stays the same, appearing and disappearing throughout the year (a simple comparison could be established between this natural event and the definition of “interface”: a screen making something appear supposedly from nothing), and ending in the ASTRON antenna, the Dutch Radio Astronomy Institute, where scientists study objects so far away that cannot be totally reached but by sound waves.
This accompanies, though not in a synchronic way, a second 3D animation channel showing a repository of scientific images, displaying different sceneries of the “Solaris” spaceship, which in turn, as Stanislaw Lem put it in his novel, turns out to be a virtual representation of Science itself, made up of fragments and entities in no apparent order.
A voice offstage in the position of a “super observer” guides us along different ends of the world. With a markedly objective tone, it starts with some familiar apocalyptic prophecies and ends up, somehow ironically, talking about the role of the audience and the meaning of those events and images that we will never be able to behold.
The soundtrack is a pattern made up from the reception of a black hole sound (Sagittarius A) placed in the middle of the Milky Way.
AN EFFECT OF VERISIMILITUDE:
The photographs displayed here come out from one of the working stages of this project that took place near Westerbork, Holland. Here, close to a Second World War refugees’ camp, lays ASTRON, the Dutch Radio Astronomy Institute, which deals with the study of radio waves given out by heavenly bodies. The radio telescope of Dwingeloo was used to realize An effect of verisimilitude.
This is a one-plate radio of 25m in diameter. Its construction started in 1954 and finished in 1956. At that moment, it was the biggest radio telescope in the world. The Dwingeloo meant a quantum leap to the solution of the galaxy structure mysteries, the movements of the interstellar material of our galaxy and nearby galaxies, as long as the galactic magnetic fields.
Thanks to the collaboration of Jonathan Saldanha (musician and artist living in Oporto) who accompanied Regina de Miguel in this trip, Paul Bowen, one of the technicians of the Institute, and the rest of voluntary scientists, the 20th November the Dwingeloo antenna was switched on and several experiments were carried out aiming different galactic objectives until they all finally focused in the reception of waves coming from Sagittarius A, a massive black hole situated in the middle of the Milky Way.
Afterwards, the artist thought of bringing an objectual dimension to the recording of the action and the sound work, making a 12 inch (30 cm) vinyl disc.
One of the immediate referents when conceiving this work was the golden record loaded into the Voyager spacecrafts, a gramophone disc on board the spaceships launched in 1977 that will take 75.500 years to reach the closest star to our solar system. It was designed to make the peculiarities of our planet known to any possible form of intelligent alien life.
The recording of the sound of the Sagittarius A black hole into a vinyl is the result of an inverted process where an area of the invisible and unreachable outer space becomes visible and shapes into a hybrid and fictional object. The rotating disc will move the way a black hole moves in a massive destruction process, giving out the same wave radiation sound.
Later, the vinyl disc was analyzed using a scanning electron microscope in the Department of Electronic Microscopy of the Universidad Politécnica de Barcelona. After this study, a series of photographs of the recorded surface were taken, enlarging the image a thousand times the real size.
This microscope uses an electron beam instead of light to form an image. The light is replaced by an electron beam, the lenses by electromagnets, and the samples are made conductive by metallizing its surface.
The resulting pictures of the enlargement revealed an uncertain landscape formed by mountain ranges, summits and desert arid surfaces, not far from the images of the moon and other planets which astronomical photography has supplied us with.
These microphotographs come along with several library pictures showing air views of archaeological sites in different places of the world.
The sound of a black hole that we can catch today comes from a very far away past time, from the origin of all the System. The reconstruction of this landscape from just a few data captures a place and a time in which we did not exist, the same way an archaeologist reconstructs an unknown age by means of slight signs.
The pictures and the slide show that make up El Orden derive from the work process followed to elaborate the film.
El Orden focuses on the Solaristic, a science imagined by Stanislaw Lem, who, as Borges did, makes reviews of nonexistent and imaginary books, filling a complete library with all possible approaches to the study of this unknown planet. The theories gather the development, the end and the paralysis of all different lines of scientific research, creating a virtual representation of science and knowledge.
The printed images show virtual recreations of the spaceship in Tarkovsky’s film, in an environment suggesting its IT nature, while showing its 3D construction process. It consists of a stage (quite close to contemporary science fiction) that, even under construction, looks semi-abandoned, in ruins, furnished and decorated with elements from different times. It rather looks like a warehouse or a museum of entities and apparitions covering several time periods in a messy way and without an apparent criterion.
These virtual objects mingle with science fiction novel excerpts, scientific texts, encyclopedic definitions or press articles, as well as digitalized clippings of science books found in libraries and second hand markets in several cities of the soviet bloc, proposing a narrative that draws a line about ideological presence in the idea of progress. This mixing and fragmentation are produced in an attempt of showing separately the notion of knowledge and that of a conception of truth and faithfulness inherent to it, resulting in an “unarchaeological” space from which we can question the idea of uninterrupted historic-scientific progress.