How Solimàn López Cortez creates new thinking space through art
Happyplaces Stories (video)
After his talk ‘The Sky’s the Limit when art and science enter the crypto space’ at the handsome MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology), Solimán shared how he creates space. Here, he shared his reflection on the topic on the rooftop of the museum, where they had just installed a small piece of equipment for his upcoming project, ‘Celeste’. That project offers the audiovisual experience of a new digital space that unites and coordinates the space of the non-border through the union of colour information from different skies in different parts of the world. On the occasion of this project, Solimán debated with Michael Benson (artist, writer, and filmmaker) and Pauline Foessel (curator, Artpool founder and CEO). In a hybrid talk, the two creative practitioners unpacked how it is to work at the intersection of art and science and discussed how NFT technology boosts artistic creativity.
Solimán López (Spain, 1981) is a contemporary artist who specialises in art, science, sociology, and technology. Founder of the Harddiskmuseum, OLEA bio cryptocurrency, and Innovation director at ESAT. His artistic practice includes work with artificial intelligence, biotechnology and DNA, electronics, interactivity, and 3D. His work has been exhibited internationally at events, art centres and museums including OI Futuro — Biennial of Digital Art in Brazil, ZKM Karlsruhe (Germany), the Chronus Art Center (Shanghai), Centre Pompidou (France), Hermitage Saint Petersburg (Russia), Art Centre Nabi-ISEA19 (South Korea), Ars Santa Monica (Spain), Biennale Nemo Paris (France), Nuit Blanche Paris (France), CAC Málaga (Spain), CCCC Valencia (Spain), CAB Burgos (Spain), CEART Fuenlabrada (Spain), Es Baluard Mallorca (Spain), Cigarreras Alicante (Spain), IVAM Valencia (Spain), MACBA Buenos Aires, Parque Explora Medellín (Colombia), Museo, Exploratorio Bogotá (Colombia), CODAME Festival (Los Angeles), Ukrainian Digital Art Biennial, Sonar Plus, among others.
This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.
New thinking space
I think that the notion of ‘space’ is very interesting. In my case, I can approach this notion from different angles. In my practice, I create a certain thinking space around my projects. I’m very concerned about the digital revolution, how society is changing thanks to the new technology, and how we now envision the future and the present. Thanks to the artworks I have been presenting for 20 years, I have created a new thinking space, connecting technology, blockchain technologies, and the common space to share ideas around what it means to the tangible and intangible and what it means to the analogue and the digital. It is not my first purpose, but I think finally, within that, something like ‘natural’ is going to happen. That’s why I create my own space of thinking. I’m happy to be conscious of that in real time. At the same time, I’m creating my own space, my own path in this world. Day by day, I’m shaping my world by analysing it, by challenging myself to go beyond the limits.
I’m creating my own space, my own path in this world. Day by day, I’m shaping my world by analysing it, by challenging myself to go beyond the limits.
We’re here on the roof of MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon. Behind me, you can find one of the pieces of my project ‘Celeste’. I create some nodes in cities worldwide with beacons that take pictures from the sky in real-time. The collection of images is saved to a server, and a new image is created from that. Connecting those cities and the images of the sky to a shared digital sky. A new space. This new sky is built through technology and questions and challenges what the new frontier is. It questions the uselessness of frontiers and how today, it is useless to talk about frontiers. I think, when humankind understands this notion of having no frontiers, we then, maybe in the next couple of years, could also question war. What is currently happening in Ukraine is because of frontiers, and we do not understand that we live in one shared space as humankind.