In "Retconned", Luis Enrique Zela-Koort recombines economic, biological and industrial flow charts of contemporary society in order to map the flows of modern desire there where it becomes flesh, and also machine. But in the process of depicting these flows, there is also a promise: to liberate desire itself, of intervening in its flows, of offering a different future (and present).
Zela-Koort’s use of artificial intelligence algorithms, which recombine and produce new cartographies from economic diagrams already circulating in magazines and then transferred to the canvas and frame of the piece, offers a place to think creatively about the idea of the “economic unconscious”: all those images that construct the way we see and think about economic, industrial, energy and governmental processes today (and which are already collected by infinite algorithms at work on the web).
Moreover, in his work, Zela-Koort intuits well that even in their abstraction, these processes never exist in isolation from the individual or social body: the flows of capital become flesh, they exist corporeally. The underlying question is the representation of the fleshiness among us, the body that capital both produces and occludes. Hence the step of producing cartographies that account for these contemporary flows also involves the inclusion of diagrams and organic, anatomical forms.
Thus it is that the artist can allow himself to work, whether in paintings or sculptures, with forms that refer to the bodily repositories of desire: anus, sphincter, phallus, organic excrement, glands. Despite their materiality, which refers to the industrial, there is room to represent the wetness of the capitals.
But that which wets, that which moistens, is also that which leaks, which spills. After the attempt to map the flows of contemporary capital, and its embodied points of desire, the promise is to leak out of these same flows. A possibility of leakage - that is to say, of destabilisation, of liberating desire, of desire once again taking hold of its own flow, outside the imaginary mandates of capital.
We could call this exercise hyperstition: that, by virtue of fiction itself, of showing how things also are and could be, reality is altered, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, an exercise in retrocontinuity.
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