NADA Miami 2023

Día Muñoz
The Struggle of being a God

The invention of the compound microscope at the end of the 16th century made possible the discovery of a universe invisible to the human eye: unicellular organisms of infinite shapes and sizes living among us. The analysis of those tiny beings put an end to an era of speculation, of spontaneous appearances, and gave way to the development of multiple scientific branches with medical applications. The observation and analysis of the scientific method became the starting point of all knowledge and what we consider to be true, a new God that dispels superstitions and supplants them with certainties.

Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, and currently based in Madrid, Spain, Día Muñoz is interested in the intersections of art and biotechnology. In the medium of sculpture, video and performance, Muñoz creates fictitious entities and artifacts that reflect on the disconnection between our bodies and their essential needs in contemporary capitalist-technocratic societies.

Such works take the form of bacteria that operate as alchemical reactors that take waste to create vital elements: light, water and oxygen. Combining materials such as borosilicate glass, silver and neon, this group of sculptures follows Muñoz’s project which investigates how genetically modified microorganisms will help humans find other forms of energy in the near future when fossil fuels have run out.

With this work, Muñoz speculates on a tomorrow where technological advances will allow us to domesticate biology to the extent that we will coexist with and depend on this type of mutated creatures, a scenario that could enable democratic access to inexhaustible resources. In this way, the artist raises ethical questions involved in the alteration of microorganisms for our benefit and the parasitic relationships we maintain with other species. The title of the exhibition, “The struggle of being a God”, alludes to the creative act as well as to the ability of researchers to transform living matter. It is in this microscopic universe, still incomprehensible and uncontainable, that we place our faith of salvation.

- Fabiola Talavera