2014 - Ongoing
IN THE MOUNTAINS OF UNCERTAINTY
For PHmuseum 2020
Note: Included in these images are the reference graphs that inspired me to make each piece. Each one (camera-less, printed on Silver Gelatin FB b&w photographic paper) is unique, due to the chemical process I employed to make them.
Mountains of Uncertainty
I always liked landscapes, both the natural and the imaginary ones. I walk in the first ones with my body, and with my mind in the latter.
But there are mountains and valleys in which we go through without knowing it. They are unpredictable, unstable and sometimes discouraging. In them we are but data, dots in a fictitious landscape not created by Nature but by human mind’s abstraction.
I reject the language used to show trends, its statistical models and their projections. But even though their materialistic look, I perceive a kind of aesthetic behind the graphs and their changing geometry.
Mountains and mathematical graphs: landscapes similar in shape, but opposite in essence. Behind the ephemeral changes in environmental and social trends lays the serene presence of perennial, undulated mountains that call me to inner peace and reflection.
So, when the heavy weight of technology, speculation and political interests exhausts me, I search and find shelter in my own mountains. I mold and print them like a hermit in the red cavern of my darkroom, as a cave artist would do.
Based in the real, my mountains belong to an imaginary world, an inner space that beats in my hands and in the memory of that hominid ancestor who followed the creative impulse that we today call art.
As far as we know, prophets of the antiquity gained or failed their reputation telling us that the Divine Grace inspired them, receiving revelations to be shared. Mainly, prophecies were alert calls. Today’s prophets say their work is not clairvoyance, nor futurology: science wouldn’t allow them such adventures. Instead, they make their predictions based on past and present data. Their tools are statistical analysis, mathematical models and probability. They call them projections.
I’m a man of his time; in other words: I’m an apocalyptical man.
That doesn’t mean that I follow this or such beliefs, but I have information available.
I can make faith of these projections or not. But I just can’t reject or refuse them: in a way or other, I’ve been told that I have a role to play in my daily life, which could change future events. So do the entire world’s societies, companies, institutions, and nations.
According to these prophets, if things go the way they are expected by their projections, some crucial changes are as probable as unavoidable.
I’m not a prophet: I just take note of these present projections and transform them into handmade ‘graphscapes’.
Time will tell if they materialize in a fold of your memory.
The news talk about global warming. Once again.
You relate it with floods, tsunamis and hurricanes, all them happening in fast destructive events. But at a slower, imperceptible path, ice turns into water making the sea level a bit higher each day, each minute.
At this very moment a glacier is disappearing.
Maybe you notice it, maybe not.
Perhaps the Arctic Sea and its glaciers are far from you now.
You can’t hear the sound of ice turning into water. Can you?
Perhaps for you Melting Point is a physicochemical measurement.
From now on, don’t think of Melting Point, Arctic Sea or Antarctic ice as something beyond your comprehension or beyond your potential to change things for better.
Think of Melting Point as a geographical place.
Think of Melting Point as a presence.
Melting Point has arrived to stay.
Where will you be then?
Roberto Fernández Ibáñez