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MANIFEST. The Digital Image, Part 2. 2006

The Digital Image, Part 2

Technology had been to me an essential ally during 17 years, since my first photomontage works (1976) until the last ones I did (c. 1993), but always in the fields of printing and copy production—my hands had physically taken part in the process at the intermediate stage of creation (as Heartfield, Renau or Hamilton had done before), and forensic evidence of it was left in the form of fingerprints and pieces of skin or hairs glued to papers, cut and pasted in successive layers.

In 1987 I create my first computer images devoid of any physical support whatsoever. The technology I used sounds today primitive and strangely named: Targa System and Tips Software. The outcome: 4 TV-textured images extracted from 4 conversations “captured” between artists (Velázquez y Caravaggio) (Alma Tadena y Poussin) (Tamara de Lempika y Rafael Sanzio) (Holbbein y Elsheimer).

In 1991 I produce my first image in a Macintosh computer with Adobe Photoshop 1.0. The image that would call up the memory of New Year in Madrid results from the hybridation of widely varied elements.

Photography of the Crab Nebula. M.1 (NGC, 1952), Monte Palomar. Christmas-themed front cover for the December 1954 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.

Painting by Mike Pangracio of the surface of the planet Dagobah. Lucasfilm LTD, 1980.

Lastly, the painting Gran Vía by master Antonio López, who not only does not at all object my manipulation but even supplies himself a 9 x 12 authorised copy of his work.

All along the following 15 years I would explore this wonderful computer tool from Adobe, the “third way”: the approach to the reading and restoring of art images from the past, since the Neolithic period until current times — see, from those years, editorial’s y mercadería’s-.

Nowadays, as Hausmann predicted during the 1930s, the “photomontage” can only serve advertising or political ends.

The irruption of Photoshop software has resulted in the success of the “advertised” success of the semantic metalanguage that, through Hans Holländer’s “combinatorial art” formula ... reminds of the “Ars Combinatoria” of Ramón Llull, the Catalan medieval philosopher who was so appreciated by Leibniz and whose value has been thoroughly reinstated by the modern symbolic logic.

In January 2006, my new Mac iBook G4 loaded with Photoshop CS2 (9.0), I start again from scratch trying to view the words and characters that Columbus wrote in his logbook between August 5th, 1492 and March 15th, 1493.

These 10 works have remained unpublished until today.

After the summer (the current times do not favour the Dadaist binary thesis) I give up the Historicist third way and I embark upon the creation of images with intimately political intentions — in the following room (Sept/Oct 2006) you can visualize, solely through the Internet, what I do mean by this.

PROLOGUE PRONOUNCED TO THE KINGS

My Lords, in the present year ad 1492, as your Highness have finally brought the war on the Moors to an end...

THURSDAY AUGUST 9th

They saw fire being shot into the sky from the island of Tenerife, which is most high...

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15th

And early that night they saw a wonderful bunch of fire falling from the skies upon the sea.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 21st

At dawn they found so much grass that the sea seemed curdled in it, and it came from the West.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 5th

The air very sweet and temperate, no grass, plentiful flying fish fell on the ship.

 
FRIDAY OCTOBER 12th

Then they saw naked people and the Admiral went to the shore in an armed boat and...


TUESDAY OCTOBER 30th

To the Admiral’s judgement, it was 42 degrees off the equinoctial line, and we had to work to reach the Grand Khan, or the city of Cathay.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 4th

He learned that in far-off lands there were one-eyed men...

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 4th

... and other people who were man-eaters and had dog snouts, and who slit the throat of those captives they took...

SUNDAY JANUARY 6th

And in the mines at Hispaniola Island, gold nuggets were to be found like grains of wheat