The sculptures that comprise Small Data are monumental in spite of their reduced size. Precise differences in the height of each clear sheet generate irregular layers in what looks like a snowy landscape or a crystal city. The scale in which these playful elevations are traced is millimetric and complex, almost reaching neurosis. They are beautiful objects, their fine details and subtle interplay of light and attract the eye. Nonetheless, behind their apparent decorative charm, hides a complex abstraction process in which the artist selected different videos of important historical load: The cloning of Dolly the Sheep, the explosion of the atomic bomb, Muybridge’s studies on movement and the last flight of the Concorde, among others. These videos were decomposed frame by frame into RGB diagrams (which define the color quantity for the three basic colors found in digital images) and each graphic was then transformed into a clear sheet. If, for example, the image of the last landing of the Concorde was 24 frames long, Alejandro would diagram each basic color present in each of the 24 frames, composing a sculpture of 72 singular plastic sheets. The meticulousness of this complex process is what makes these small pieces into works of grand magnitude.
The technological megaliths of Small Data add weight and outline to images as if they froze light rays. Additionally, they continue with the monumental tradition that accompanies telecommunications since their beginning. If in previous times the siting of huge pyramids or the erection of impotent monoliths made the people participant of the narcissism of their governments, it’s probable that television has come to spread our progress fictions in the actual world: from its first emissions covering the 1936 Berlin Olympics or the 1939 New York World’s Fair, humanity has built-in television an altar to its own narcissism. Video transmission of spectacular events, scientific triumphs and political accords enter the collective unconscious and when the screen broadcasts one man walking on the moon, the idea that reaches our heads is that the entire humanity participated in the landing.
Alejandro creates a series of televisual totems for images of alleged victories of humanity. However, his monuments don’t exalt the virtues attributed to these stories. His process merely abstracts the light that composes their registry and sculpts it with scientific rigor. The artist’s interest is not to worship the heroic values given to these documents but to sarcastically imitate their supposed magnificence.
William Contreras Alfonso