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Wandering Echoes
Handbook of Operative Losses

2020 - 2022


"the attempt is a process"
(Deligny, 2007: 706)


"On parle de rituel pour ces gestes-là. Cést un abus de mots, c'est un abus de termes. Il y a tout simplement un quiproquo dans le fait que nous, parlants, nous reprenons des gestes de cet ordre et nous leur donnons une dimension rituelle parce qu'ils ont une signification symbolique. Mais cela ne veut pas dire du tout que, venant d'eux, ces gestes-là soient des rituels. Ça ne prend force de rituel que dans la mesure où il y a rite, et le rite est social ; il est dans l'air du temps. Cesont les rites qui héritent des gestes innés, et ce n'est pas par hasard que l'on retrouve les gestes de Janmari (balancements, danse) dans des rituels formalisés comme la messe. Si ça résonne tellement en nous, si ça persiste même par-delà le rite, c'est que ça a un écho dans l'inné de chacun."

(D, 2007: 707).

Un eco innato en cada uno, en la disposición de piedras sobre la playa, en el trazamiento que se despliega en el instante de un gesto para su connotado desaparecimiento. La in(s)t(it)u-i-ción de un proceso, de un caminamiento, que se diluye, y en tanto que tal esquiva a la institucionalidad de su procedimiento.

Este desaparecimiento innato, intuitivo, que traza, que toca al mundo, en ese relacionamiento con-stitutivo, en el que no hay sujeto que traza ni sujeto que se traza, aquello queda para lo ritual, su necesidad social, sino un trazamiento que diluye la disposición de una intención, incluída la misma, de las piedras o la mano, o la de la arena y el mar detrás.

Como lo que traza Juan Luis Martínez sobre el nombre en la portada de la Nueva Novela, o la llaga en la mejilla de Raúl Zurita, o los ojos vendados de Lumír Hladík, o las mejillas abultadas de Adrien Piper.


In 2020 I was starting an artistic research residency in the city of Helsinki, thanks to a grant from the Saastamonien Foundation. This grant consisted of three months of research. For this, I would extend my own postdoctoral studies on the figure of Fernand Deligny. However, in March 2020 the Covid pandemic started and the rapid closure of State borders pushed me to return to Barcelona with my family. 
Three months of mandatory confinement left us without the possibility to continue our projects. The cultural sector worldwide was brutally hit. 
It was then that another Finnish foundation opened an emergency call to support artists. I got the Kone Foundation and was able to continue working. However, circumstances bent theories, and in those first months of the pandemic no one knew how long it would last and what consequences it would have for society as a whole. 
I write this in a "re-normalized" world. There seemed to be no effective learning from almost two years of confinement, controlled behaviors and a generalized dysfunctionality of the political, social and economic systems. Europe contains a war again in its territories, but at the same time tourist numbers have returned to pre-pandemic levels. And the climate emergency continues. 
During these pandemic years, I finished writing the book I had been working on since my postdoctoral studies at CfAR Uniarts Helsinki. Wandering Echoes, Handbook of Operative Losses was published by Errant Bodies Press, Berlin. 

The Handbook of Operative Losses began during the first three months of confinement in Barcelona, Spain. I continue working on my research around Fernand Deligny, but the circumstances exposed me to a new deal with my work. Suddenly many of the conceptual apparatuses I was building through and around Deligny's gestural philosophy were falling apart. Something forced me to retake seriously the most simple and direct tools to retain, to inscribe, to memorize my experience and research. An experience that was being common to so many at the same time. An experience of lock downs and concrete uncertainty.

My work has always celebrated the uncertainty, but now this global uncertainty was deeply restricting our liberties and rights. 

The confinement re-traced us, to me, to my family, to everyone. During the hard confinement I worked everyday with two new partners, my sons León (6) and Émile (2) at that time. We tried to create the best possible mind-space to answer the situation, and the experience it was engraving through our bodies. My artistic practice became a part of that space of care. That space of care is a change in the form we experience time. The last two years I was already abandoning some conceptual methodologies. My encounter with Deligny's ideas and procedures confirmed that decision. It is not about fabricated imaginary narratives of conceptual, or rather wordly meaning. It is not about apparently reframing the conditions of living through fixed models. It is something beyond the managerial politics. It is about common living evidently, again.

A friend of mine, during those calls we had under the confinement, remind me of my artistic project titled "Amor Social" (1996-2003).

Some times, or maybe constantly, we are just oscillating, a meditative oscillation. The tracing of maps has been the most exposed form of practice of Deligny's attempt. 

This handbook grew, and continues to grow, through a daily based practice of the materials, through the materials, through the gestures the materials imprint through me. 

Wandering is forbidden. The human population is confined, and public spaces are empties. I have been working around the concept of wandering as the main object of my artistic research since 2017. I understand the act of wandering as an operative loss mechanism, which, in its declination, occurrence, forces the given context by enacting a possibility of an uninscribed phenomenon. Some of the questions I will explore now are: in what sense the act of wandering now, at home, with my family, could be seen as an echoic embodiment of something lost? Could it be possible to think of the wandering action as an uninscribed methodology of visibilization of that which doesn't have visibility today? The main idea behind the production of these gestures, rounds and litanies, is to see a common territory without subjects or language, for seeing what happens to be invisible to language. Examples of cultural wanderings are the Situationists' dérive, Adrian Piper's actions in the '70s, Jiri Kovanda's acts, or the poetic acts the School of Architecture, Catholic University Valparaíso, did in the '60s. We have, of course, the wandering of nomads, the wandering of children, the wandering around of tourists. But all of these wanderings were occurring in public spaces, in the open air. That is not possible anymore. And even though we will recuperate our usual motility, the current crisis will have changed our recent social behaviors.

I will explore a physical and philosophical approach to the mechanism of wandering in current circumstances and its capacity for building echoic networks through its operative loss. I will work through daily life rituals, precarious and ordinary actions that today take prominent importance: reading out loud, singing, exercising, drawing, painting, sculpting with everyday objects, displacement of furniture, talking and reflecting with others, conversations, and video recordings. These wandering echoes will form an echoic landscape for a memory to come.

“Une tentative n’est pas une institution en ce sens que la tentative est un petit ensemble, un petit réseau très souple qui se trame dans la réalité comme elle est, dans les circonstances comme elles sont, allant même à la rencontre d’événements assez rares qui ne peuvent pas être créés arbitrairement. (…) Car s’il est quelque chose auquel les enfants psychotiques sont allergiques, c’est au fait exprès : ils nous voient venir de loin.” 
(Deligny, 2007: 705).


PYRES, 2020

charcoal on paper, A4


CLOUDS, 2020

watercolors on kraft paper, A4

no hay historia no hay lenguaje
There's no history
There is no language
lo que pende fuera del lenguaje pende fuera de la historia,
what hangs out of language hangs out of history

hace su anarchistoria apropiada, e inexiste en su intensidad apropiada.
it makes its proper anarchistory, and inexists in its proper intensity.
In-atrapable, se escab(h)ull(y)e por todo pasillo de estatalidad, de resituación, de domiciliación.  
Untraceable, it slips away

through every corridor of statehood, of re-situation, of domicile.
Indomiciliado aquello que se pone en fuga, como la tortilla inatrapable que canta, como la figura del cantautor que señala y brinca hacia un lugar de la historia,  a la espera, que espera, la acción de una historia a ocurrir, misma señalación la de Borges.
Undomicilied that which escapes, like the unassailable tortilla that sings, as the figure of the singer-songwriter who points and jumps towards a place in history, waiting, waiting for the action of a history to occur, the same pointing as that of Borges.

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