I’ve always been interested in maps. The complexity of political maps, and the beauty of physical ones. They show mankind’s curiosity for our world, and the way we deal with our surroundings. From what is thought to be a schematic of the night sky found in the caves of Lascaux, dating to 16,500BCE, passing through the babylonian clay tablets, to the maps I used when I was in school, and the ones I show to my students in the University today.
I view maps as a form of art, as a sublime interpretation of the world. As a visual artist, as a photographer, I'm always looking for patterns, forms, geometries, light, and color. Aerial photography and satellite imagery have expanded my ability to find these patterns, geometries, and colors, on the earth's surface. Ultradistancia is my attempt at making sense of our world, using Google Earth as a starting point. As an avid voyager, Ultradistancia allows me to travel without moving, to scope the immensity of our planet from a computer screen, distort and experiment with forms. The whole world has become my canvas. The result is a kind of aesthetic geography that I want to share with others.
In Ultradistancia, I intercept satellite images beamed to us by Google Earth and capture them at very high resolution. I spend endless hours flying over the earth until a geometry catches my eye, until one human construction emerges above others. And then I immerse myself in the image, and I emerge with something new. When I start shaping, I never know where a work is going, only I know when a work is done. A new perspective, a new art.
The possibilities are endless: Welcome to Ultradistancia.
The Unbridled Eye
“The opposition between technics and culture will last until culture discovers that each machine is not an absolute unity. It is an individualised technical reality, open in two directions: towards the relation with the elements, and towards the interindividual relations within the technical set.”
(Gilbert Simondon, On the mode of existence of technical objects)
Long time ago we stopped looking. And not so long ago we delegated the eye on not sensory perception machines. More recently we have even become prostheses of those machines that use us to circulate their perceptions, through the sensory device that we have abandoned but that still runs even without us taking note of it. So we were, eager for technical replacements of our old sensory perceptions, for digital images to replace our old tactile eye, when suddenly someone peered into the heart of the machines of perception that replace us, a world curiously extrasensory, or as its discoverer would name it, ultrasensory. Indeed, Federico Winer is a kind of contemporary discoverer, a sailor who has managed to see the Magellan Strait link between the sensory ocean and the digital ocean.
Google Earth manifests an extreme distance of looking, which it offers as general technical model of looking. At the core of this model, the Argentine photographer has discovered a gap that guides distance to its own source of interiority and technicity: ultradistance.
This is so much so, that if one would want to name the trade through which the artist communicates the discovery of that path or pathos one should say that Winer is more a painter than a photographer.
Keeping the analogy we might say that the mouse is his brush, but we would be mistaken. His brush is his eye.
Painting was always a matter of a tactile and slow eye. Photography was always a matter of a tactile and instantaneous eye. Maybe Winer has discover the linking path who joins that instantaneity with it’s old source of slowness: ultravelocity.
To appreciate the discovery of Winer it is useful to know about the techno-digital continent as in the same way to understand Magellan discovery knowing about the american continent was needed.
This geographic parallel is not accidental and, moving forward, it would be postulated that Winer creates a new way of doing geography, a kind of Aesthetic Geography that, assuming all it’s transfiguration power of the usual world political map, turns out to be ultrapolitical.
Hence it is not surprising the origin of our artist. The Río de la Plata has historically been a kind of ultra-area. Since its description as "river without banks", and reaching the image of "ocean without shores" applied to the Pampa, some outrageous tradition shelters Winer and drives him to regain the gesture of many migrants who came to the South of our continent from overseas land.