In the studio: Daniel Canogar
We catch up with the multidisciplinary artist during his solo exhibition at Galloire
Words by Aneesha Rai in The Lifestyle · Jan 27th, 2023
After his successful and notable installation of Dynamo, a site-specific audiovisual project designed for the Spanish Pavilion in Dubai Expo 2020, Daniel Canogar returns to Dubai to present his latest solo exhibition 'Loose Threads' at Galloire, City Walk. The exhibition gathers artworks that reference fabric and textiles in order to explore the technological reality of today.
Daniel: "Loose Threads" is an exhibition that explores textiles as a metaphor for current events. Through research, I have discovered a very interesting connection between textiles and digital technologies. For instance, the Jacquard loom, created in the early nineteenth century, is considered the first computer due to its use of punch cards to feed patterns into the loom. As technology evolved, screens have largely replaced the textiles of the past. "Loose Threads" aims to explore our present reality by using data feeds that are woven together to create generative abstractions. The exhibition took about a year to come to fruition, with the last six months being the most intense, as we developed Pixelweaver, which I am presenting for the first time in the Middle East.
Daniel: The main challenge faced during the project was developing an algorithmic loom in the studio. We had to learn the mechanics of physical looms, such as the warp and the weft, different patterns and how to translate this knowledge to a digital algorithmic loom that could process real-time data to create digital fabrics. Our biggest challenge was understanding the process of textile creation and being able to translate it to a digital language.
In recent years, mobile devices have transformed our lives, encouraging overstimulation and an addictive need for constant updates. In this media environment, extreme visions of reality—fake news, conspiracy theories, and apocalyptic alarmism—have taken root. The resulting informational indigestion generates a crisis in the perception of reality. The “dataworks” capture this overwhelming amount of information and transform it into semi-abstract animations in a constant state of flux, a gesture that helps to process the disjointed information we receive. In Ripple, for example, we see real-time images from CNN cascading down the screen, leaving behind a trail that covers and obscures previous news items: The final result is an abstract and dynamic composition echoing endless folds of fabric. Whilst in Billow, the materiality of textiles is represented by sculptural, curved LED screens that challenge the orthodox rectangular flat shape and provide a new corporeality to the technological device. These works evoke fabrics unfolding through the exhibition space whilst all the time responding to viral data collected across Google platforms. The series also comprises Chyron, which displays updated news as a loose and restless fabric; Abacus, which uses stock-market tickers to create a mechanical composition; and Túnica, an homage to COVID-19 victims that suggests a gauze with the names of those deceased and born in the Community of Madrid between 2020 and 2021.
Daniel: Dubai is a vibrant and dynamic city with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a significant center for digital technologies and startups. Of course, it also has a rich tradition in textiles. I hope that by showcasing my contemporary textiles in this context, visitors will be able to connect them to the local, centuries-old tradition that is deeply rooted in the culture. I am interested in Dubai’s traditional perspectives and its position as a center for cutting-edge technologies.
Daniel's exhibition runs at Galloire till Friday, 24th February 2023. All images are courtesy Daniel Canogar.