The Balla(n)d of uniqueness
On 2016 as part of a Pivo Pesquisa immersion program in association with Fundación Cisneros I was invited to come to Sao Paulo for two weeks. The program did not have a specific agenda, I was invited to experience São Paulo and stay at the Copan Building, a modernist colossus designed by Oscar Niemeyer on the 60´s, where Pivô is located.
For a few days I could not help wander around the halls of Copan, in search of some form of spatial orientation on this complex megalopolis. My first instinct was to turn to hundreds of Instagram pictures georeferenced as Edificio Copan. The images repeated in large numbers, over and over again, as if repetition was the active principle that created difference on this gigantic loop.
I felt it would be silly to expect these images to reveal the social constitution of this place, but what I did know was that the way in which information was produced was particular compared to similar experiences of analysis I had had in Venezuela. Deleuze mentions on Difference and Repetition, that repetition is mediation and synthesis, in this case the repetition accounted for a synthesis of representation processes, mediation and consumption. I, then, became interested in studying representation as a result of repetition.
I suppose Copan could be, to a new visitor, something absolute and temporary, a place able to duplicate and unfold; immersed in the constant multiplication of its own elements. Nonetheless repetition here was not generality, nor likeness but the confluence between the ideal and the real. At Copan life mimics representation, awaiting to be represented.
At this point I decided to archive all the images I had found on Instagram, at first they seem to fall within three general categories: the rooftop – the facade – the lifestyle; but then again each one of this had particularities which felt under new general categories: the s shape, the Italia building from the rooftop, the half-naked girl on a bed overlooking the city, general constantly became singular by repetition and singular constantly became general again.
Photography as form of representation aspires to conquer difference, to capture the immeasurable, to convey the infinite, but this factor of repetition acted in Copan as is a free agent that diversifies and multiplies it all, while creating patterns and groups that repeat to change and create new singularities.
I decided then to revisit the places most frequently photographed and photographed them again, I then placed, on top of the image I had taken, the image I took as reference from Instagram, each image represents one the categories I found.
As I organized and grouped all the images patterns emerged, it could be because of color similarities or content or angle. This patterns have been displayed as a series of white dots on the images. However, these patterns never remained static, they always mutated and transformed with time, there arose the need to express the idea of time in some way.
For this purpose the patterns were copied on a music sheet to form an auto-playing ballad, the repetition becomes rhythm over time, and similarities are heard as simultaneous groups of notes.