Daniel Canogar: Small Data, 2014 

Small Data is composed of a series of salvaged electronic devices (old cell phones, broken computer screens and printers, cracked hard discs, etc.), onto which an overhead projection is cast. The projections, precisely aimed at the devices, animate and seemingly give new life to the abandoned technologies. The artist works like an archeologist, pulling out the found items from piles of discarded materials in junkyards and recycling centers (veritable cemeteries for consumer electronics) and organizes them on shelves as if they were fragile remnants of a bygone era.

Issues related to memory and identity are explored in this group of artworks. As communication tools with the outside world, and as repositories for so many of our thoughts, we acquire a very intimate relationship with the technological devices present in the artworks. Haunted by their past, the artist attempts to reveal memories, both personal and collective, that seem trapped within, mementos of a time when they had fully functional lives and served us well.

Small Data explores the life and death of consumer electronics, and how when we discard our devices, we are throwing out a small part of ourselves.

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Installation and digital art by Daniel Canogar 

(Madrid, 1964) received an M.A. from NYU and the International Center for Photography in 1990. Daniel Canogar studied Sciences of the Image at the Complutense University of Madrid, graduating in 1987. Then it established itself for two years in New York where it realized a Master’s degree in Art with specialization in Photo in the New York University. His work is based on an average point between the humanism and the science, exploring as our senses adapt themselves to the new electronic temporary space and his constant technological advances. The last artwork was shown at ARCO 2016, Madrid.

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Rafael Canogar

Toledo, 1960

Óleo sobre lienzo

250 x 200 cm

Firmado y fechado zona inf. izda.: “Canogar / 1960”

Fundación Juan March - Museo de Arte Abstracto Español de Cuenca (Nº. Inv.: 0136P)


Plexus | Cannula

Two artworks by Daniel Canogar using digital frames, coding and the internet.

The first here is Plexus which is a moving array of various hand gestures:

Plexus questions the hand of the artist as the origin of an artwork in the digital era. The clusters of hands seen in the artwork – those of the artist – depict fingers weaving in the air to form undulating curtain-like formations. The rhythms of the hands resemble the choreography of Busby Berkeley and Esther Williams films from the 1930s, as well as the use of humans as mass ornament in the Third Reich’s Nuremberg parades. Hands, so present through the history of art since the first cave paintings, here succumb to multiple synchronized rhythms, evoking the mass production of the global market.

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The second artwork is called Cannula which uses YouTube videos as foundations which are then abstracted into moving abstract fluid forms:

Searches I have recently performed on You Tube include “how to hang a heavy artwork on a drywall panel”, “10 most popular videos with cats”, or “ex-athlete Bruce Jenner tells his daughters he will become a woman”. From the sinister to the banal, from educational to entertainment or the testimonial, You Tube has exploded traditional media cannons. Anyone with a cell phone can potentially become an audiovisual director. The result is a relentless excess of material – 300 hours of new material uploaded every hour and more than a billion videos presently available on the site – that would take 60,000 years of uninterrupted viewing to see. It is impossible to catalogue or decipher this visual encyclopedia of the 21st Century.

We are unable to cognitively process so much information. Cannula attempts to represent this cognitive overwhelm by turning You Tube videos into abstract shapes. I often choose to generate content using garbage found in my environment. In this case, I explore how You Tube turns media into waste. Cannula evokes the fragmented visual mosaic that my brain contains after years of being exposed to this new window-onto-the-world we call Internet.

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La opción de Canogar en el sentido de un realismo con claro tinte social y político queda de manifiesto en esta obra tridimensional que representa a un
hombre que yace maniatado. Sin cabeza, quizá como una forma de despersonalización, parece surgir y al mismo tiempo formar parte de un bloque pétreo que contrasta con su pulida superficie con el desgarro ilusionista de la figura. La intencionalidad política, el sentido del arte como denuncia, caracterizan estas piezas en las que la presencia corpórea constituye un revulsivo y un testimonio de la opresión que padecía el país en los años de la dictadura de Franco, aunque en realidad la imagen trasciende cualquier momento histórico concreto.

Creators Project has a good interview with Daniel Canogar, an artist who works with objects fished from dumpsters and junkyards. 

Which junkyards had the best finds? Did you discover any other weird stuff in your digging?

Visiting junkyards is a very educational experience. Schools should organize trips to these places; they really shift the way you think about cities, which I now can’t help but see as massive monsters that produce unimaginable amounts of waste. If you really want to know your city, visit your local junkyard. We are defined by what we throw away.

I like that last bit. The rest of the interview, worth reading, is here: Do All Flip Phones Go To Heaven? “Small Data” Explores The Afterlife Of Dead Tech | The Creators Project