Outomatic

M van Museum
Leuven, Belgium
July 2011

Tiensestraat

Project in collaboration with MOMO

During summer 2011, I was invited to Leuven, Belgium, to participate in the first edition of Outomatic. This outdoor art festival was made possible by help from the M van Museum. Hans, the festival organizer, told me about all the empty flag posts visible throughout the city streets, and I instantaneously loved the idea to use them for a project. As I knew that MOMO was also participating in the festival, I asked him if he would like to collaborate with me using a process similar to the one we used during the PLAF project to design flags. We prepared 50 flags during the first five days and we hung them the sixth day in the afternoon. It took us a couple of hours to hang the flags and we worked without any kind of permit. This project is called Tiensestraat because it is named after the street where we put the flags. Today, while writing this page, more than a month after the installation, the flags are still flying…

Video:

50 flags video:

Pictures:

We also painted a mural inside the M van Museum:

Thanks to Hans and the M van Museum.

Modular Do Lage

Nova Cultura Contempôranea
Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
March 21st – April 30th 2011

Project in collaboration with MOMO
www.vimeopro.com/rojo/nova-rio2011

In April 2011, I participated in Nova Rio Contemporary Culture, an event organized by Rojo in Rio de Janeiro. My friend (and artist whom I greatly admire) MOMO was also one of the artists invited. The organizers suggested we work together to produce an installation that would be exhibited at the Parque Lage. I had visited the Parque Lage six years before and it always struck me as one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in Brazil. So of course I was very excited when I heard that I was going to have the opportunity to create art in this amazing place together with (for the second time) MOMO!

We had access to a workshop in a building within the School of Visual Arts (which is located in a palace in the middle of the park) and a large amount of unused wood. We started thinking about using this wood in different ways, always keeping in mind that we would construct something non-static and movable. Then we started working on the idea of a modular sculpture that could change constantly. After various tests with different models, we manufactured 23 pieces of wood that could be joined together in a variety of ways. Each piece was designed to fit with any or all of the other pieces. However, we soon found that the possibilities were limited by the condition of the wood, so we tried all the combinations that gravity allowed in the vicinity of our workshop, the gardens and the park. After a week we left four sculptures in the jungle to spend time with the local fauna!

Video:

Photos:

Thank you very much David, the whole team and all the Nova artists.

Muban – Urban Drift Experiment

Muban (木板, “wood board” in Chinese)
Urban drift experiment with wooden boards
Beijing, China 2011 – 2013

Muban is an experiment about movement and material recuperation. Since I moved to China, I have been observing how people constantly recycle everything – from cardboard boxes and plastic bottles to bricks, doors and windows from demolished buildings. These materials are immediately collected and sold by the kilo or directly reused. I wanted to see what would happen if I threw my own material out onto the street. where would it end up? How would it be used? I bought some thin plywood boards, and had them cut (81 x 61 cm). On either side of each board I painted white shapes to be able to spot them easily. Each board was given a slightly different design so I could differentiate and follow them. Then, I left them in the street and waited to see what would happen.

Muban A, Caijing donglu

Eltono-MubanA-x18

One day on my way to my daily Chinese classes, I found a shortcut passing through a “hutong” neighborhood. I found it so interesting, compared with the rest of the over-urbanized area around, that I decided to pass through there everyday. The people living there were very kind, always smiling and open to communication. I decided to do the first Muban experiment in this neighborhood because it was quite small, had one story homes and very few residents lived there. Furthermore, as I was walking or biking through it everyday, I would be able to observe the pieces and how they moved twice a day. I prepared the first nine Mubans in my studio and one night, I deposited them around the tiny hutong streets. I distributed the boards into four sets: one containing three boards and the other three containing two. They disappeared very fast and, only once (18 days later), was I able to see a set of two boards (A6 and A7) reappear again in an adjacent street before it was completely gone. I abandoned the nine boards in November of 2011 and I continued to observe until the summer of 2012. Today this neighborhood is almost completely gone. Most of the people have lost their homes and have been forced to move somewhere else in order to build more towers and skyscrapers.

Click on the images to enlarge them and read the captions to follow the story.

Muban A1, A4 and A5:

Muban A2 and A9:

Muban A3 and A8:

Muban A6 and A7:

This is how this hutong neighborhood looks today (June 2013). In almost every picture you can see some tall buildings surrounding the area – this is what they’ve planned to build here, more towers, once the last residents have been kicked out.

Muban B, Chengfulu

Eltono-MubanB-x18

Things got a little bit better with the second experiment, I got a couple of very interesting results and I was able to draw a map of the movements. I painted nine boards again and I deposited them, one by one this time, in a small residential area very close to my house. Since then, I have walked around or biked through this neighborhood almost everyday trying to spot the boards. After so many hours observing and looking for the white geometric designs, I developed a new ability and was able to detect them quite easily.

Click on the images to enlarge them and read the captions to follow the story.

The records of Muban B1 to B9 are presented in chronological order.

Muban B1:

Muban B2:

Muban B3:

Muban B5:

Muban B4:

Muban B9:

Muban B8:

Muban B6:

Muban B7:

Eltono Muban B map

I learned many interesting things while doing the Muban project such as how to be discreet to avoid ruining the experience, how to appear lost when you know exactly where you are going and a variety of interesting habits and quirky personality traits belonging to the Beijingers who live in these communities. This experiment is an ongoing project. The pieces must be observed for a very long time so it’s not an easy project to start just anywhere. I’m looking forward to continuing with it and I hope to be able to report more results. If by any chance, any of the above listed Mubans reappear, I’ll post the update here.

Astillas

Festival Of World Cultures
Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland
July 23rd – 25th 2010

In June of 2010 I was invited by the Festival of World Cultures to reconstruct my Astillas instalation. It was first presented in La Culpable galery in Lima in June of 2008 (www.eltono.com/en/exhibitions/astillas). The event lasted 2 days and thanks to the constant public participation, the instalation was ever-changing and new compositions were created constantly.

All of a sudden a carnaval began in front of the instalation!

Back to Peru

In honor of the land where the instalation was first conceived, I decided to send one of the wood chips “back to Peru”…
:)

In these images below, you can see a selection of the compositions done by varios people throughout the festival.

Thank you very much Jane, Jules and Anja.

Tampiquito

Tampiquito, Monterrey, México
April – May 2009

Project curated by Nrmal and El Narval

Residency project:
From April 1st to May 26th 2009
Exhibition at La galería en el Taller Mecánico:
From May 21st to July 7th, Calle Plutarco Elias Calles #419, Colonia Tampiquito,
San Pedro, NL

cartel.jpg

I’ve been invited by Nrmal and El Narval to be the first artist to participate in Residencia Tampiquito, an artistic residency in a popular neighbourhood in San Pedro (Monterrey, Nuevo León, México). I lived and painted for two months in Tampiquito and at the end we opened an exhibition in a gallery to show the result of the residency.

I painted around 50 pieces on people’s houses, had a 10 years old best friend and assistant (because of the flu, the schools were closed so Javi my neighbors’ son was helping me to paint almost everyday!), had an incredible crew working with me sorting out photos, videos, press and BBQ’s and felt very sad when I had to go back home!

If by chance you are in Monterrey, download the map of the paintings here, print it and have a walk in the awesome Tampiquito neighbourhood!

One day while I was painting, an amazing cumbia was played from a huge pick-up parked next to me. I met the owner of the car, Raúl el Tamborín, and after offering me a couple of beers, he gave me the tape as a gift! Nrmal made a mixtape out of it so everybody can enjoy it: http://nrmal.net/blog/nrmal/residencia-tampiquito-mixtape!

The project had an incredible press coverage, you can check it here:
http://nrmal.net/arte/prensa-generada-por-residencia-tampiquito

Thanks to: Lucas (Nrmal) and Luis (El Narval), Lalo, Samuel Catherine, Screw, Huizar, Maf, Malo, Angel, Lara, Telma, Paco, the Briones Morales family, Ofimodul, all my friends that helped and all Tampiquito residents!

Direct links to the picture galleries:

1 – Paintings pictures
2 – Exhibition pictures
3 – Opening pictures
4 – Extra pictures

Pictures of the street paintings:

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Pictures of the exhibition at La Galería en el Taller Mecánico:

For the inside part of the residency, I worked on an installation, some prints and 4 wood replicas of paintings originally done in the street. With the great help of Screw, Huizar and Paco we built up the installation inspired in Tampiquito “do it yourself” architecture with typical elements we found around the neighborhood.
The replicas were made of wood and are life-size reproductions of paintings number 5, 28, 36 and 46.

More pictures on the Nrmal website:
Expo Residencia Tampiquito : Eltono

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Pictures of the opening at La Galería en el Taller Mecánico:

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Extra pictures:

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Y así nació la CUADRIMETRÍA!

Pictures are from Eduardo Hernandez (Nrmal.net), Samuel Catherine, Lucas, Luis, Telma and Eltono.

El Autotono

Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico
October – November 2008

Project produced with the great help of Nrmal
It was first presented during the Mutek Festival in Mexico City.

The Autotono is a mobile installation built in order to explore how people can interact with an artwork in a public space. My idea was to create a kind of puzzle with 3 designs mixed-up and observe how the people can change them trying to find the original designs (or not!). What I was interested in was not to see people completing the puzzle but to register all the intermediate compositions that were created without my control during the process. My idea with this experiment was essentially to observe and learn.

I was interested in observing the results of the Autotono in different situations, so we build it with wheels to be able to move it easily. We installed it, in busy streets, touristic squares, in parties, in a design fair, in a park, in a school…

The name “Autotono” states for automobile (“un auto” is “a car” in Spanish) and automatic (automaticly created compositions, without the intervention of the artist).

Thanks a lot to Ofimodul for letting us use their spare wood, their installation and for the great help of their workers. Pictures by Rafa, Lalo, Nrmal and Eltono.

Direct links to the picture galleries:

1 – Building pictures
2 – Mexico City pictures
3 – Monterrey pictures
4 – States pictures
5 – Simulation video

Building the Autotono:

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The Autotono in Mexico City, during the Mutek festival:

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The Autotono in Monterrey:

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The different states the Autotono passed through:

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Simulation video:

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Check that small interview from the Design Week Monterrey (in Spanish).

PLAF

PLAF – Autonomous Mechanisms
New York, U.S.A.
August – September 2008

Project in collaboration with MOMO
www.eltono.com/plaf

During August and September 2008, with my friend and artist MOMO, we have been setting up, without any kind of permission, kinetic sculptures in the New York waterways.

Plaf is a word for splash in both Spanish and French and relates to the on-going project that features kinetic sculptures that have been placed and fastened in several locations in the New York Waterways. Constructed from used materials, the work will be left to the elements as a way to explore the force and power of water that goes unused and unnoticed in New York City. Using the rivers water, wind, tides, and currents, the sculptures will shift and decay, leaving the work just as it is without comment on form or representation.

An indoor exhibition happened at the same time at the Anonymous Gallery.

You can find the complete documentation on the blog of the project: www.eltono.com/plaf

List of the installations we did during the project:

Hallet’s Cove

Momo Eltono - PLAF Hallets Cove - NY

www.eltono.com/plaf/hallets-cove

Thrash Islands

Momo Eltono - PLAF Trash Island - NY

www.eltono.com/plaf/thrash-islands

Broadway Beach

MOMO Eltono - PLAF Broadway Beach - NY

www.eltono.com/plaf/broadway-beach

East River Park

Momo Eltono - PLAF East River Park - NY

www.eltono.com/plaf/east-river-state-park

Gantry Plaza

Momo Eltono - PLAF Gantry Plaza - NY

www.eltono.com/plaf/gantry-plaza-state-park

Plaf Maker

Momo Eltono - PLAF Maker - NY

www.eltono.com/plaf/plaf-maker

The Plaf Exhibition

Momo Eltono - PLAF Exhibition - NY

www.eltono.com/plaf/the-plaf-exhibition

Map of the project with the instalations locations: maps.google.com/maps/plaf

Intervención

La Noche en Blanco
Matadero Contemporary Art Center
Madrid, Spain
September 22nd 2007

Project in collaboration with Nuria Mora

A climbable sculpture built for La Noche en Blanco in the yard of Matadero Madrid, the new Comtemporary Art Center in Madrid.

Wood and paint, 40 m x 20 m

www.mataderomadrid.com

Pictures by: Hoffamm