Placelessness (2021)

Eduardo Ruiz

Sponsor: Hangar, Host: V2_Lab

Placelessness is an installation that explores censorship by pixelation in satellite mapping applications, which are meant to provide users with accurate information about locations around the world. Digital mapping technology makes it possible to represent the physical reality of the world while adding in distortion, censorship or error. In this work, Eduardo Ruiz wishes to highlight the failure of the companies in charge of mapping territory for the public. The political meets the poetic through the use of technologies of order and control.

In Placelessness
, Ruiz shows the kinds of ruptures that appear on publicly accessible cartographic platforms. The first work consists of a series of pixelated images of the city of Rotterdam. The pixelation is presented as an attractive element, revealing the beauty of the censored images. The second work consists of a series of mosaics that simulate cartographic censorship, generating confusion between the visible and the censored, the real and the digital, the physical and the virtual. The pixels, QR codes and images of the city play with the spectator’s perception. The third work is a video in which the artist intervenes in the Piet Hein monument in Delfshaven, Rotterdam. Hein was a historical figure linked to the enslavement of West Africans by the Dutch. The pixelation of his face refers to the social construction of the territory, as if he draws and creates a map by combining virtual and physical space.

This project was developed during a residency as part of a Summer Sessions residency at V2_.