The embryonic development of butterflies starts with the fertilisation of the germ cells enshrined within the egg. The genetic material needed to engender this project will be directly extracted from the city of Buenos Aires itself. Thanks to the production of a visual study based on 1.000 rolls of black and white negative film, we will reveal all of the layers that make up the aesthetic structure of the city, and we will portray a journey that departs from its most visible surface (figurative reality) to then penetrate into the depths where the city's foundations dwell (pure abstraction). After the egg is fertilised by the thousands of images that have been taken in the urban surroundings of the exhibition space, it will start evolving. In order for this to occur, we will generate a body of work that visitors can interact with to understand the evolution process of form through time.
The exoskeleton of caterpillars allows them to grow in size and to change their skin four or five times during their development. This phase will be represented in the museum by means of the construction of a wooden exoskeleton within the exhibition room. It will be made up of around 500 equilateral triangles. The visitors, upon entering the structure, will find a selection of the images taken in the city, placed on top of wooden tables. They will have to select one of the photographs each, and use a pair of scissors to cut out part of the image as they wish. They will have to keep the portion of image they have cut out, and enter the second room of the exoskeleton, accessible through black curtains. They will find themselves in a photographic laboratory, where, in complete darkness and aided by an assistant, they will place their picture on top of blank photographic paper. Upon turning on a lamp over the image, people will be able to see how exposure time determines the process of creation of a photograph. Once the paper has been exposed, they will pass to another room with their latent image (the image has been recorded on the silver gelatin of the paper, but is not visible yet). In this new space, submerged in red light, they will find a large tank of photographic developer, in which they can dip the photographic abstraction they created and experience the birth of their image. This analog process, almost forgotten by our digital culture, will allow the visitors to witness the magical moment of the birth of form, and to understand the relation this has with the time it has been exposed to light
The chrysalis is where the metamorphosis takes place, and it is at this stage that the body of the butterfly acquires its ultimate shape.
To make this process visible, visitors will have to enter the following room. They will have come out of the lab and into natural light. Here they will meet a second assistant (this person will be part of our team, and will be a skilled screen-printer), who will invite the visitors to use their original photograph cutting, by placing it onto one of the wooden triangular structures that make up the skeleton of the exhibition. Once the images are in place, the assistant will make the visitors choose among a range of colours so that the silhouette of the photograph can be printed onto the wooden structure by means of a silkscreen. As the weeks go by, the structure, that was naked at the opening of the exhibition, will slowly change its skin thanks to the intervention of the public. This whole process will show each visitor how time is crucial in the evolution of form, in nature as well as in art.
The butterfly is the animal in its adult phase and its only mission is reproduction.
Once the exhibition time is over, and once the external surface of the structure has been totally intervened by the visitors, the last stage of our project will begin. With the intention of projecting the work beyond the experience of the exhibition, we are going to dismantle all of the structure and transport half of the pieces in a container to Miami, and the other half to a public space in the city of Buenos Aires. We will mimic the magic of the transformation of the cocoon in a butterfly by revealing the interior structural qualities of our artistic proposal. The triangles contained in the exhibition structure will allow us to build two Geodesic Domes of 180 degrees each. By putting them together they could make up a perfect 360 degrees sphere. These two half-spheres will be built in two different places and will be installed there temporally or permanently. They will allow us to bring about a practical geometry workshop in both cities, that will encourage the youngest members of the public to understand the qualities of the Domes, natural structures capable of reaching a maximum volume with a minimum expense of material, time and energy. This will help us to efficiently bring art closer to a social environment that is normally left outside art circles, and to create a space that can be used by the community as they wish, far from being the purely aesthetic elements that art pieces are usually associated with in these environments. An experimental structure designed for a museum will be transformed into two useful structures that will challenge the borders of what is considered aesthetic, and that will survive the closing of the exhibition. This will complete the flight of the butterfly, that will fly to Buenos Aires to Miami to reproduce itself in two workshops aimed at young people in both cities, with the final goal of planting the seed of a new art in them, one that brings aesthetics and usefulness together.