Filio Gálvez. GIS (Google Image Search) Series; Window Blinds, 2017

Digital print on window blinds. 10 pieces of 21” x 72” each. Courtesy of the artist.

The GIS (Google Image Search) (2017) Series is the result of Gálvez’s experiments with the bandwidth of his Internet connection, which affects the speed and efficiency with which content reaches the screen. The artist slows down the strength of his wifi signal to search for images that relate to certain words or phrases of conflicting meaning (for instance, words extracted from the social media, in contraposition to others which were fashionable a long time ago). As images delay in loading, colorful squares with different patterns replace them temporarily. Gálvez captures them through screenshots to later reproduce them individually, at a larger scale, in different mediums that go from paintings to prints. With this action, he is not only sublimating the glitches of the network, but also presenting to us another form of (aesthetic) perception of the digital content.

This series is reminiscent of the experiments by net artist pioneers –from Kenneth Knowlton and Leon Harmon in the sixties to the Vuk Ćosić of the nineties– who looked at the computer code, especially ASCII, not as an intermediary between the machine and the user, but as an element intrinsic of the medium itself, with its own beauty and its potential for communicating. As these artists thought to convey images through text, Gálvez turns the abstract concepts words represent, into images, as in a new pictogram system.