Wonderful work today by Harvard graduate design student Francisco Alarcon, whose practice investigates concepts of labor, capitalism, and technological advances. Check out more info at the links following our Q&A!
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Your work addresses "dematerialization of labor in advanced capitalism." When did you first become interested in working with this theme or idea?
I am trained as a Civil Engineer as well as an architect. In my practice, several interests merge, such geological processes, new technologies, and the idea of labor. Currently I am exploring the interaction in between human and automated labor. As new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are advancing, the tasks practiced by humans are being replaced by algorithms and/or machines. The idea of labor in advanced capitalism is the catalyst of my practice.
You work in various types of media; do you tend to center on painting, for example, and branch out, or do you experiment widely?
I do have an interdisciplinary and multi-media practice. Even though I use the language of painting to explore and communicate my ideas, in the process evolve photography, digital modeling, and often I use video and immersive installation along the paintings.
What is your process like? Do you work intuitively, or do much research prior to beginning a piece or a series?
Research is an important part of my practice and there are several stages within it that move parallel to the making of a piece or a series. I work back and forth, in between the physical painting and the virtual space. The process isn't linear, and there is not a static origin or end. For instance, some of the works I made last year have embedded processes started four years ago.
Is there a tool or an object in your studio that you couldn't live without?
What is the best advice you've ever received?
We are here for the long run.
What does "success" mean to you as an artist?
To be able to go to work at the studio as much as possible. Ideally everyday.
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