A Mexican space opera – Juan Jose Infante

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A man stands in front of a launch site in the desert
Juan Jose Diaz Infante, initiator of “Ulises I”, a Mexican artists’ satellite

Mexican artistJuan José Díaz Infante came to visit us in London the other day, to take part in Kosmica and to talk to us about his project to build and launch an artists’ satellite.

You can watch his talk at October’s Kosmica.

In a mid-life crisis, says Juan, some people will buy a Lamborghini, “but I said no, I’m building a satellite”. There have been many satellites launched, but very few launched as an art piece. Juan José’s inspiration was in response also to Mexico’s drug war, which has made everyday life in Mexico very difficult – there have been over 30,000 deaths relating to the drug war. He wanted to make his own reality. The idea of future is different for different generations, he says, and for a child of the 60s, the future had hope, and space was connected to that future.

He read an article in Scientific American on how to make your own satellite, and his talk at Kosmica told us of his achievements, in less than a year, towards making a satellite, and in identifying and securing a launch site for it (he has booked a launch slot at the new Tonga spaceport). He also discussed the satellite as a “poetic experience”. He has put together the Mexican Space Collective – including artists Arcangel Constantini, Iván Puig, Cabezas de Cera, Arturo Márquez, Hugo Solis, Francisco Rivas, Marcela Armas, Gilberto Esparza, Omar Gasca, and Ariel Guzik – who are making works for the satellite. He is using the term ‘opera’ for a new hybrid. The opera will be written as an algorithm, and the satellite designed as a musical instrument to ‘play’ the opera and to interact with the composition.

You can read more about the project here.

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