Hugo Martínez-Tormo wins the production grant called by LABoral and the collection olorVISUAL with 'nanoEsencia_Grafeno'

His work, a generative art audio visual installation, will be shown at Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial de Gijón from July 11, combined with other pieces of the collection olorVISUAL

Published: Apr 03, 2014
Hugo Martínez-Tormo wins the production grant called by LABoral and the collection olorVISUAL with 'nanoEsencia_Grafeno'

Installation of 'nanoEsencia_Grafeno, by Hugo Martínez-Tormo. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

nanoEsencia_Grafeno, a proposal by the Valencian artist Hugo Martínez-Tormo, has been chosen as the winning project of the Production Grant called by LABoral and the collection olorVISUAL, an annual call aimed at granting a production residency to a European artist under 40, for carrying out an art project which combines art, science and technology.

The Production Grant colección olorVISUAL includes €12.000 for production and exhibition of the work. In addition olorVISUAL will purchase the resulting piece for a value not exceeding € 8.000.

The proposal of Hugo Martínez-Tormo has been selected out of 41 candidates by a jury chaired by the Collector Ernesto Ventós and integrated by Cristina Agàpito, Director and curator of the collection olorVISUAL; Alicia Ventura, Cultural Manager and Director of Colección de Arte DKV; Vincenç Altaió, writer, poet, art curator, cultural adviser at several institutions and former director at KRTU, Arts Santa Mónica; Oscar Abril Ascaso, Director of Activities at LABoral; and Mónica Bello, Artistic Director of Vida, Concurso Internacional Arte y Vida Artificial.

nanoEsencia_Grafeno is an immersive audiovisual installation of generative art, which allows the viewer to enter into the depths of matter, in this case graphene and perceive the colour of the atoms that make it up and its analogous sound, thus triggering new sensations. The artist will produce this work during a two-month residency at Plataforma 0. Centro de Producción de LABoral. Then, it will be shown at Mediateca Expandida del Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial de Gijón in an exhibition that will take place between July 11 and October 12, 2014, where nanoEsencia_Grafeno will be shown in a dialogue with other pieces of the collection olorVISUAL.

Based on graphene, a nanomaterial made up by pure carbon, with atoms arranged in a hexagonal pattern creating a one-atom-thick layer, Hugo Martínez-Tormo proposes a research aimed at finding out what do atoms smell like. He explains that this is “a complex task, almost impossible, because in order for smell to exist, a certain molecule must previously exist, which is turn made up by a set of atoms”. He wants to answer questions such as What would happen if we were the size of an atom, how would we see and perceive the world around us and what colour is matter at this scale. “A scale which for us is, in principle, invisible and becomes an imaginary shelter where our mind can travel and let imagination wander freely”, says the artist.

nanoEsencia_Grafeno will show at LABoral a representation of the space that we do not see and of the matter and energy that make it up. The installation will consist of a metacrilate urn containing a small piece of graphene obtained following a procedure applied in recent experiments. Beside it, a hexagonal volume with a peeping hole to see an abstraction in continuous movement of the colour of light emitted by carbon atoms. This visualization will be done with the free software Processing. In addition a sound composition will be played which will take us into the depths of matter and which will be based on the analogous sound associated with the wave length of the colour of the light emitted by carbon.

Hugo Martínez-Tormo (Valencia, 1979) graduated in Fine Arts and Agricultural Engineering. He has a masters degree in Visual and Multimedia Arts at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia and he has enjoyed a one-year residence at Master Interfaces Cutures in Linz, Austria. Due to his technical and scientific training, his research focuses on the relationship between art, science and technology. Covering issues such as environment, ecology, the identity of the being or scientific dissemination.

In 2004 he creates the concept “nanorrealism”, the study of matter and energy at nanometric scales and its artistic applications. Moreover, in 2006, he creates the concept "ToE.art", based on concepts deriving from the search for a scientific theory to unify all the theories that have been formulated so far, trying to achieve a unification of concepts. Both scientific concepts are the bases of his recent works. This multidisciplinary artist uses several disciplines and means of expression, such as interactive installations, audiovisual installations, mechanical installations, sound installations, electronics, painting, sculpture or photography. His work has been shown in individual and collective exhibitions, as well as in several national and international art and technology festivals like Ars Electronica in Linz (Austria), Amber Festival in Estambul (Turkey), Espacio Enter in Tenerife (Spain), Art in the City in Mainz (Germany) or the Festival Incubarte, Valencia (Spain), among others.

olorVISUAL is a collection of contemporary art made following the vision of the essence maker Ernesto Ventós: The smell, which is chemistry, is built from a physical and luminous reality, the colour. Baptized by the poet Joan Brossa, olorVISUAL was created in 1978 after the exhibition Sugestiones olfativa at the Fundación Joan Miró in Barcelona and based on the transformation of smells into painting by Ráfols-Casamada. Later, the collector moves from commissioning into choosing a work of art, which is to be accompanied by a caption where the author emphasizes the synesthesic relationship between his/her work and smell, which is the monographic topic of the collection.

During this process the conceptual artists request the essence maker and collector to create equivalences between colours and smells. Smell permeates memory, but it is invisible, it is just like if it would originate inside it, it seems to flow out of objects…thus it is perceived by the collector and following this principle he has built this collection.

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