Juan Covelli - Terra Incognita, video still 2019
Somerset House Studios resident

Juan Covelli

Covelli’s practice revolves around the technological potential of digital archives as a tool of radical creation to readdress entrenched arguments of repatriation and colonial histories. He creates IRL and URL installation-based works which collapse historical practices with current models of display and digital aesthetics.

Somerset House Studios
New Wing

Juan Covelli is a Colombian artist and independent curator currently living and working in Bogatá, where he teaches at Universidad El Bosque/Universidad Javeriana, he also runs the online art platform Nmenos1. A graduate of MA Contemporary Photography; Practice and Philosophies at Central Saint Martins, Covelli’s practice revolves around the technological potential of digital archives as a tool of radical creation to readdress entrenched arguments of repatriation and colonial histories. Using video, modelling, data sets, coding an AI; he creates IRL and URL installation-based works which collapse historical practices with current models of display and digital aesthetics.

Juan Covelli - How to dust the surface, 2018.jpg

How to dust the surface, 2018
How to dust the surface, 2018

Covelli was recently awarded the Lumen prize for Moving Image. Solo and group shows include: Terra incognita, Museo de Pereira, Pereira (2022), Veneraciones, Tajo Taller, Mexico City, (2021) How to dust the surface, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Warrington (2018); and Nexcuitilamatl, Galería ADM, Mexico City (2017). As well as groups shows: Imagen Regional 9, Museo Miguel Angel Urrutia, Banco de La República, Bogotá Colombia, Transición hacia una civilización Planetaria, El Parqueadero, Banco de la República, Bogotá, Freeport, Epoch Gallery, Online; TERMINAL, Festival de Arte, Pensamiento y Tecnología FAP-TEK, Centro Cultural España, Montevideo, UruguayColombi Pressentness, Esación Terrana, Bogotá; Well Now WTF?, Silicon Valet, Online; Simbiosis Entropica, Museo de Pereira, Pereira; Pixels Fest, Yeltsin Centre, Yekaterinburg (2020); ARTECAMARA, Artbo, Bogotá; Roca Lunar, Planetario Distrital, Bogotá; Festival de la Imagen, Centro Cultural Rogelio Salmona, Manizales (2019); INSIDE INTEL, Centre for Investigative Journalism; New Materialities in the Digital Age, Harlesden High Street Gallery curated by Anti-Materia, London; Out of Space, AVD Gallery, Online; The image of things, Guttormsgaard Arkiv, Oslo (2018); and The Choice of a New Generation, The Muse Gallery, London (2017); Deep Inside, V Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Trekhgornaya Manufaktura. Moscú, Rusia (2016).

El Salto (English version)

For the Path-AI residency program, Juan would like to develop a live simulation piece created with gaming engine technologies. This new body of work takes inspiration from the extremist ideologies which the internet culture has accelerated. Juan is interested in the algorithmic culture that generates ideology bubbles exasperated by the social media algorithms that target individuals to radicalise their political views.

A clear example of this phenomenon was the scandal of Cambridge Analytica a tech company that used Artificial Intelligence algorithms to be harvest information of at least 50 million Facebook users.

Taking this into consideration the project he would like to develop is interested in this phenomenon during the National Strike in Colombia in 2021 that lasted more than 4 months and caused the death of at least 80 people and left more than 100 disappeared. The radicalization in Colombia through “Bodegas” illegal tech companies hired by politicians and Illegal armed groups (FARC, AUC, ELN) which use algorithms of IA and Social networks are able to target individuals in order to radicalise them and create a high polarization in society that end up in a social uprising.

This piece will be an AI simulation of a battlefield, where different characters based on the National Strikes of Colombia from 2021 are clashing with the governmental forces. This work seeks to illustrate how the process and interactions on the internet have an immediate effect on society.

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Speculative Treasure/2020-2022
Speculative Treasure/2020-2022