From Optical Ilusion to Simulation

This text was produced to accompany a drop exhibition by Eduardo Pla at Aura Art, a selection of works (between the 80’s and 2000) made between Espacio Pla and Aura Art to generate the first release of NFT’s by the multimedia artist.

From optical ilusion to simulation

Eduardo Pla was an artist with a very broad trajectory, which makes him an interesting case to understand media and digital art in Argentina. With 40 years of career, he went through different scenarios that -from the general to the particular- were key to this specialty in art. From his early years he experimented in film, he devoted to cinema, he portrayed the underground scene of Buenos Aires at the end of the 60´s, he worked as theatre director; he lived and grew as an artist at a time when acceleration and change were manifested in a convulsive political period and in the exponential advances of technology.

During the 1980´s he worked as a designer and art director in Milan. When digital tools began to take root in design, he was part of the first group of artists with access to the equipment and the technical knowledge necessary to experiment with those new technologies. Since then, he became interested in virtuality, in the creation of a non-space, the possibility of simulating, in working with the idea of space and volume, of inhabiting that new way of representing virtuality -as a field of what is possible- with forms, depth and symbols to build an imaginary stemming from the potentiality and the limitations of technology.

Virtuality also became a plastic space to explore artistic concerns that were present since his initial works: the possibility of displacing symbols and relationships in representation, of recontextualizing, of creating a world within another. A world governed by subjectivity, by fantasy and, above all, by the ideal.

The selection of works in this exhibition represents that search through time. Although the basis of the work has shifted from illusion to simulation or its medium from exposure to calculation, there persists an intention to give space to fantasy from visuality, as a level of existence, as a reality close to the tangible.

Eduardo Pla was an artist dedicated to building a symbolic field on virtually, to creating from representation something that today we can incorporate as experience, and at least discuss as apprehensive reality. At the same time, his constant exploration of new tools built an eclectic body of work with playful and experimental nature.

This short tour through his work allows us to discover some factors that influenced the construction of a digital aesthetic, and that today offer us clues to understand its origin and interpret the new phenomena that are emerging in its evolution.

Merlina Rañi, 2021.