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Pictured is Juan Pablo, he is a medium brown Latino person with dark short hair, he wears a cheetah print swear and funky glassesPictured is Juan Pablo, he is a medium brown Latino person with dark short hair, he wears a cheetah print swear and funky glasses

Credit: Raisa Galofre

With Juan Pablo García Sossa
Date and place of birth
b. 1991, Bogotá, Colombia
Current location
Between Berlin, Germany & Bogotá
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
2020, Rapid Response Fellow

How do you characterize the media you work in?

More than binary. Right now, I’m very into protocols, language, and frameworks and the way they render realities.

How does your practice engage with technology?

I’m interested in looking at other forms of knowledges and technologies from a Tropikós perspective, and breaking the digital monoculture of globalism. I want to examine how technologies and interfaces, as well as syntaxes, grammars, and protocols, render a multiplicity of realities.

What was your focus during your time at Eyebeam?

Futura Trōpica Netroots, which I initiated through Eyebeam’s fellowship, has become an interplanetary archipelago of local networks, communities, and LAN(scapes). In Phase 1 at Eyebeam, I sought out allies for the network, and developed a conceptual framework and narrative mesh. I was working on a discursive conception of what this grassroots network could be, with regards to communities and networks of affection, as well as technologies and infrastructures. In Phase 2, the network bloomed and was able to redistribute resources and support the practices, and respective research projects of over 40 people that understood life as an artistic practice.

Pictured is a rusted cone with connected to a wooden panel - it is a Raspberry Pi ‘rhizomes’ or nodes for a Wi-Fi network that would be installed in a semi-public space.

Juan Pablo García Sossa, Rhizome Station. Courtesy of the artist

Was there a culminating project?

We envisioned installing Raspberry Pi ‘rhizomes’ or nodes for the network in semi-public spaces in Bogotá, Kinshasa and Bengaluru such as ‘bodegas,’ but there were some delays caused by the pandemic. Instead, my time at Eyebeam was more of a transitional period for the network. I don’t see an end to this project; it has been getting more and more stimulating.

How has dialogue or collaboration with Eyebeam artists and alumni factored into your work?

Something that I value from the time at Eyebeam was the opportunity to think together with so many people and build a cluster in Berlin. I had the opportunity to meet one of my main partners now in Futura Trōpica, [Eyebeam Artist 2012, 2015, 2016, 2020] Sarah Grant, who supports the tech infrastructure. I also worked with [Eyebeam Artist 2020] Constant Dullaart. There was an interesting inflection point when the vision wasn’t a fantasy anymore; the more people who aligned with this vision, the more people who were occupying this space, the more real it became.

How do you think about the role of the artist in society?

I’m not sure if I’m a big fan of artists, but I’m a big fan of the framework of arts as a place suspended beyond right and wrong or the legal and illegal. I like the semi-fictional space of that. I ask myself often, what it takes for a fiction to become reality. I feel that arts are very interesting fields with enormous potential to have incidence in our realities, not only as a place for representation, but even more so for embodiment and performativity: for hacking realities.

Eyebeam models a new approach to artist-led creation for the public good; we are a non-profit that provides significant professional support and money to exceptional artists for the realization of important ideas that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Nobody else is doing this.

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