Alejandro CamposFuga a tientas —  Imperfections

Opening Event
Tuesday 21st February
6 - 8pm: Reception evening

On View
22 - 27 Feb 2023
4 Cromwell Place, South Kensington
London SW7 2JE

One of Erik Satie’s infrequent excursions into chamber music, the Fugue à tâtons (1913) is contemporary to his humorous piano compositions, and created in a similar spirit. Fugue à tâtons is a satirical reinvention of Baroque musical forms, enhanced by Satie’s characteristic witty titles and performance directions. A repetitive, childlike theme, a loosely woven fugue initiated by the piano “with silly but convenient naïveté”, and yet a complex and significant musical piece.

Curiously, Spanish architect Enric Miralles used the title Fuga a tientas (the Spanish translation of Erik Satie’s title) in 1987, for the second volume of his doctoral dissertation, a text that was deemed unreadable by the thesis’ panel. Miralles’ essay narrates how sketching can be seen as a form of writing, a creative act that happens when thinking moves forward through interruptions, when it stops at its beginnings, when it is produced by repetition.

This Fuga a Tientas on Verse, 2023, explores how its form of writing, namely “coding”, can likewise be conceived as a form of sketching, or how unexpected shapes and colours emerge from simple geometric operations when imperfect repetition is celebrated. The artworks are fully composed by horizontal lines and simple shapes travelling through imperfect flow fields, offering a characteristically bright and cheerful aesthetic that is homage to both Erik Satie and Enric Miralles’s intellectual legacies. Fuga a Tientas is the coming-of-age of the Enfantines (fxhash, 2022) algorithm, still childlike but now a more sophisticated and yet imperfect exploration of form and counterform, sound and colour

‘to allow… even to desire that, after that earliest point where the pen touches the paper, something unfathomed emerges, something unexpected’

Enric Miralles

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‘…form emerges at the air of its flight, it is not pursued, nor composed, nor constructed…’

Josep Quetglas

With two modes that won’t produce the same outputs, Fuga a tientas is best experienced twice. In music mode, the code uses Satie’s fugue as a way of taming randomness, the sounds affecting the colours and intensities of the triangles. This is the last stop of the journey, gazing into unexplored lands.

‘Large de Vue’

Last direction written by Erik Satie in Fugue à tâtons

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Fuga a tientas is part of the group exhibition Imperfections.


Alejandro Campos

Alejandro is a Spanish Creative Coder based in Rotterdam, where he currently holds an academic position as a Lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Delft University of Technology. As a scholar, Alejandro specialises in the history of Modern Architecture and the colonial dynamics behind its universalising claims. His generative artworks connect interests on art history, critical theory...
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