Daniel Canogar (Madrid, 1964) is an artist working with photography, video, sculpture and installation. He earned a Masters in Photography from NYU and the International Center for Photography in 1990.
Memory, and its loss, are a central theme in his work. Unless we remember, we are condemned to an amnesiac present, texture-less and at, lacking the perspective of time.
His recent artwork tackles such issues in different ways. He has scoured junkyards, recycling centers and flea markets, looking for examples of aging technologies that de ned our existence in the not-so-distant past. What we throw away holds an accurate portrait of who we were. VHS tapes, 35 mm l’m, hard discs, CDs, to name just a few obsolete mediums that he has used in his art, are all depositories of our memories. When tossing them out, we are also discarding an important part of ourselves. By projecting video animations onto old media, he attempts to reignite life back into them so as to reveal the shared memory they hold within.
His very last series, Small Data, is composed of a series of salvaged electronic devices (old cell phones, broken computer screens and printers, cracked hard discs, etc.), onto which an overhead projection is cast. The projections, precisely aimed at the devices, animate and seemingly give new life to the abandoned technologies. The artist works like an archeologist, pulling out the found items from piles of discarded materials in junkyards and recycling centers (veritable cemeteries for consumer electronics) and organizes them on shelves as if they were fragile remnants of a bygone era.
Issues related to memory and identity are explored in this group of artworks. As communication tools with the outside world, and as repositories for so many of our thoughts, we acquire a very intimate relationship with the technological devices present in the artworks. Haunted by their past, the artist attempts to reveal memories, both personal and collective, that seem trapped within, mementos of a time when they had fully functional lives and served us well.
Small Data explores the life and death of consumer electronics, and how when we discard our devices, we are throwing out a small part of ourselves.