Ignacio Rodríguez Bach applied to the Art + Technology Lab program to examine and mimic a mysterious encounter he experienced while camping in the mountains surrounding the Valley of Mexico. The first component of the project consisted of fieldwork; Bach made multiple expeditions into the backcountry outside of Mexico City to investigate the appearance of strange flashing lights that spontaneously appeared in the mountains. For the second component, the artist planned to stage a performance with mirrors in Los Angeles’ eastern hills to create a triangular light drawing that visitors could view from the balcony of LACMA’s Broad Contemporary Art Museum building. While undertaking these sections, Bach expanded his investigation to encompass a variety of separate yet related unexplained phenomena.
A large portion of Bach’s grant went towards photo-surveillance equipment, including a camera drone and a low light camera. Instead of employing these tools to explain the phenomenon, the artist achieved results that heightened the experience of the unknown. Bach does this without speculating on the nature of the phenomenon’s existence. This, he leaves up to the viewer. His artistic investigations do not lead to theories or answers, but rather seek to initiate a sense of discovery and a state of wonder.
Joel Ferree. Program Director, Art + Technology Lab, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Ignacio Rodríguez Bach’s project I want to know is an homage to this profound and contradictory human endeavor “knowing”. His discovery and documentation of these precious luminous entities, present us with a powerful paradox. As art, the dancing lights of the mountain captured by the sophisticated lens of the low light camera are precious gems of the night: volatile, immaterial, deeply spiritual in all their blooming colors. As documents, that is, as photographic evidence of an inexplicable phenomenon, they become defiant of everything modern science allows us to believe. Hence the importance of the title I want to know. Do we judge true knowledge as something that comes from experience? Do we believe knowledge is a process? Can we accept that deeply seeing, carefully observing, reviling, uncovering, documenting through photography is a valid enough method?
Can we question our own materialistic biases when confronted with the images Bach brings to us from the mountain? Can we understand his conundrum before a discovery of such magnitude? Imagine being the artist as he makes the decision to document and explain the series of mystifying, beautiful lights that emerge and disappear on their own accord from a massive volcano crater in the Valley of Mexico. Wouldn’t you also want to know? (…)
Diana MagaloniDeputy Director, Program Director and Dr. Virginia Fields Curator of the Art of the Ancient Americas
A philosopher who publishes through art and a composer in search of unorthodox mediums for musical expression. Being part of a movie theater business family, Nacho became interested in creating alternative cinematic experiences that broke the rectangular format.
His work is characterized by the diversity of mediums, taking common elements out of context to re signify them. Exploring duality as a tool to “see”, by drawing parallaxes between seemingly distant worlds.
His artistic language is a study on the meaning of form. The work is composed of structure and flow of content. Fluctuating between public and private. Elements reappear consistently throughout the body of work, creating a system-language that unveils as it develops, like a story.
His academic formation includes a BA in Film Scoring from Berklee college of Music in Boston, music composition from the Royal Academy of London and film making studies in USC Los Angeles. He is currently based in Mexico City.
This Psychedelic Patio series of works borrows the elements of a traditional Mexican patio to resignify them, creating an extraordinary experience. It blends folklore with technology. It is the artist’s line of work that deals with aesthetics, the individual experience and the private, in sharp contrast with his public, large scale and conceptual work.
Currently, Nacho is working on a commission by NASA and Emory University as an resident artist to create a series of works on the origin of life. He second TED talk was about this subject.
Mexican artist Nacho Rodriguez Bach borrows folk art elements to reinterpret them as mediums using electronic, kinetic, light and in-dustrial design media. Modern production methods and technology fuse with tradition and the natural world to become something else. Ambiguity is the central theme in the artist’s work as he tries to connect parallel worlds in order to generate a new circumstance.
A philosopher who publishes through art, his work is characterized by the diversity of mediums, taking common elements out of con- text to re-signify them in different levels. The only constant is the exploration of duality as a tool to “see”, by drawing parallaxes be- tween seemingly distant worlds. The result often blurs the line be- tween art and other disciplines such as design, entertainment, city making or scientific speculation.
The language is both, a study on the meaning of form and a collection of visual metaphors. The work involves the creation of alternative media forms, composed of a structure and the flow of content that permutes in time. The focus fluctuates between public and private. Elements reappear consistently throughout the body of work, creating a system-language that unveils as it develops, like a story.
Nacho Rodríguez Bach (Mexico City, 1966). His academic formation includes a BA in Film Scoring from Berklee college of Music in Boston film studies at USC Los Angeles and music composition at the Royal Academy of London. He is currently based in Mexico City.