The Immaterial Material, 2014
Concrete, plastic grid, archive images, drawings, neodymium magnets and metal shelves.
Installation view at Reasoning Well with Badly Drawn Figures, Nogueras Blanchard, Madrid, ES

The Immaterial Material looks into the mysterious reliefs that a quaint pedagogical program left in Arnao, a small mining town in the north of Spain. Full of geometric motifs, these reliefs were designed by the educator Andrés Majón to introduce local workers and their children to the principles of geography, grammar and geometry in the school grounds.

Partial cement replicas of the enigmatic shapes rest on modular shelves alongside archive photographs, hand-drawn maps and diagrams, which describe the area and evidence the complex social and power relationships that once inhabited the site.

These reliefs are one of the few material traces of the transition from an industrial to an information economy —a change often attributed to 20th century’s cognitive capitalism— but whose origins, as these reliefs evidence, were already inscribed at the onset of the industrial revolution and shaped the didactic vocation exercised by industrial paternalism.