Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

Del 8 de febrero al 30 de julio 2021

Candela Sotos and Pablo Méndez


Firefly Algorithm documents the process Pablo Méndez followed to create a firefly hatchery in conjunction with the Laboratory of Experimental Entomology at the University of Buenos Aires. The idea of finding what it is that prompts them to start to move and to glow in captivity makes it possible for us to evaluate their interactions with other individuals, organisms and indeed everything that goes to make up the world that surrounds them. The evaluation of thermal factors, the search for resources and reproducibility become a tool with which to predict their success in life and how that success will affect human activity, faced as we are with a global warming scenario. A discovery was made at the beginning of 2020: fireflies do not glow in captivity. A discovery that coincided with the onset of confinement due to the Covid-19 virus. Shot as a desktop film, the project compiles the reflections of two artists, Candela Sotos and Pablo Méndez, who jointly ponder on this idea, piecing together their research into the archives on bioluminescence as a process of amazement, a concept of resistance, of intermittent disappearance and appearance, as a mystery that prolongs time paused pending a potential change.

Pablo Méndez (Buenos Aires, 1988)
Having trained at l’École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in France, his work addresses the links between humans and non-humans and all forms of community that are marginalised by the system. Strongly focused on post-humanist thinking and how to compose worlds with other beings or other epistemic apparatuses, his work has been recognised by the National Art Fund in Argentina, the École Urbaine de Lyon, Fundación Luz and Alfonso Castillo, among others. He currently works at the Secretariat for Cultural Heritage in Argentina and at the Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires, developing strategies that involve new audiences and heritage as a new form of storytelling. At the same time, he also teaches at the National University of Cordoba and is a guest lecturer at several of the country’s universities. His work has been presented in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Arles, Liège, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Bahía Blanca, etc.

Candela Sotos, (Madrid, 1986)
She has a degree in Audiovisual Communication and a Master’s Degree in Photography and Contemporary Art from the University Paris VIII. In her work she links botanical practices, archiving and oral transmission through the moving image. Her practice explores the forms of memory and the narratives that build History. She has received support for her projects from the creativity grants of the Community of Madrid, the Matadero Centre of Artistic Residencies and the National Arts Fund of Argentina, among others.

In 2018, she joined the Artists Programme at the Torcuato di Tella University in Buenos Aires to carry out the Yrupé project in collaboration with the Botanical Garden of Buenos Aires within the framework of the First Latin Americana School of the Urban Anthropocene (École Urbaine de Lyon/UN- SAM-IDAES). She currently lives in Madrid where she is in the process of editing her first film while also taking part in the creativity workshops of the Municipal School of Ceramics of Madrid.