Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

Lawrence Lek: Geomancer

May 16 to July 21

Tuesday to Thursday 5 - 9pm. Closed on Mondays.
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 12 noon - 9pm.

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This will be the fourth and final installment of the exhibition series Synthetic Imaginaries, which examines non-human agency and our understanding of intelligence, free will and complex systems, curated by Julia Kaganskiy as part of LAB#03 Synthetic Minds at Medialab Matadero.


The final arc of Synthetic Imaginaries features the 2017 film Geomancer by British artist Lawrence Lek, a 48-minute sci-fi animation that tells the story of an artificial intelligence’s creative awakening and existential struggle. ​Rendered within a video game engine and featuring a neural network-generated dream sequence and synthesized vocal soundtrack, Geomancer explores the implications of post-human consciousness in a world governed by AI.

The central protagonist, Geo, is a sentient weather satellite who returns to Earth to fulfill its dream of becoming an artist. Set in Singapore on the eve of the island nation’s centennial in 2065, Geo wanders through the eerily desolate landscape, exploring the glittering marinas, museums and casinos, encountering only other AIs along the way. Yearning to escape the limitations of being a mind without a body, Geo grapples with existential questions on the nature of life, death, consciousness and feeling.

Lawrence Lek is a London-based artist working with moving image, performance, video games, and installation. Drawing on his background in architecture, Lek’s work explores worldbuilding as a form of multi-dimensional collage, incorporating found elements from both material and virtual worlds to develop narratives that reflect on alternate histories and possible futures. His works are known for their portrayal of nomadic characters within technological landscapes, and for exploring themes of identity, memory, control, and agency. In his ongoing Sinofuturist universe, beginning with the 2016 video essay Sinofuturism (1839–2046 AD), Lek explores how the interplay between geopolitics and technology shapes a vision of the coming world that conflates China and its diaspora with artificial intelligence. Blurring geographical borders and the boundary between natural and artificial beings, Lek’s work asks viewers to confront contradictions that humanity might face in the near future. Recent solo exhibitions include NOX, LAS Art Foundation, Berlin, Germany (2023)  Post-Sinofuturism, ZiWU The Bund, Shanghai, China (2022); Ghostwriter, CCA Prague (2019); Farsight Freeport, HeK, Basel (2019); Nøtel, UKR, Essen (2019); 2065, K11, Hong Kong (2018). In 2021, Lek received the LACMA Art + Technology Lab Grant and the 4th VH Award Grand Prix.               


On June 20, there will be a meeting with the artist and the curator of the exhibition at Medialab Matadero, of which we will publish more information soon.