Since 2016 Max de Esteban is working on a long-term project on the infrastructures of contemporaneity.
As the 20th century cannot be understood without the infrastructures that made it possible, the project aspires to survey the key infrastructures that will define the 21st century and unveil their ideological nature. For the purpose of this project, the artist defines infrastructures as “the key technologies, systems and physical conditions that enable the circulation of meaning and power”.
This expanded definition includes technologies (e.g. communications), systems (e.g. Fordism) and physical conditions (e.g. fossil energy availability). But it also points to something that is frequently missed: what infrastructures really do is frame and enable what is possible. Infrastructures are the determinants of the conditions of possibility; in other words, they are the enablers of the circulation of meaning and power.
The first work of this long-term project is 20 RED LIGHTS (2017), which analyzes Financial Capitalism as the dominant contemporary infrastructure for the allocation of economic resources. The second work is A FOREST (2019), which examines Artificial Intelligence and reflects upon the implications of this technology and the ideological frameworks under which it operates. Max de Esteban’s latest work, WHITE NOISE (2020), deals with Extinction, arguably the defining structural condition of the 21st century.