Chus Martínez: The Complex Answer
On Art as a Nonbinary Intelligence
The Complex Answer: On Art as a Non-Binary Intelligence presents a series of entangled essays on the question on how art—and contemporary art practices in particular—embodies an intelligence capable of serving the erasure of the culture/nature distinction. The book is conceived in four parts and each not only introduces a slightly different writing on the subject matter, but also refers to concrete questions that affect the practice of art, the exercise of exhibiting, the duty of reflecting, and the institutional forms that define our present but may radically change in a near future.
The book imagines art and contemporary art as an organ. An organ that produces an experience of inexpressible realities that are fundamental to understanding life and its processes. Stem cells exist, first, without a purpose and it is for the whole organism to decide if they will become part of an auditive nerve or the brain or the cornea of an eye. This adding to an organ is how Chus Martínez understands the intelligence of art. Poets and artists have claimed to understand the language of birds and flowers. We speak now of multi-species communication without a trace of metaphoric language. The experience of nature has evolved inside artistic practice. One could claim that the very fact that we talk about artificial intelligence is a merit of the arts. To transfer traits of organic life to inorganic entities such as information systems is a bold move that took centuries to prepare. Art has been essential in getting our senses and our arguments ready to accept this reality. The same with animal language, the synchronized reactions of a rainforest, and the transformative way fish have been discovered as able to recognize their own image in a mirror. These are just jests on the part of the sciences, developments of technical knowledges.