herramienta.digital | Pablo Somonte Ruano


Pablo Somonte Ruano


Pablo Somonte Ruano (Mexico City, 1992). Multimedia worker, filemaker and cryptoexplorer.

I'm interested in topics in the intersection of technology, design and society: generative systems, moving images, participation, free software, cryptography and p2p networks.

Right now I'm working in deriva.mx a transmedia project approaching structural violence in Mexico through cinema and interaction. I also teach a university course at CENTRO, Networks and Systems: Politics and Economics. Download the study plan and the class presentations (in spanish).

I also make music, for my personal project Párvulos and sometimes for commissioned work. Download my EP: Palabra, recently released in VAA (Varios Artistas).

Social networks: personal instagram, instagram for herramienta.digital, twitter, github.

Download my CV.

Write me at x@pablo.sx

Words of Guerrero| 2017

Linguistic experiment based on the way grammar and lexicon from official messages and local texts relate in public spaces.

Visit the original site (english version available!).

Published in oral.pub + colective exhibition corp(oral) at Quinto Piso, CDMX.

Tools: Photography, web, p5.js, Processing.

Words cover the city’s streets. Painted signs, advertisements, warnings, graffiti, and propaganda mark the limits of public spaces. Their presence and permanence illustrate the conflicts between people with authority, control, resources, and guile. Each sign is distinct: handwritten fruit labels, promotions at the Oxxo store for one peso, generic supermarket posters, and declarations of love in schoolhouse ink.

For three weeks, I walked through the neighborhood of Guerrero in Mexico City and photographed signs. I collected the words residents read and write daily. But I also found texts that were not originally from Guerrero, the government’s warnings and announcements. Since they did not form part of the neighborhood’s vocabulary, they looked out of place.

I broke down the grammatical structure of one government mantra: "This program is public, unaffiliated with any political party. It is prohibited to use it for purposes others than those stated in the program." This bureaucratic poem haunts Mexicans from the radio to the television to the streets. I found it in the window of a government office, printed and reprinted to block a view of the interior, like a series of opaque acts.

For a spanish only version, I also applied the system to a Coca Cola advertisment that reads:
Coca Cola.
Live it.

This signs are the basis for a program that randomly substitutes particles of speech from the photograph collection. The experiment replaces instructions for the general Mexican public with the local lexicon of Guerrero, rejecting both the government’s and the corporation structures of control.

Code available at github.