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Miguel Mitlag / Santiago Taccetti


Buenos Aires, ARG
































































Change of state

The flow of the day in the humidity of the bodies becomes steam at night. Steam is an invisible force. The bridge between its molecules is so fragile that this ethereal matter tends to expand as much as possible until it meets a limit. It is precisely this weakness of errant molecules that can drive the movement of a locomotive or an ocean liner. Depending on its energy content or the forces that act, matter can be in one state or in a different state. Vapor may condense into liquid, sublime into gas, or become motion. Pure substance is under constant threat, disguised as waiting, of what physics calls the appearance of its critical point: that condition of pressure and temperature from which there is no turning back, matter can no longer change state. You will lose the power to go back and forth between liquid and gaseous. That flow in which steam exists as water in the air, in which matter can be clear, translucent, resplendent and cease to be so to sublimate into a mist, a breath and then liquefy again in its previous condition. There is a before and after and steam is that intermediate state in which energy accumulates. The vapor dominates, volatile, the substance and the environment.

Time does not stop, it always advances towards the same moment. Vapor does not have its own shape, it takes the shape and volume of the space that contains it. It is imperceptible in the opacity, between the dark and the light. It is invisible during that pending time. In that border between night and day, between hot and cold, the vapor suspended in the air for hours makes contact with surfaces at different temperatures and shines like droplets on things. Nothing more imminent than the dew. The day comes and the night becomes uncertainty and the heat brings an awakening, a thought. A latent presence that approaches things in a distance without reference and threatens its mere absence to shine when touched.

Water vapor is the humidity that kills in Buenos Aires. If you come into contact with a cold oblique cobalt blue plane, the surface of a Bartleby beige melamine office furniture, a satellite view of patched asphalt membrane, then that vapor condenses small droplets on the surfaces. It is not sweat, but rather the opposite. It is not a hot body that emanates from the inside out its toxins accumulated in reckless ingestion or the bodies that manifest their organic transformation, their decay, their putrefaction. It is the environment resting on things and touching their surfaces. It is the outside in its insurmountable distance that penetrates infinitely and shines on that plane that is limit. It is the exterior when it caresses the interior. The common in its double function between ordinary and shared, between democratic unification and oppressive crushing. The air of the city loaded with images and textures imposed by a State at its critical point, like an epidermis that envelops things.

There is an unstable balance. The earth is cool. The cables are worms that get into the vents looking for residues, new air, breathing. They carry energy that turns on the lights in the middle of the gloom.

In the mist there is no background and figure, there is no limit, there is no distance, there is no end. It is a silence that announces a "not yet" of its presence. An exhalation that keeps lurking.

Ana Vogelfang