Lost Signal Artificial light signals are usually used in navigation. They let constitute a virtual and ephemeral map for an indifferent geography, the sea, that is performed in an economy of ruled repetition due to the difficulty in proving a full reception of the signal. Clandestine coast traffic uses light signs in order to mark places. This kind of writing without residues erases itself as proof and memory. It constitutes a text that have just existed during the evaded intant of light.   South and Eastern Europe coasts have been used for clandestine migration, and light punctuation during has constituted the appearance and politics of the geography of arrival.

Lost signal is a large format exercise that involves the photographic record —from their emission— of a group of repeated light signals outgoing towards the sea, from the European arrival migration coast to Africa and Turkey. In this sense, the clandestine communication system by light is infiltrated with reiterated series of indistinguishable political flashes in an exercise of extenuation of photographic technology —and epistemology—.  Every signal emission and register becomes the place where the economy of migration seems to resignify and overlap with the camera tecnology and, in a a certain way, the economy of western abstraction art program.

The project as a whole constitutes a repertoire of 3,220 records of the same light signal, reemitted in series of 28 repetitions* from 115 different coastal positions, from Morro Jable, on Tenerife (Europe in front of Africa), to Kos (Greece). Only 7 of the records of the 28 light signals from any specific coordinate are shown here. Every position is associated with a cyclical time index —that we consider open—. We conjecture that the —autonomous— signals are in continuous reproduction without the need for an emitter —or receiver—. This draws the possibility of a virtual or hallucinatory independent geography, that delimits the arrival edge of maritime migration to Europe. The registers of the signals, as we have introduced, overlap with one elementary unit of abstraction: Malevich Black Square (1915). The camera seems to be participated by the same program, although, as it could be perceived in the unconscious Rodchenko’s displacement of formalism, it happens in a radically moved position.  Insofar as the camera has participated, the dimension that the registers determine is not a romantic or mystic one: its virtuality is technical and political, that is, it can be reproduced and measured, and it participates in a human bodies exchange. Inside the registers, the digital noise and the residues of dust or water —that has reflected the light signal— coexist. The light of the flash takes place —although not image— inside the technical black volume: they are vacant volumes of technical hallucination, they are the empty cone of technical madness that the signal emission configures during a second inside the darkness, they obliterate and substitute the geographical reality.

The complete repertory of signals configures an atlas of the autonomous political and epistemological economy of migration movements. It shows the scripture of the vacant emitter and the vacant receptor of a serf-contained and endless repetition of the same light signal.  

*Here we choose only 7 records because of the web showing format. The number 28 is not aleatory. It refers to a diaphragm modification in the camera, and, consequently, to the volume of light captured, the technical delirium volume on the registers. In order to develop a more complete lecture and explanation of Lost signal, it’s interesting to contemplate Received signal as its second momentum. If Received signal repeats the pure reception of the artificial flash without an emitter, Lost signal repeats its pure emission without a receptor.