The Robot Dream


The first time I saw Juanma Moreno's work, I was fascinated by his ability to masterfully use traditional pictorial technique and fuse it with a current and very, very contemporary imaginary. If we ask ourselves what we are contemporary with today, it is clear that the answer is electronics and that our present and our future is conditioned by artificial intelligence, for better and for worse. I say with respect to the bad, some threats of the past have become reality, because despite all the scientific achievements and advances to be celebrated, this progress, without realising it and almost celebrating it, has transformed us into a society under surveillance and manipulated for economic purposes as predicted in some science fiction novels. And this is how we all currently have a device in our pocket that is connected to systems that use neural networks to bombard us with advertisements based on our habits, using the personal information we input. Because nowadays we have become accustomed to seeing advertisements in exchange for free applications - did anyone ever think that Facebook could be paid for? In exchange we have social networks that, if they were originally intended to connect us, the result is that we live like prisoners in Plato's cave, consuming an artificial reality that shapes our behaviour, stimulated by likes and advertising. This artificial reality projected on social networks is the imaginary chosen by Juanma for his work. This tyranny of images and the invasion of the media means that we have reached a point where everything is trivialised and we lose our critical sense, although personally I don't think we will ever lose the notion of what reality is. Or who knows.
I have wanted to classify Juanma's work under the term "cybercostumbrismo" (cybercostumbrism) because, although he shows the customs and habits of today's society, he does so through a cybernetic gaze. Juanma depicts in his paintings images found on social networks in which the subject or subjects are unsuspecting, posing artificially or in a state out of the ordinary. A kind of anti-photos that feed the internet on a daily basis. These pictures he paints are fed into a neural network that in turn generates new images. What is most striking about the images returned is the grotesque nature of the forms, and the fact that we are seeing through the eyes of a machine. Juanma again represents pictorially these images returned by this artificial intelligence, attracted by them and their monstrous aesthetics like a magnet.