FUTURE RELICS: Samples of faith
Curatorial text

Currently, cities speak through available torrents of information, nevertheless objects have always talked to us. Through them archaeologists and scientists communicate with the past and show us other purposes than only the utilitarian. They bring us closer to the rituality of objects. Relics are objects of faith, which carry wishes. "It is a body part of a person, or all of it, revered by some reason or some object that is worthy of veneration. Reliquiae from Latin means “what's left". These "pieces of faith" in the past also travelled from one place to another.

Future Relics is a research about the power of objects as containers, where we add information and subjective contents. Also, about data they already have which is mutable and is "contaminated" by their environment, their chemical composition. It explores scientific methods and tools and combines them with new media and archaeology. Future Relics is a confrontation of divinity and beliefs with the assumed coldness of data that speaks from the physical. It is a clash with the future. It is research, travel, process. They are souvenirs of faith.

This digital art project was selected to be developed during the artistic Despina Residency Programme, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The result is a Set of Future Relics for Orixá Oxossi, Brazilian deity, that was exhibited at the end of the residency period in Largo das Artes, also at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and at Microverso exhibition, art / science exhibition, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) in Lima, Peru.

“The cities are living beings for me and Rio is a believer. I proposed to create these "future relics", with a sort of reverse engineering, and send them to the future. In the manner of a future archaeologist, I contrasted the belief with the composition of the object through electron microscopy sending these samples to the laboratory in Lima. In that sense, samples turned in to relics and traveled as they used to do in the past.”


- RELIC 1:3D print of electron microscopy images made with Photogrammetry

- RELIC 2: Developed software that turns chemical data into sound

- VIDEO PROJECTION:Electron microscopy images of materials related to Oxossi exhibited with its samples taken during residence in Rio de Janeiro.

- CHRONICLE by writer/artist/believer

“The Peruvian artist Cecilia Vilca develops her research on the frontier between art and science, seeking to stress the creative dimensions in both disciplines. The ingredients of fiction found in art migrate to scientific procedures by relativizing the perception of the universe as perceived by man through his five senses. Taking the idea of relic as its object of study, the artist investigates the cultural and religious qualities attributed to these elements/objects from their own materiality, thus contrasting human nature and its transcendental veils with the physicality of the world in which we live. By investing Nature of divine force, seeking inspiration in the Umbanda ritualistic, Vilca inquiries about the laws of a world we know only on the surface, through the visibility of his features, and leads to the extreme the researcher of science in developing a technological apparatus which would allow us to scrutinize the universe physically, chemically and mathematically. The visible and the invisible contrast like the faces of the same coin, they never are visible simultaneously. Now one sees the mystical abstraction, now the "palpable" reality of science. Both universes coexist, although they occupy different planes.” Bernardo José de Souza