The butterfly funnel

Daniel G. Andújar

Daniel G. Andújar (Almoradí, 1966) is a visual media artist, activist, and art theorist who currently works and resides in Barcelona. Andújar began his artistic activity in the late 1980s, working mainly in the field of video, in projects that addressed racism and xenophobia, as well as the misuse of technology in surveillance systems. Through interventions in public space and a critical use of digital media and the communication strategies of the corporations connected to it, Andújar’s theoretical and artistic work oscillates between territories that are real (the city) and those that are virtual (the internet). It arises from the premise that displaying and dissecting the connections found between these two territories makes it possible to envisage the inequalities that generate social and power relations.

In most ancient cultures, including Mesoamerica and Greece, the butterfly represents the soul. A common Greek word for butterfly is, in fact, psyche, soul, and there are clay seal impressions from Knossos that actually show the dots in the wings of a butterfly transformed into floating eyes. Many contemporary Mazatecs and Cretans alike still regard butterflies as the souls of the departed. In both cultures, the butterfly is equated with the bee. The power of the bee’s sting, like that of the wasp, comes from the power of the plants it pollinates. Never static, the bees pushed and shoved each other from territory to territory, before there were trails, before states, before private property, before frontiers. Before the Camino Real National Historic Trail, before the Canary Islanders arrived in San Antonio, before the Comanches, Tlaxcaltecs, or Cabeza de Vaca found the waters of the San Antonio River, and before Texas, the road was there. Butterflies, drugs, animals, plants, people, drones, trains, trucks, languages, states, songs, flavourings and food, are all merely following the original route of the trail.

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