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Range in Between  is an installation that establishes a connection between light, gender, and the body.

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Light serves as an inspiring and initiating source for the visual proposal, engaging with the philosophical and social concepts of non-binary gender expressed through the body. The body, the material through which we perceive diffraction, allows us to see the evolution and constant change in our society. Bodies increasingly shape gender and move away from the sexual diversities and codifications that still exist today. We are talking about a new non-binary space focused on gender but applicable to any societal space, generating movement, flexibility, and constant change.

This proposal relies on using light as the central axis, leveraging its physical qualities. Through a study of the history of light, scientific discoveries, and connections with art, we see how the life and beliefs of a society are also revealed through light. Associating this concept with the history of gender and gender differences experienced over time, especially from the Middle Ages onward, we create an immersive installation that invites you to feel, observe, and immerse yourself in a sensory and thoughtful space. It aims to open reflections and, at the same time, question oneself.

Light is conceived as the central element of the visual and conceptual proposal, with the body as material and a transmitting channel, and gender as an essential part of our individual constitution, reflecting in society.

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Light Source, Eye, and Receptor (Material)

Thanks to this second triangle, we have been able to explore the sociocultural connections and evolve the concept in the research we explained earlier. It has opened many doors that we can continue to investigate.

Another perspective of this installation work is the physical relationship between light, matter, and the observing eye. Without one of the three components, we would not perceive the world in the same way.

Light itself is invisible; we can only see it when it interacts with any matter, reaching our eyes. At the same time, it is the primary source for generating life and enabling vision.

The eye represents human perception, the visual image generated by our brain – the physiological part and the symbolic part with historical and social significance. How has light been viewed in our culture? How has this created symbolism and shaped us as a society?

Matter is both a receiver and emitter; it is the transmitter between light and the observing eye. Depending on the materials that light interacts with, we receive different frequencies that will condition what the brain interprets and represents as a visual image. When contextualizing the image, the visual perspective and the environment where we are also play an essential role, as one element affects the others.

We cannot ignore that these three elements interact with each other and generate the parameters of visual perception we have of the world. This is where the research is situated: exploring these elements to find binding connections and contribute new ways of artistic representation and impact on the audience by pushing the limits of the eye within these frequencies. The research is based on the visible spectrum, which, in summary, is the spectrum of light that humans can see, from ultraviolet to infrared, visible frequencies for the human being represented in colors.

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Visible Spectrum, Invisible Spectrum, Emotional Spectrum

Color is an invention; it is not real. Light impresses the visual organ, with its entire optical system, and produces chromatic sensations that are not the same for everyone. Being an invention, color contains many cultural, historical, and social conventions that can be discovered and questioned. Some colors are imbued with ideas related to religion, power, or gender conventions, providing a very specific perspective. However, the history of color has always been changing; things have never been seen in the same way, nor have all cultures perceived them equally. Following this pattern—changing history and a changing society—allows us to continue evolving today.

As a result, this installation links and merges the broad non-binary gender vision with the visible spectrum of light. It contemplates the division of white light into different visible chromatic frequencies, as an analogy to gender diversity—not white or black, not male or female, but the possibilities that each person feels, is. In this way, it breaks away from binary and repressive codes of gender identity and expression, and from all vulnerabilities in body representation, from the socially and historically coded gaze.

We have one last parameter more related to the material, sculptural, and choreographic composition of laser light, and consequently, the visual installation. This process has been part of the creation from a choreographic perspective, a compositional look at matter and light. The simplicity of the laser's smooth, continuous, and precise movement also contributes to the sensitivity of the experience. I'm talking about choreography, movement, body, and bodies moving in space, in a space filled with materiality, shapes, full and empty textures, which take on concrete forms to express themselves toward space and the walls of the container that houses the proposal.

A container that also welcomes the person observing and allowing themselves to be guided. The entire ensemble is what generates the experience. So here is the last element that shapes the proposal, the container that accompanies the installation. Its materiality, meaning, dimensions, and form will shape the atmosphere breathed in by the spectator.

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In the research on witchcraft and gay counterculture, Arthur Evans writes that starting from the beginning of the 13th century, the first laws punishing homosexual practices and cross-dressing began to appear in France. These practices were common in festivities across various cultures and communities dedicated to fertility. Evans states that wearing clothing appropriate to the opposite sex has always been one of the rituals of witchcraft, as it was and continues to be for primitive peoples during their fertility celebrations throughout world history. From that moment, homosexuality and dressing in clothing of the opposite sex began to be associated with witchcraft and were labeled as heretical attitudes by the Catholic Church, condemned and punished with mutilation in the early cases and with death by burning in case of recurrence.

The introduction of the Christian god, male, around whom an institution led only by men was established, resulted in the displacement of all female deities, women, or other genders that existed in ancient religions. The submission of women to men, the persecution of homosexuality and cross-dressing, were promoted and enforced, while a masculinity constructed around the military figure was erected.

Researcher Paula Allen describes that several Native American communities were matriarchal, positively recognized both homosexuality and the third gender, intersexuality, and understood gender in egalitarian terms, not in terms of subordination imposed by Christian capitalism. Replacing this gynecratic spiritual plurality with a supreme male being, as Christianity did, according to Allen, was crucial for subjugating communities.

In other precolonial societies of the Americas, up to five or seven different genders were recognized. Gender assignments were not based solely on genitals but took into account feelings and sexual orientations and desires. The combination of these feelings and corporealities recognized gender as a multiplicity. The number of accepted genders was determined by the number of existing identities and not as a rule to comply with or adapt to. Furthermore, these identities were not fixed and could change throughout life.

The binary gender system and heterosexuality as a norm, the sex-gender system, consolidated in the Modern Age, based on the denial of the plurality of existing identities. María Lugones points out that the dichotomy of man/woman, heterosexuality, and patriarchy are inscribed with capital letters and hegemonically in the very meaning of gender establishment. The introduction of the binary gender led to the strict division of tasks, roles, rights, and obligations for men and women, denying any other possible manifestation of gender or sexual orientation.

This binary and exclusionary system, during this time, was also applied to other aspects of life and the organization of societies, and the figure of the singular god is also situated, through the singular observer, in the representation system based on linear perspective, characteristic of the Renaissance in art and architecture.

This perspective aligns to culminate in a single vanishing point, located on a fictitious horizon defined by the line of the observer's eye. According to Hito Steyerl in "The Wretched of the Screen," linear perspective is based on several decisive denials. Firstly, it ignores the curvature of the Earth, and the horizon is conceived as an abstract straight line where all horizontal planes converge. The horizon line was a key element for navigation, facilitating the orientation of sailors, which enabled the expansion of the Catholic Church and the establishment of the modern patriarchal, capitalist, and colonial order.

Also, citing Erwin Panofsky's work, the construction of linear perspective decrees, as a norm, the viewpoint of a single immobile spectator, with a single eye. This viewpoint is assumed to be natural, scientific, and objective. Thus, linear perspective is based on an abstraction and does not correspond to any subjective perception.

Arthur Zajonc, in "Catching the Light," describes a painting predating the establishment of linear perspective. According to Zajonc, nothing conforms to the rules of linear perspective in the painting, but from the perspective of spiritual relationships, colors, gestures, relative scale, and the position of each figure, building, and mountain reveal an order that, while not conforming to the laws of vision, is in harmony with the values of that time. Zajonc proposes that the birth of linear perspective simultaneously entails the retreat of interpretative light.

However, Steyerl argues that linear perspective also carries out an ambivalent operation regarding the observer. Since the entire paradigm converges on one eye of the observer, a single eye of a single observer, that observer becomes central to the worldview established by the paradigm. At the same time, the importance of the observer is undermined by the assumption that vision follows supposedly objective rules. In other words, while empowering the subject by placing them at the center of vision, linear perspective also restricts the subjectivity of the observer by subjecting them to the supposedly objective laws of representation.

Linear perspective became the only accepted mode of representation for the religious, military, and economic elites of the time, established through the artistic field in the disciplines of drawing, painting, and sculpture, as well as in architecture. Around it, the dichotomy of right - wrong, good - bad, that is, a binary opposition that nullified and excluded other ways of representation based on values beyond science, emerged.

Donna Haraway, on the other hand, in her work on the promises of monsters, suggests that being inappropriate implies not fitting within available maps that specify types of actors and types of narratives. Being inappropriate does not define itself as modern or postmodern but insists on staying within the realm of the amodern. She proposes thinking about another geometry and another optics to consider relationships based on difference, whether between people, between humans and other organisms, or between humans and machines. The amodern entails a critical and deconstructive relationship, avoiding hierarchical domination, symbiotic fusion, or other forms of control.

Haraway introduces the concept of diffraction as an alternative to reflection and refraction. Diffraction, according to her, does not produce a displacement of the same as reflection and refraction do but is a cartography of interference. A diffracted model does not indicate where differences appear but rather where the effects of difference appear. This perspective promotes a more complex and relational understanding of relationships based on difference.

Conceptual Historical Research

A research that remains open, opening the door to continue growing and exploring new frontiers to generate other light installation proposals:

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