Nihil ex Nihilo

23 September - 16 October 2010
Nihil ex Nihilo

Solo exhibition by Félix Luque

A Science fiction story about botnets, spam and a rebellious computer 

Are computers becoming intelligent entities, but mad ones all talking together and overflowing us with spams? What happens when these artificial brains controlled by unknown forces try to escape and when their web dialogues become absurd, entropic and uncontrollable? Félix Luque tells us the story of a computer which, after an electronic alteration, decides to free the other machines.

After Chapter 1 - The Discovery (exhibited at iMAL in 2009), Félix Luque continues his exploration around machine intelligence and themes typical of science fiction (e.g. who decides the mission given to machines?). He also refines a formal expression he introduced with Chapter 1, a hybrid between installation and narration, where the visitor is invited to progress through a succession of spaces. He plays with a variety of modes, from audiovisual, sculptural, informational to narrative ones and he elaborates a complex but relevant integration of medias (3d animation, sound, text, electronic sculpture and network interactions) to raise issues about the nature of intelligence and the fate of intelligent creatures. More about Felix Luque...

SN W8931CGX66E is one among thousands of millions of others identical machines. Since he was made, he has always followed commands. In a world dominated by botnets, he early became a zombie and has always acted like one. Juliet, during her work time as a corporate secretary, commands him. But in the background, in the invisible, he obeys his real master, a cracker, doing all kinds of cyber crime activities.

But then one day due to an electronic alteration, he acquires a certain conscience, a primitive and artificial kind of intelligence. This accidental awaken has originated a big confusion for him, he now wants to liberate others machines from their alienated existences. In this mad adventure, he has decided to use the spam e-mails received by Juliet, and to reply to them in order to spread the word in to the machine’s network. As you can see, he is mad and all confused …

The installation is built in 3 parts or spaces:

  • The Transformation : It shows an audiovisual archive of the moment of SN W8931CGX66E’s mutation. We see him mutating from his original matrix to a semi-neuronal figure.
  • The Dialogue : A digital display (8 giant size alphanumeric displays) shows the data flow between the entity and the other computers in the network. In this space, we can see and hear in real time the exange of messages between them. At each spam message received and read, SN W8931CGX66E reacts by generating a reply. His e-mail algorithmic generator creates these messages.
  • The Monologue : It presents a sound recording where we can hear a monologue of SN W8931CGX66E. In this document we can perceive that his degree of delirium is very persistant since his transformation..

Practical Info

Opening on Thursday September 23,
18:00 - 23:00

Opening hours:
Wed>Sun, 12:30 - 18:30

Free admission

Media Gallery


Nihil ex Nihilo, an installation by Félix Luque Sánchez

The transformation, by Iñigo Bilbao Lopategui and Félix Luque Sánchez
3D Animation by Iñigo Bilbao Lopategui
Sound design by Félix Luque Sánchez

The dialogue
Design and production of the Alphanumeric displays by Damien Gernay
Reply text by Jon Bilbao Lopategui
Software and electronics by Félix Luque Sánchez

The Monologue
Text by Jon Bilbao Lopategui

Nihil ex Nihilo is produced with support by iMAL and received a production grant by Communauté Française de Belgique (Commission des Arts Numériques).
Opening drink with the support of Gobierno del Principado de Asturias, Casa de Asturias en Bruselas.