Project Type: visual-design

Public Time


Plastic Time Project - Daniel Lara

One of The Long Now Foundation‘s primary functions is to creatively foster long-term thinking and responsibility. One of the most important and famous projects is the 10,000 year clock.  It is being built and has triggered a lot of controversy because of the cost and technological limitations.  So, I decided to make a series of cheap clocks that would trigger some time meditations. With a super-low budget.

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Public Installation video-prototype:

Body 2.0


What would be the mundane realities of a fully networked future? What is going to happen when electronic implants become as feasible as pacemakers or breast implants?

Body 2.0 is a set of 5 medical cases and 1 conversation that focus on unique features, uncommon banalities and possible absurdities of our near future, where our actions are integrated to the internet, and where new paradigms exist for privacy, social control and human interactions.

Beyond optimistic and glossy visions of the future, this video investigates our dependence on technology and our complex evolution with it.

Some preliminary video prototypes:


Installation views:


Some process projects:

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Synesthetic Record


Paintings, as static objects, do not make justice to the dynamic processes that created them. How to record the various states a painting goes through? In this performance Alex and I used the concept of synesthesia as a translator from color to sound. Each brushstroke to the canvas gets captured by a camera and translated to sound. White doesn’t produce any sound. There are two canvases on a table, each one being read by a webcam and triggering a different set of sounds, allowing the p(aint)erformer to be a dj with paint.

[ In collaboration with Alex Braidwood, at the MDP ]
–> Tools used: Max/MSP, OpenFrameworks, two computers, two webcams, 12″x12″ gesso boards, acrylic paint, brushes and speakers.

Painting Records (12″ x 12″):

Dangerous Diagrams



While trying to understand some of my influences in art, design, technology and economics I started drawing 4 overlapping circles.  I then realize that this kind of diagram was too flat and simplistic to serve my purpose, since there were missing “overlaps”.  For instance, in the graph below right there is no area where economics and art meet each other without involving technology and design.  At the end I figure a graph/drawing that matched my vision of the relationship of these fields and that is in tune with the complexities of the fields.

Some weeks after I attended Johanna Drucker talk at UCLA Design Media Arts about diagramming interpretation and realize how dangerous could be to flatten information.





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Cult Design


[ With: Ingrid Hora, Daniel Salomon, Dee Kim and Ana Rifa. ]

What are the elements that form a Cult?  During the summer of 2010 we investigated how religions, cults, brands and personalities design a suspension of disbelief around them.  The result was a movie shot in the desert of California.

Video Stills:

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3D Writing


3D Writing - Daniel Lara

The mission of the Museum of Prehistoric Future is to develop a better understanding of the three-dimensional writing systems that existed in the past.  We have collected artifacts used in such systems and our Research Department has been trying to decipher the messages that they embody.

We know for a fact that the development of 3D Writing evolved in a very organic way. Multimedia installations created environments with non-linear and spatial narratives that slowly created a language that sink very easily into peoples’ minds.  These installations started propagating very fast also because people became used to being surrounded by displays and bombarded with information.  Art Museums’ pieces -such as “Listening Post”- validated non-linear/simultaneous readings at the same time that all the main urban conglomerates developed their own version of “Times Square”. Parallel to this development, written language began to shrink.  By 2010 the Twitter Language was blooming and contagious to other spheres of written language. And then one event triggered a domino effect that forever changed the way humans communicated. On April 14th of 2010, Twitter started sending advertisements and people generated a biological response to the extreme diversification of their attention span. Something got rewired in the brain and people started perceiving in a natural non-linear manner for the first time. Lines of text and hence the Euclidean grid did not make sense anymore. People were perceiving space-time altogether, the way Albert Einstein predicted in 1905. The last fact we know for sure is that Sign Language influenced the development of three dimensional grammar, although we do not know exactly how. Also we know that the early writing systems borrowed shapes from the letterpress, because of two reasons: first, because of the tangibility of the letters and second because of the slow composing speed.  This slow speed should not be misunderstood as a drawback in effectiveness or in the amount of information exchanged.  In reality, a hyper fast brain of 2015 could compress very complex ideas in an artifact or two, in a shape that could be easily understood. In 2017, the alphabet became outdated and new forms of writing based on video and images emerged.  Also the 3D message printing systems became very affordable, and people were able to scan and send 3D messages that would update dynamically.  We were able to restore two of these printouts, but we are still developing the technology to decipher the messages contained.

Very recently, our Research Department was able to create a 3D translator that has given us a glimpse on the usage of 3D grammar. Because there is a simple “phrase” contained in the artifact, it is easier to see the changes that the position of the artifact have in the meaning of the phrase.

Photo Study:

Smart Technology


Smart Technology - Daniel Lara

While approaching the subject of the Smart-Home I started asking What is Home?, What is smart? and which are the relationships we establish with our home devices? Do we want gadget-slaves? How much control do we need to feel comfortable? Are the creators of smart-gadgets controlling people?

Old Bodies vs Faster Computers


This project allowed me to identify the contrast between faster computers being built and the inevitable slow down of our neurons. There must be a point in time for everybody where those two forces pull apart.


Metlox Murals