Ardis and Robert James Graduate Fellow
Artist in Residence Real Colegio Complutense
Francisco Alarcon is an artist and engineer working on the intersection of visual arts and technology. Alarcon’s research focus is on the material history of computer-generated graphics and how the interface informs the construction of cultural techniques. He is intrigued by the importance of the technical specificity of postphotographic image production in the contemporary visual culture—a topic that is often misunderstood. Alarcon’s approach to digital imaging is multifaceted, on a historical level and also conceptually, and the intention of his research is to demystify technical processes and philosophical perspectives on media operations.
Alarcon roots this abstract media operation of computation, inscription, clicking, and rendering in materialist and haptic terms. One focus of his work is to engage more explicitly with the new German media theory term “cultural techniques,” formulated after Friedrich Kittler. This school of thought helps conceive computation without computers through a view of computation as a processual media operation spanning different media. Along with conducting theoretical research, Alarcon puts theory into practice with further development of ongoing studio work.
Alarcon has been a guest critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Planning, Syracuse University School of Architecture and Universidad de las Américas Puebla (Mexico). His work has been exhibited at the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin, Museum of Cadiz, Museum of Huelva, A+D Museum in Los Angeles, SCI-Arc Gallery and the Druker Design Gallery at Harvard University.Francisco holds an MDes in Art, Design and the Public Domain from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He was the recipient of the Talentia Spanish Ministry of Education Grant to pursue an M.Arch. from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), where he graduated with distinction and his project, Innerscapes, won the prize for the best thesis. In addition, he holds an M.Eng. in Civil Engineering and has a Professional Civil Engineering License in Europe. At Harvard University he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Film and Visual Studies and Critical Media Practice, is the co-founder of the Harvard Blockchain Group and Artist in Residence at Real Colegio Complutense.