Ever since he was a child, Joaquin Margulis has been amazed by machines. Today, he builds them as a part of his artistry – exploring themes of automation.

Joaquin Margulis left his studies of architecture to pursue an education in fine art. He graduated with honors from the School of Visual Arts (Escuela de Artes Visuales) from the Universidad Finis Terrae (Chile) in 2017, and has shown his work internationally in cities like Santiago, Madrid, Goa, Vienna, Rome, and Berlin.

His work is based on trying to find a language between sound and visual art. He works in mediums like installations, painting, and sound.

Joaquin Margulis

How would you define yourself as an artist? 

I have the feeling that when I decided to study fine arts, apart from becoming an artist, I was pursuing something unknown, perhaps seeking an answer. Still, without really knowing what the question was, with my research, I am constantly trying to find this question.

This incessant pursuit through experiments and the creation of thoughts is how I define myself as an artist, an extremely curious person following an unknown path carrying out different types of experiments to get different answers.


What does your creative process look like?

Trial and error and experimentation are the basis of my creative process, especially when I work with installations and sound. To approach different types of sounds, I need to experiment with different systems, mechanisms, forms, etc. Which also applies when working on paintings.

I like to try different methods or techniques to see the different results that one can obtain. It’s interesting that sometimes in the creative process, and the experimentation phase, one can reach random results, or as I like to call them: creative accidents. I believe these accidents are fundamental for my creative development.

You work in different mediums, painting, installations, sound, and more – does the medium choose the narrative or the narrative choose the medium? 

I believe it depends on what you want to achieve. For me, the idea that ‘the medium chooses the narrative’ is a very good method in the experimentation phase: to try new things, discover new ways, unveil new ideas, etc. But when one already has a landed idea, or in this case, a narrative, you try to find the ideal medium to achieve what’s expected.

The concept of automation prevails in my work, and since I’m working with machines, it is clear that the narrative chooses the medium in this case. For example, in my latest work ‘Prototype I,’ the idea was to generate a system that would automatically paint a given surface. I already knew the idea behind the work; I only needed to find a way to achieve it.

When I paint, it’s usually ‘the medium chooses the narrative,’ and that is the reason why with ‘Prototype I,’ it was also intended to automate the result and the act of painting. So, to conclude, I believe both ways are constantly interacting and communicating with each other.