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16 Jun 2014

Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene (Los Ferronautas) bring SEFT-1 to London

Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene, SEFT-1 with Citlaltépetl in the background (The Arts Catalyst & Furtherfield)

SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe - Modern Ruins 1:220
The Arts Catalyst with Furtherfield


20 June–27 July 2014,
exhibition open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11am-6pm Friday 20 June 2014, press preview 5pm and private view 6-8pm

Jo Fells
+44 (0)20 7633 0435

Furtherfield Gallery
Finsbury Park
London N4 2NQ

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SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe - Modern Ruins 1:220

Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene (Los Ferronautas) built their striking silver road-rail SEFT-1 vehicle to explore the abandoned passenger railways of Mexico and Ecuador, capturing their journeys in videos, photographs and collected objects.

In their first London exhibition, SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe - Modern Ruins 1:220, commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and presented in partnership with Furtherfield in their gallery space in the heart of Finsbury Park, the artists explore how the ideology of progress is imprinted onto historic landscapes and reflect on the two poles of the social experience of technology - use and obsolescence.

Between 2006 and 2011, the artists travelled across Mexico and Ecuador in the SEFT-1 (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada or Manned Railway Exploration Probe). In a transdisciplinary art project, they set out to explore disused railways as a starting point for reflection and research, recording the landscapes and infrastructure around and between cities. Interviewing people they met, often from communities isolated by Mexico's passenger railway closures, they shared their findings online,, where audiences could track the probe's trajectory, view maps and images and listen to interviews.

The artists' journeys led them to the notion of modern ruins: places and systems left behind quite recently, not because they weren't functional, but for a range of political and economical reasons. In the second half of the 19th century, the Mexican government partnered with British companies to built the railway line that would connect Mexico City with the Atlantic Ocean – and beyond to Europe. This iconic railway infrastructure now lies in ruins, much of it abandoned due to the privatisation of the railway system in 1995, when many passenger trains were withdrawn, lines cut off and communities isolated.

For this new exhibition, the artists are inviting British expert model railway constructors to collaborate by creating scale reproductions of specific Mexican railway ruins exactly as they are now. One gallery becomes a space for the process of model ruin construction. The room's walls will show the pictures, documents, plans and other materials used as reference for the meticulously elaborated ruin construction. With this action a dystopian time tunnel is created.

The SEFT-1 exploration probe will be on display next to the gallery 20–22 June, 11–13 July, 18–20 July and 25–27 July 2014.

The Artists

Ivan Puig (born 1977, Guadalajara, MX) has exhibited internationally in Mexico, Germany, Canada, Brazil and the United States. He is the recipient of a number of awards and residencies including the BBVA Bancomer Foundation Grant for the SEFT-1 project (2010-2011) and the Cisneros Fontanals Foundation (CIFO) Grant in 2010. Puig, a member of the collective TRiodO (with Marcela Armas and Gilberto Esparza), lives and works in Mexico City.

Andrés Padilla Domene (born 1986 in Guadalajara, MX) has exhibited work in various contexts including ISEA 2012 (Albuquerque, New Mexico), The National Museum of Art MUNAL (Mexico City, 2011), 04 Transitio_MX (Mexico, 2011), and EFRC, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (Qutio, Ecuador, 2012). His video work as director and producer with Camper Media includes documentaries, fiction films and TV shows.

Saturday 21 June, gallery tour with the artists: 2pm and talk by Dr Malcolm Miles and discussion with the artists: 3-5.30pm (booking required for the talk)

A full programme of events and ticket bookings will be posted at

Presented in partnership with Furtherfield
With support from Embassy of Mexico, Arts Council England, Central de Maquetas

For interviews, images and further information, please contact:
Jo Fells, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7633 0435 / (0) 7977 226187

Notes to Editors

1. The Arts Catalyst commissions contemporary art that experimentally and critically engages with science. It produces provocative, playful, risk-taking artists' projects to spark dynamic conversations about our changing world and seeks new ways to involve artists, scientists and the wider public in a discourse about the impact of science in society.

2. Furtherfield is the UK's leading organisation for arts, technology and social change. Since 1997 Furtherfield has created online and physical spaces and places for people to come together to develop and create critical experimental art and digital technologies on their own terms. Furtherfield Gallery and Commons are based in the heart of London's Finsbury Park. This serves as a hub to connect and activate local and international communities of artists, technologists, thinkers and doers.