The video Untitled (the ghost of modernity) by Miguel Angel Rios filmed on a deserted plateau high above a distant town in Saachila Oaxaca Mexico, features a set of outlined cube structures built on the site and a transparent cube that floats through the landscape with a will of its own, as if magically suspended.
The moving camera establishes a dialogue with the floating and rotating cube choreographed to music composed by John Cage in 1947 for the feature of Marcel Duchamp's roto-reliefs in the surrealist film by Hans Richter "Dreams that money can buy". Performed by Juan Hidalgo in pianoforte preparato (its notes muted), this untitled piece by Cage was among the first projects in which he explored the idea of silence systematically. Untitled (the ghost of modernity) employs the silence of the landscape, the empty walls of the structural cubes, and the transparent and reflective surfaces of the glass cube to immerse the viewers in a poetic mise en abyme of settle spatial perceptions.
Was the project of modernization of the Americas based on the idolatry of an out worldly platonic figure? Is this ghostly geometric figure a lens through which the world can be reinterpreted? Or is it the paradigmatic principle of modernist thought that organizes the world around it? Are we inside or outside the cube?