Andrew Roberts is a mexican artist and writer. He incorporates elements of gameplay, roleplay and worldbuilding into his multi-platform practice, recognizing in these mechanisms a cultural structure where consumption and production become one. Researching the material dimension of horror, Roberts’s digital animations, installations, sculptures and poetry treat colonial agents as possessed images and haunted spaces. He is primarily concerned with representational systems, military technology and the parasitic relationship between Mexico and the United States of America, often exploring the links between optics, warfare and entertainment.

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Protean Silicone Matter
2023


Protean Silicone Matter

Pequod Co., Art Basel Miami Beach

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Haunted Silicone Matter

Pequod Co., Art Basel Miami Beach

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Tank
2023


Tank

Pequod Co., Mexico City

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Necromancer
2022


Necromancer (Vanitas)

House of Chappaz, Barcelona

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Necromancer (Mining Mana)

House of Chappaz, Valencia

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A hourse on fire is a ghost, a factory on fire is a specter
2022


A house on fire is a ghost, a factory on fire is a specter

Best Practice, San Diego

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The Harvest
2021


The Harvest (Pilot Episode)

Collaboration with Mauricio Muñoz

Delaplane, San Francisco

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The Harvest

Collaboration with Mauricio Muñoz

Delaplane, San Francisco

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We are sorry to notify you that due to the end of the world...
2020


La Horda (The Horde)

Pequod Co., Mexico City

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CARGO

Pequod Co., Mexico City

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Undead

Pequod Co., Mexico City

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Isla, dinos tu nombre (Island, tell us your name)
2019


Isla, dinos tu nombre

Roca, Isla, Glaciar, Museo Jumex, Mexico City

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Towards Electromateriality
2018


Towards Electromateriality

Ficción y tiempo, Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco

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Towards Electromateriality

Ficción y tiempo, Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco

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Sunrise Corporation
2017


Brief History of the Sun

Centro Cultural Tijuana

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The Complex

Centro Cultural Tijuana

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Sunrise Corporation Headquarters

Centro Cultural Tijuana

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Necromancer
House of Chappaz, Barcelona, Valencia
11/30/22 — 05/18/23

Necromancer, House of Chappaz, Barcelona, installation view


Excerpt from Necromancer, 2022, 4K CGI video, color, sound, looped



If magic would be a non-renewable natural resource, what clues would it give us about a supposed immaterial digitality when the geological resources that feed our black boxes are being exploited? If our machines have instrumentalized lightness, mobility and speed as a sign of immateriality, what stories reveal a heavy and material technology acting upon bodies made of flesh and minerals?

In Necromancer, Andrew Roberts revisits the work of Larry Niven —a high fantasy writer informed by his ecological thinking— and the myriad of agents who dialogue with the author's ideas through video games, board games, role-playing games, and collectible cards. Roberts prepares a playground full of connections that move between the historiography of a subculture and conspiracy thinking, thereby manufacturing a genealogy of media that aims to become media geology.

At the center of Roberts and Niven's work is Mana, a video game mechanic popularized by World of Warcraft as a point system for casting spells. In reality, one can trace the appearance of Mana in the Western imagination from a colonial process. As a result of explorations to the Pacific Islands that sought the spread of Christianity through Missions, the word found its place in English academia when Robert Henry Codrington published The Melanesians: Studies in their Anthropology and Folk-Lore in 1891. The word, for the natives, meant a natural force similar to lightning; for academics, mistaken by their Eurocentric bias, it was evidence that a proto-religion connected the Pacific.

Mana reemerged in California during the 1960s through American academia, counterculture movements, psychedelic medievalism, and the foundations of the now computer industry. In response to the Santa Barbara oil spill that devastated the bay of southern California during 1969, Niven published his short story Not Long Before the End, where he established a world in which magic was a resource violently consumed by his magicians. The Magic Goes Away from 1978 expands his literary universe by naming this non-renewable natural resource as Mana. From that point on, computer and role-playing game developers integrated his ideas into the mechanics of their games, inadvertently injecting an environmentalist spin into the now leading interactive fantasy franchises.

Andrew Roberts articulates this playground through objects, digital animations and poems that build obscure and cryptic references among themselves. If Niven catalyzes his concern about the oil crisis and air pollution into fantasy stories, Roberts questions how to continue building on it. Faced with the exploitation of human bodies and mining of rare minerals shipped to the technology industry, how can we play with environmental fantasies to name the digital as something material?

Red Vanitas, 2022, 4K CGI video, color, sound, looped


Green Vanitas, 2022, 4K CGI video, color, sound, looped


Blue Vanitas, 2022, 4K CGI video, color, sound, looped


Necromancer, House of Chappaz, Valencia, installation view


Excalibur Resources Ltd. (The sun was warm and bright, and here they sat on the biggest corpse in the world), 2022, digital prints on aluminium cutouts 120 × 210 cm (47 1⁄4 × 82 1⁄2 in)

Alien Metals Ltd., 2022, digital prints on aluminium cutouts 43 × 66 cm (17 × 26 in)


Silver Viper Minerals, 2022, digital prints on aluminium cutouts 440 × 90 cm (15 3⁄4 × 35 1⁄2 in)


Harvest Gold Corporation, 2022, digital prints on aluminium cutouts, 40 × 100 cm (15 3⁄4 × 39 1⁄4 in)


Commander Resources Ltd. (Red), 2022, digital prints on aluminium cutouts and stainless steel bolts, 355 × 35 cm (139 3⁄4 × 13 3⁄4 in)



Commander Resources Ltd., House of Chappaz, Valencia, installation view


Silicone mask and glove (Bloom), 2022, colored pencil on papel and custom frame, 65 × 95 cm ( 25 1⁄2 × 37 1⁄2 in)



Necromancer, House of Chappaz, Barcelona, installation view


Necromancer, House of Chappaz, Valencia, installation view