Sistema Cinco: Non-Human Determinations / Cristo Riffo (CL), Credit:

Sistema Cinco: Non-Human Determinations

Cristo Riffo (CL)

Sistema Cinco explores through technology the interdependencies and relationships of microorganisms, opposing nature’s molecular technologies with human-made ones.

It consists of a hacked microscope with robotic components that allow movement and exploration of vectors over microbial samples. The images that are projected live from the microscope are in opposition to the mapping of large terrains with the use of drones, where viewers can find connections and similarities between the microcosms in manners of scale, forms and shape.

The microscope is connected to AI to imagine realities of cybernetic management with algorithmic governance. Control algorithms will be based on Stafford Beer’s Viable System, a non-hierarchical organization structure inspired by the nervous system of biological organisms. The Viable System was the heart of the project Cybersyn, used for the management of Chilean state companies during the government of President Salvador Allende, from 1971 to 1973.


The participation is the result of a collaboration between Ars Electronica and the Ministerío de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio and the Ministerío de Relaciones Exteriores | Gobierno de Chile.

Montreal Supporting Institution: EASTERN BLOC


Portrait of Cristo Riffo
Photo: Charline Clavier

Cristo Riffo (CL)

Cristo Riffo explores memory, light, politics and biology through kinetic installations and A/V performances. Using robotics and biology, he hacks and modifies technological devices.

Cristo has exhibited internationally in Buenos Aires (AR), Montreal (CA), Bogotá (CO) and Berlin (DE). He received grants from the Fund for the Arts (CL) in 2014, 2016 and 2018. In 2019, his work was featured at the XIV Biennial of New Media in Santiago.

Currently he is pursuing an MFA at Concordia University (CA