Assistant Professor, Design and Architecture School
Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
The translation of technological cultures into geographical spaces (and vice versa) is a key element that shapes our contemporary society, for instance, our times reveal the relocation of the notion of “Latin America” in the framework of the transformations of the global and local realities. The Latin American Forum in the context of the International Symposium on Electronic Art ISEA should be understood as an effort to explore such a condition. The last decade has been the witness of a profound debate about the genealogy and the meaning of the term “Latin America” its origins in the XIX century reveal a rich interaction between the cultural climate of the young republics in the Americas and European humanism, such a debate has been illuminating new contemporary ideas about our local and global conditions.
The Latin American Forum III at ISEA2012 was a rich and complex venue that intended to articulate a diversity of proposals ranging from digital culture to the technological arts, from the critical production to the historical perspective, from the science to the technology fields. The papers published in this issue of Media-N are samples of two of the many branches that were part of the Latin American Forum III in Albuquerque, one comes from the media arts practice and the second one comes from curatorial context.
The first one is the paper Parallel Actions. Modernity and Allegory of the Impossible Tracks: SEFT-1 by Mexican writer Jose Luis Barros, this text has been originally published in Spanish in a book completely dedicated to the SEFT-1 project led by artists Iván Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene, this is the first time the text is published in English. The SEFT-1, a vehicle re designed to explore abandoned railroads had a prominent role in the ISEA2012 Art Exhibition and now it is fair we have a critical essay about the dialogs it motivates. The SEFT-1 is an exceptional piece because of its technical components and performative nature; it interrogates the “progress” of communication and transportation technologies building a huge mobile device that explores in depth the remains of the industrial era.
The second one is the panel Public Dialog: Conversations with Brazilian Artists and Curators moderated by professor Simone Osthoof, this dialog casts Giselle Beiguelman with her paper Art. BR: Technophagic, ad-hocratic and radicant and Priscila Arantes with her paper Curatorial Practice as Living History: Processes of Transformation. Both Giselle and Priscila are key media practitioners, writers and curators from Brazil, who from different points of view contribute with their curatorial projects to serious conceptual and analytic reflections about the nature of technology consumption or the impossibility to reduce the cultural practice in Latin America to a uniform system.
Andres Burbano, originally from Colombia, explores the interactions of science, art and technology in various capacities: as a researcher, as an individual artist and in collaboration with other artists, designers, scientists and engineers. Burbano’s work ranges from documentary video (in both science and art,) sound and telecommunication art, to the exploration of algorithmic cinematic narratives. The broad spectrum of his work illustrates the importance, indeed, the prevalence, of interdisciplinary collaborative work in the field of technological arts. Burbano holds a PhD in Media Arts and Technology from the University of California and is Assistant Professor in the Design and Architecture School at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia.