[-empyre-] Conservar, Documentar, Archivar.

claudia claudiakozak at yahoo.com.ar
Mon Sep 27 07:46:59 EST 2010

Hello everyone,

I respond taking as a point of departure some of the very interesting
remarks pointed out by Johannes. 

I find very stimulating his concerning with the politics of the art &
technology scenery. One of the cases he comments -the setting up of CheLA
(Centro Hipermediático Experimental Latinoamericano)- presents interesting
edges. When CheLA began here its activities around 2002-2003, it was seen as
a huge bet which would feed Latin American art & technology space with lots
of projects, activities, etc. And despite CheLA has produced of course very
interesting projects, it seems to me that it hasn´t get the visibility it
deserves. A couple of years ago it was a bit difficult to get information
about the activities they were carrying on, it seemed to be working below of
its potential -I suppose due to economic issues-. But there is another way
of seeing the same question: CheLA is located in the south part of Buenos
Aires city, been the north part richer and more developed. Espacio Fundación
Telefónica and CCEBA are instead located in very central parts of the city.
CCEBA has recently acquired (by a donation of the City Hall for 30 years, I
believe) a big building (5870 m2) which used to be long time ago an
Orphanage (built in 1887). The building was abandoned and 30/40 squatter
families lived there during the eighties and nineties. In 2003 they were
violently evicted by the police. Although CCEBA San Telmo (this new location
of CCEBA) is located in the south part of the city, it is really placed in a
very touristic location, as it is in the core of the old quarter which is
now one of the more visited places by tourists. On the contrary, CheLA is
located in Parque Patricios, I  really don´t think many tourists walk around
there. I read in CheLa website that they are committed with their
surrounding community, they are developing very interesting activities in
that sense. The tags (or key words) which appear in their website below the
name are: Arte/Tecnología/Comunidad. While I am writing this words I am
aware that the information about CheLA that we have in Ludion is very
limited. When we put it online we had less information (I think their
website was in construction), although a couple of our members knew
personally people involved with CheLA...

And talking about the commitment with the community, while designing a new
research project to present at University of Buenos Aires as a continuation
of the present one which supports Ludion, I was looking last month for
information about art & technology in Peru, and I found a very interesting
case in Cusco: Proyecto Amauta http://www.amautaproject.org/index.htm. As
Johannes understood, Ludion focuses for now on Argentina, but our goal is to
extend our "Radar Station" to Latin America. However, we are really in the
very beginnings, many important artists and projects are still out of our
sight. Anyway, even if we could have enough time and energies to map the
whole art & technology Latin American scene (which is not the case) we would
nevertheless insist on the idea of a "weak archive" in order to stress not
only on our own and contextual limitations, but also on the limitations that
a certain "way of seen" imposes. In that sense, a "weak archive" should to
be thought as a positive rather than a negative concept.

Best regards,

-----Mensaje original-----
De: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
[mailto:empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] En nombre de Johannes
Enviado el: jueves, 23 de septiembre de 2010 04:14 p.m.
Para: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
Asunto: [-empyre-] Conservar, Documentar, Archivar.

dear all

thanks much to the presentations by Vanina Hofman, Claudia Kozak,  and
Ricardo Dal Farra; 
the angles from which you approached the topic of discussion, and your
references to political/geographical location, 
your positions and the questions you raise were most inspiring and thought-
provoking, and i am very grateful
to learn more about the projects and productions, archived-archivable or
not, that are going on in the Latin American
cities and regions; 

it certainly is true as you point out, that in the northern / & english
speaking countries, and perhaps amongst the majority of
participants on a list such as this one, there is often not enough knowledge
and awareness of media arts productions as well
as reflections and archaeologies of media histories, the "relationship
between arts and technology from the
beginning of 20th Century" & "intermedial technological poetics” in
Argentina and other Latin American countries,  refered to by Claudia. 

Vanina not only mentioned that there was an increase in important media
artworks over the past years or decades (which i would like to learn more
and also understand better the infrastructural situations, the conditions
for production/ exhibition, and archiving, the organizations and media arts
schools (?), festivals, media libraries and mediathèques at museums -
surely there is information and a network and it's my lack that I did not
investigate more, or convince the Latin art galleries/dealers in Houston to
show more work of this kind)

she then adds:
For whom is important the artwork itself?  and for whom its  
documentation (a memory, a platform, a departing point for research)?

For Taxonomedia the documentation was always a challenging aspect of  
the media arts conservation that one has to confront. We were aware  
that the high budgets required in conservation projects were rendering  
their implementation feasibility impossible and thus out of our scope.  
On the other hand the extensive production of interesting artworks  
based on technological means in countries like ours deserve a wider  
visibility. Information archiving can fill the gap between artwork  
production and the possibilities of artwork exhibition. Moreover,  
these online spaces are significant because when considering the non  
linear way that technology becomes obsolete it is unlikely that these  
artworks can be uncovered in the future. Thus, the multiple archives  
conceived with different criteria may provide some kind of  
rediscovering of artworks at some moment.  >> 

I would love to hear more discussion here about some of the ideas you've
offered, on the "weak archive,"  or the "radar station" (as i understand an
ironic side remark from the collective “Exploratory” Ludión
(www.ludion.com.ar).....and this notion of "information archiving."

I have 2 brief examples that I feel connect directly to my practices, and
perhaps missing connections, making me wish to re-thread the links (also
sharing this here with you).

In 2002 I participated in a workshop organized by Fabian Wagmister,
"RePerCute -- Reflexiones sobre Performance, Cultura y Tecnología,  Mayo
10-11, 2002 HyperMedia Studio, UCLA, Los Angeles,  and it was a very
meeting of artists and performance/media practitioners from Latin America
who spoke about their work and their working situations & political ideas.
This diálogo was recorded and then transcribed, i had hoped to publish it in
a book or catalogue, but the dream was not fulfilled, well, here it is
online now: http://www.aliennationcompany.com/projects/repercute.htm     (in
spanish and english) , transcript:

Fabian had told us he was hoping to set up a media arts center in Buenos
Aires, and he looked for trans-cultural collaboration on this venture, which
was delayed, I think, due to economic circumstances.  A short while later i
left Houston and moved to work in Europe intermittently, losing sight of
Wagmister and the colleagues, and my closest friend in the group died. 
Now I am discovering on the Taxonomedia website that cheLA -  Centro
Hipermediático Experimental Latinoamericano (cheLA) -  is alive and well, so
this dream has worked out after all (http://www.chela.org.ar)

Have you worked with cheLA and what are the relationships amongst
organizations, and artists?  and practitioners in other locations in latin

My second example is fresh, from this afternoon,  i met a new MA student
here at the introductions;   Lorena Peña tells me that times have been
tough, conditions for work difficult, in Peru - she feels that compared to
Argentina and Brasil, the circumstances to produce digital art – and find
means to document/archive and preserve, along with all the issues that
Ricardo Dal Farra so evocatively described -  are rougher in her country,
and that creative solutions needed to be invented, without recourse to arts
councils and cultural ministries and wealthy corporate sponsors,  for
example forming an independent bottom up collective seeking to generate
opportunites for work and for dissemination.  and so here it is -  

Elgalpon.espacio:   espacio de creación y diffusion de proyectos artísticos
Cipriano dulanto (ex-la mar) 949 +pueblo libre

Lorena and her friends call the space they've created "un espacio cultural
autogestionario"  -  and i trust there are perhaps others, many others, of
this kind, and yet the information may not flow enough, across the regions
and borders and up north, east and west, and language and economic means &
time are perhaps one issue, but online dissemination/presences – in our
so-called "social networks" - may be the other, and i often feel that the
communities I belong to (say, the network of dance technology and its
elaborate online forum:  http://www.dance-tech.net/    -- a truly amazing ,
growing "archive" of living performance-media experimentation with video
commons and dancetechTV, interviews and workshops and bulletin boards) still
tend to be isolated (english spoken, but rarely if ever any other language
and language system, thus awkwardly separated from the asian regions and
their activities, publications, and debates). 

May i ask how in Vanina and Claudia's groups the "links" (and thus the
connections i am trying to discuss) are sought or found? located?  
  I notice that Ludion focusses on Argentina,  while taxonomedia on its
homepage has a large range of links that appear go north/northwest to the US
and Canada (and the Netherlands) or organizations based there?  are
questions about such geopolitical links meaningful,  and are there
organizations that are located nowhere (rhizome?  forging-the-future.net/
?) or are trans-local?  and then the question is not important?  But was not
the specifically located media archive an important challenge you raised?

with regards
Johannes Birringer
West London

empyre forum
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