[-empyre-] New Media Art: Ephemerality and/or Sustainability

Ricardo Dal Farra rdalfarr at alcor.concordia.ca
Mon Sep 27 23:05:29 EST 2010

Hello all,

This is really a small world. I read with 
surprise the past email by Claudia about Peru and 
the Amauta project, as I was part of it.
Carlos Battilana, Walter "Litho" Aparicio and 
myself were working together to develop the 
Amauta project in Cusco and the surrounding 
areas. The project was mainly supported with two 
grants from The Daniel Langlois Foundation of 
Montreal and Mr. Battilana's personal funds, and 
it was hosted by Centro Bartolomé de las Casas, 
an NGO with a long history on that region.

We were focusing on artists from Cusco...
... and also collaborating with peasant 
communities of the region in developing joint 

Amauta had a well equipped media lab in Cusco, 
open for artists that wished to realize their 
artistic works there. Nobody paid any fee to use 
the resources available at the media lab. Artists 
were also welcomed to attend workshops, lectures, 
film projections, concerts and exhibitions that 
were held at the Centre. Again, no fees were 
asked to participate. Many international artists 
were giving one or two weeks workshops at the 
Amauta Project's media lab during the past years 
(such as: Barbara Layne, David McIntosh, Xavier 
Bellenger, Lila Pagola, Bruce Yonemoto and Joanne 
Lalonde, among others).

The project itself was stopped about a year ago 
after the world financial crisis made very 
difficult to keep finding the money to support 
it, but there are still interesting media art 
projects carried out in Cusco by former members 
of the Amauta team together with foreign artists.

I could come back with more info about the Amauta 
project if you think it is interesting and 
relevant to the list members.

Best regards,
Ricardo Dal Farra

>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
>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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