Rolando J. Carmona
An independent Venezuelan curator, based in Paris, with a degree in Architecture and Museology (UCV). Currently he is studying for a Masters in "Recherche arts mention art contemporain New Medias" at Paris 8. Director and founder of Museum Miranda and Museo Mateo Manaure (Venezuela). Developer of art projects for museums and alternative spaces in Venezuela and France such as Ars Longa, Collection Mercantil, VAEA, MACZUL amongst others. Rolando J Carmona is a member of the group Artplatforme.
It is impossible to talk about a homogenous Latin American culture and it is a common risk to enounce our identity as a genetic essence reflected in art. This concept referring to what some call Latino is an easy source of idealism and a clichéd perception of what we are as a continent, easily forgetting differences to sustain common "histories or territories". As an alternative option to these dynamics, the programme Art Numérique was created. Its goal is to broaden perspectives about our aesthetic universe in dialogue with today's society. In the face of this context it is appropriate to generate readings that can help us understand the vibrant landscape of our continent.
For more than fifty years there has been a generation of digital artists (in French known as des artistes du numérique) working towards a different direction, questioning new aesthetic forms coming from a globalised imaginary, different perceptions of reality and more particularly, a fusion of these technologies with the human being. This generation cannot be understood through formal, conceptual or even local parameters that tend to give value to paintings or performances. The problem here goes beyond the expressive medium and confronts us with aesthetic dynamics that belong to the digital world.
The term art numérique was created by Yvaral in 1975 to define an art associated to technology. This was thought as a kind of art that could be capable of generating aesthetic processes starting with the combination of mathematical algorithms. The origins of these aesthetic forms come from the early 1950s with Nicolas Schöffer's experiments, specifically "CYSP 1" (1956), the first autonomous sculpture with a cybernetic brain that could respond to different stimuli from the environment.
In the Latin American context, the first experiments were made during the 1960s by Enrique Castro-Cid, Marta Minujin (Simultaneidad en simultaneidad 1966); Geldmacher-Mariotti (Cubo luminoso 1968), Margarita Paksa, Ruben Nuñez, and later Luis Benedit (Biotrón 1970) and Waldemar Cordeiro (Arteonica 1971), amongst many others.
Until that moment, there was no structure that could promote or generate a market for this kind of research. This was the main reason behind the creation of Art Numérique in Pinta London, as a mechanism to visit and promote this chapter in the history of Latin American art. Despite the fact that this digital art is characterised by being of no-place, it is possible to approach a historiography of local art in which our artists combine formal references from South America or local questionings about the common imaginary belonging to the meta-culture of the Web, which is precisely the main theme of our first edition.
The goal of this selection is to convey the globalising character that art has in the Net through the particular vision of inventors sharing a particular "culture". In this selection an evolution of a global meta-culture can be seen: from the daring character of Minujín to the ease in which Torres masters the technologies of video games. This puts into evidence the change of paradigm by which we are no longer inside a differed communication circle, but in a simultaneous and expansive one. In this dynamic, information rises as an expansible architecture, able to be fragmented and transferred through a seemingly autonomous behaviour: an expansive structure and a community of telecommunication that relates to MacLuhan's concept of the future of planet Earth: a Global village.
Buenos Aires 1943
"Simultaneidad en simultaneidad 1966"
A pioneer of Pop Art in Latin America and an active artist since 1957, Minujín is known mainly for her happenings in which the pieces involve the viewer, reflect on the world of media and reinterpret the pictorial problem through unusual situations. She has participated in different events, biennials and individual exhibitions throughout the world (The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the 27th Biennial in Sao Paulo, The Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the MALBA, Expo 67 in Montreal, amongst others)
"Simultaneidad" is defined by the artist as an "environment signal". The piece generates a similar communicational model to what it would be known later on as the Internet. In 1966 Minujín, together with Allan Kaprow and Wolf Vostell, organised three happenings at the same time, in three different cities: Buenos Aires, Berlin and Colonia. The result of these simultaneous actions was communicated via the satellite "Flying Bird" to the three countries, generating an interactive process of transmitting real-time information. For this, the artist used sixty televisions, the same number of radio transmitters, slide projectors, cameras and film, sound broadcasting equipment and voice recorders. The result was a complex media environment transmitted via satellite. Days later the information was projected, 500 phone calls were made, 100 telegrams were sent to the viewers who watched the recording of the televised event, with the message "you are a creator."
Caracas 1977, lives and works in NY
"Maximum Security, 1998-2004"
Yucef Mehri is a pioneer of net art and Hacking Art in the South America. Merhi's oeuvre navigates between regenerative poetry and information systems. He became popular in the late 1990s when he took control of the website of the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art and built a parallel website. His work extends to multiple publications and has been exhibited all over the world, such as the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museo de Arte ContemporÃ¡neo de Caracas, Bronx Museum of the Arts and in the Biennial in Istanbul, Sao Paulo and Valencia, among others.
"Maximum Security" is one of the very first examples of Hacking Art (known as Net Art in the early stages of this movement). The installation showed is the result of a process of interception that took place during many years, of the personal e-mails of the deceased president Hugo ChÃ¡vez. In this work the Secrets of State are transformed into visual poetry, gathering information that allows the viewer to understand the persona that created one of the most charismatic and most recognised characters in the media today.
Paris 1986, lives and works in Paris
"Tram en temps Réel"
Artist-programmer. His researches are based on deep analysis on numerology and geometry. Currently, influenced by video games and his personal relationship with the pioneers of Kinetic and Cybernetic art (Julio Le Parc and Nicolas Schöffer), Torres creates immersive and interactive spaces. In these works called "tram en temps réel", the spectator interacts with his own body transforming virtual volumes that levitate into space, generating impossible geometries. His work has been shown by the "Galerie Denise René" in the principal art fairs in Europe and he has also exhibited in France, Belgium, Istanbul, Germany, Switzerland and Venezuela.
"Tram en temps réel" will be accessible from a link on the web, to which visitors will be able to access through their devices. Santiago Torres put us face to face with the typical and traditional question about net art: whilst exhibitions still appear to be requiring mediation, these pieces interact with the spectator directly, turning him into an active participant more than a passive spectator.