art culture neW media
Revista trimestral • Quartely magazine Número 1 • Issue 1 18 € • 23 $ USA
arte cultura nuevos medios
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Dossier: ARTE PÚBLICO/PUBLIC ART (Minerva Cuevas, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Rogelio López Cuenca, GAC); Brasil: Marepe; Jürgen Klauke; Maurizio Cattelan; 8ª Bienal de Estambul; Cibercontexto; Críticas/Reviews; Noticias/News. Hans Ulrich Obrist, Agnaldo Farías, Ana Carceller, Rosina Cazali, Eva Grinstein, Daniel García Andújar, Uta M. Reindl ...
Directora / Editor Alicia Murría email@example.com Subdirectora / Senior Editor Ana Carceller firstname.lastname@example.org Coordinación para Latinoamérica Latin America Coordinator: Eva Grinstein email@example.com
Colaboran en este número / Contributors: Francisco Baena, Paloma Blanco, Ana Carceller, Rosina Cazali, Amanda Cuesta, José Luis Estévez, Daniel García Andújar, Santiago García Navarro, Eva Grinstein, Amparo Lozano, Pedro Medina Reinón, Bárbaro Miyares, Alicia Murría, Hans Ulrich Obrist, José Álvaro Perdices/Eduardo García Nieto, Uta M. Rindl y Claudio Zulián. Especial agradecimiento / Special thanks: Horacio Lefèvre, Comando Barcelona, María Jesús Murría, Nora Redal, Manuel Olveira, Carles Guerra y Florenci Guntín.
Equipo de redacción / Editorial Staff : Alicia Murría, Ana Carceller, Eva Grinstein, Santiago Olmo, Carmen Parra, Juan Carlos Yuste.
firstname.lastname@example.org Publicidad / Advertising: email@example.com Suscripciones / Subscriptions: Apdo. Postal/P.O.Box: 4153 – 28005 Madrid. España. firstname.lastname@example.org Distribución / Distribution: email@example.com Oficinas / Office: tel. 34 913656596 C/ Santa Ana 14, 2º C. 28005 Madrid. ESPAÑA
ARTECONTEXTO arte cultura nuevos medios es una publicación trimestral de: ARTEHOY. Publicaciones y Gestión, S.L. Impreso en España Filmación: LUCAM. Prudencio Álvaro, 58. 28027 Madrid Impreso: CROMOIMAGEN. Albasanz, 14 bis. 20037 Madrid ISSN 1697-2341 Depósito legal: M-1968–2004 Todos los derechos reservados. Ninguna parte de esta publicación puede ser reproducida o transmitida por ningún medio sin el permiso escrito del editor. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means without written permission from the publisher.
Diseño / Design: El Viajero www.elviajero.org Con la colaboración de Lourdes Barbal.
© de la edición: ARTEHOY. Publicaciones y gestión, S.L. © de las imágenes, sus autores © de los textos, sus autores © de las traducciones, sus autores © de las reproducciones, VEGAP. Madrid 2004.
Traducciones / Translations: Dwight Porter, Roxana Fitch, Jane Brodie, Juan Sebastián Cárdenas.
Fotografía de portada / Cover photo: Fiona Tan, Saint Sebastian, video installation, 2001 © Fiona Tan, courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London
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Primera página / Page One Alicia Murría Dossier: Arte público / Public Art Usos, abusos y desusos del espacio público / Use, Abuse and Disuse of Public Space Paloma Blanco Ciudades, ciudades, ciudades: Actos de antropofagia en los espacios públicos Cities, Cities, Cities: Acts of Anthropophagy in Public Space Rosina Cazali La Tierra [Rirkrit Tiravanija] / The Land [Rirkrit Tiravanija] Hans Ulrich Obrist Restos de territorios y nuevos desiertos / Territorial Remains and New Deserts Claudio Zulián La acción urbana como forma de resistencia estético-política [Grupo de Arte Callejero] Urban Action as a Means of Aesthetic and Political Resistance [Grupo de Arte Callejero] Eva Grinstein Un caso paradójico: la “desprivatización” del territorio empresarial. [Minerva Cuevas] A Paradoxical Case: The “Deprivatization” of Business Territory. [Minerva Cuevas] Santiago Navarro Interacciones con el espacio público: poéticas políticas. [Rogelio López Cuenca] Interactions with Public Space: Political Poetics. [Rogelio López Cuenca] Ana Carceller
El eterno murmullo en mi interior. [Conversación con Jürgen Klauke] The Eternal Murmur in me. [A conversation with Jürgen Klauke] Heinz-Norbert Jocks
Las cosas que deben mirarse. [Desde Brasil: Marepe] The Things that Should Be Seen. [From Brazil: Marepe] Agnaldo Farías
SUMARIO / CONTENTS Nº 1
Cibercontexto Práctica artística y nuevas herramientas. [Acerca del software libre] Artistic Practice and New Tools. [On free software] Actualidad en la Red / Net News Daniel García Andújar Noticias / News
102 Críticas de exposiciones / Reviews 134 Libros / Books .::. ARTECONTEXTO .::. 3
pAGE ONE A little over a year ago this magazine was only an idea. Plagued with doubts, risks and plenty of work, in the time lapsed since then that idea has become a reality. We know that creating a little place for ourselves between international art publications will be no easy task, but we are determined to succeed. ARTECONTEXTO springs forth with a series of goals. It is a publication that aims to become a useful tool. It will be usefulness headed toward several directions. Our first goal is to become a platform for debate; an open, flexible area that can establish itself as a place to throw light on projects, ideas and approaches that are barely or only partially reflected these days. Among other things, we would like to contribute to dissolving that cliché –so abused in so-called international circuits– about how not much happens in this country, how there are no significant artists, theorists and critics here. We believe quite the opposite: in Spain there is a level comparable to that of surrounding countries, but who admittedly have better developed structures, greater means and support to the art sector than us. The deep changes that are taking place in the realm of art also require new approaches on our part; art practices are now being contaminated with formulas originating from other fields that require greater complexity in analysis and demand new, different tools to interpret them. We aim to take up and reflect that complexity and for that reason we want to create space in progress that can take on both the role of seismographer and detonator. To achieve that, we have adopted a philosophy of the sum of individual efforts, without this meaning that we have to sand away the friction that the framework of theory must contain. We don’t intend to be indulgent or even self-indulgent. We want our work to be permeable and receptive to well-argued criticism, so we welcome you to use it, to participate in this project. Constructing an effective communication bridge with Latin America is one of ARTECONTEXTO’s prime goals; we are convinced of the enormous wealth of its artists and theorists and are aware of the historical ignorance that has been flaunted, heritage of a colonizing outlook. We plan its active presence in every section of the magazine. Indeed, to enable more effective dialogue, part of our staff is located in Buenos Aires, with the intention of extending to other countries. We are basing our work on these axes. In a personal note, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who in one way or another believed in this project and went along with us, and especially to those who worked toward turning the ARTECONTEXTO project into a reality.
ARTECONTEXTO AIMS TO bECOME A plATfORM fOR dEbATE, A USEfUl TOOl.
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Rirkrit Tiravanija. La Tierra.
The Land Hans Ulrich Obrist
More and more artists today refuse to display their creativity exclusively within and upon the pristine walls of the gallery space. Their curriculum vitae increasingly mention such diverse projects as designs for restaurants, private residences, or public buildings. This inclination of art towards architecture and design emerges from the revived interest of artists throughout the nineties to more actively question the role they play in society. In turning towards collaborative and transdisciplinary practices, artists have been defining new modes of bypassing formalist credos and interacting with the social realities of daily life. Rrikrit Tiravanija has been a key figure of these developments. Recently he revealed his ideas concerning The Land a large-scale collaborative and transdisciplinary project taking place on a plot of land that Tiravanija purchased in the village of Sanpatong, near Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Land is a laboratory for self-sustainable development but it is also a site where a new model for art and a new model for living are being tested out. Begun in 1998, The Land, as Tiravanija explained, “was the merging of ideas by different artists to cultivate a place of and for social engagement. It’s been acquired in the name of artists who live in Chiang Mai. We’ve been trying to find a way to turn it into a collective, and to have the property owned by no one in particular, but that’s one of the hardest things to do in Thailand. We cannot be a Foundation.” The undoing of ownership strikes at the heart of what Tiravanija is trying to do with the project since, as he emphasised, “The Land is not a property.” And to the question, then, “Is The Land an art
Rirkrit Tiravanija. The Land.
project?” the artist replied: “We don’t want to have to deal with it as a presentation to the art structures, because I think it should be neutral; and, it’s also one of the reasons why it’s not about property.” Indeed seeming to underscore this are the two working rice fields positioned in the middle of The Land and monitored by a group of students from the University of Chang Mai and a local village. The harvest, cultivated using traditional Thai farming techniques, is shared by all participants. Extending Tiravanija’s previous artistic efforts that engage the objects and actions of everyday life, The Land demonstrates how far
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contemporary artistic production today exceeds the boundaries of the autonomous object and the art systems that uphold it. Although The Land was not initiated uniquely as a space for structures to be designed, built and used by artists, many of the projects to date are being developed along those lines. Thus in its own way, The Land is something of a “massive-scale artist-run space” in which Tiravanija’s incitement to collaborate is offering artists of all kinds the chance to exceed the boundaries of their disciplines, to construct works they may not have otherwise imagined, and to allow these works to be developed and experienced in an atypical way. A slew of contemporary artists have thus designed or carried out projects for houses or self-sustaining devices or systems for The Land: Kamin Lerdchaiprasert built a gardener’s house, Atelier van Lieshout developed a toilet system, Tobias Rehberger, Alicia Framis and Karl Holmqvist worked on housing structures, and Peter Fischli and David Weiss are building a utopian bus stop inspired by Oscar Niemeyer’s Brasilia. Some contributions are structural in other ways: Arthur Meyer constructed a system for harnessing solar power, Prachya Phintong put in place a program for fish farming and a water library, Mit Chai-Inn develops tree plants to be later turned into baskets and the Danish collective Superflex developed a system for the production of bio-gas. Tiravanija described some of the inherent complexities to which the participants were responding: “There is no electricity or water, as it would be problematic, in terms of land development in the area.” Superflex has made experiments to use natural renewable resources as alternative sources for electricity and gas. “Supergas is using The Land as a lab for the development of a bio-gas system. The gas produced will be used for the stoves in the kitchen, as well as in lamps for light.” Tiravanija himself contributed to the occupation of The Land
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with the construction of a house based on what he calls “the three spheres of needs,” described as the following: “The lower floor is a communal space with a fire place; it’s the place of accommodation, gathering and exchanges; the second floor is for reading and meditation and reflection on the exchanges; the top floor is for sleep.” Finally, Philippe Parreno and the architect François Roche have begun their plans for a central activity hall that will be built this spring and will function as a biotechnology driven hyper-plug. The Plug in Station uses nature to produce the interface: it will make use of a satellite downlink and an elephant will generate the necessary power. The Land is already in use. The curious have begun to visit. And, although there are currently elements in construction and others still yet unrealised, it is developing in density and layers like the sedimentation of the plot it sits on. Constructed of the complex exchanges that have, in some cases, begun between individuals in locations all over the world and long before Tiravanija staked out its territory, The Land demonstrates perfectly the “collaborational promiscuity” that interests so many of the artists involved. To that end, it is important as well that The Land’s collaborative development is somewhat unpredictable, organic, and ultimately oscillates between process, object, structure, and exchange. “The Land itself,” Tiravanija emphasised, “is not connected to anything, and that’s what’s interesting about it. “ And this can be understood in many ways. Above all, Tiravanija’s initiation of The Land project resists the normative and prescriptive aspects which accompanied many earlier utopias. The Land is a concrete utopia, but it is also first and foremost a self-imposed utopia, one that is not rooted in intransigent beliefs on how others should live. Thus, The Land stands as a pertinent illustration of what a utopian project can be once grand theories have been moved aside: a feasible, practical, but even more importantly, subjective utopia.
The things that should be seen
from Brazil. MAREPE Marepe O telhado, 1998 120 x 600 x 400 cm Courtesy: Luisa Strina Gallery.
As in any other Third World country, in Brazil artists have difficulty resisting the gravitational pull towards urban centers; this is also true of the mass of workers submitted, like artists, to the logic of accumulation, one that efficiently produces social inequalities. Living in São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, where most of the country’s important artistic institutions are located, is considered an ineludible requirement for a viable artistic career: this is the frontier that supposedly separates artists from the international environment, from the circuit of art fairs and grand shows of contemporary art. Nowadays, even within the art schools that blossomed up here in the eighties, young artists consider it necessary to become professionals, a new word in our art scene which was, until recently, stuck in the romanticism of the amateur. Nonetheless, not everyone thinks or acts the same way. After all, where are these frontiers?. For Marepe (short for Marcos Reis Peixoto) frontiers, and not just those belonging to art, are everywhere, which is the same as saying that they are nowhere. In the last instance, anything is possible for him, or for any Brazilian or South American or anyone else who lives south of the Equator, a frontier beyond which, as the Portuguese conquerors’ proverb said “sin does not exist”; even a historical moment and a geography which, subject to a combination of archaic social, political and economic conditions along with others that
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are ultra-modern, surprise with the speed at which they generate new notions of identity and difference. And if the disproportion of the country’s territory, which goes from the opulence of the Amazon jungle to the desert of the northeast, suggests diversity, São Paulo, metropolis of 14 million inhabitants whose landscape consists of tall and shiny buildings interspersed with shanty towns and large abandoned lots, suggests exactly the same thing. Where exactly are the frontiers? According to a sequence of photographs entitled Doce céu de Santo Antonio (Sweet Sky of Santo Antonio), Marepe, nude from the waist, seen against the light and from below, has become a gigantic devourer of white clouds (cotton candy) that fluctuate in the intensely blue sky of the city where he lives: the limit of things depends on position exclusively. The terms will always be reversible. After all, the sky in the city where he lives, the city where he was born and where he returned after finishing his higher education in the metropolis of the region, Salvador, the sky in Santo Antônio de Jesús is blue, close and sweet. There is no reason at all to move away from there: any ground is apt to star an ascent into universe. With its torrid and sleepy atmosphere; with its hybrid streets and architecture –as hybrid as most of the cities in the northeastern part of the country–, the daily rituals of its inhabitants owe much to a not-so-
Marepe. Algod達o Doce na Palmeira, 2001. Photo, 60 x 50 cm Courtesy: Luisa Strina Gallery.
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distant past when the country was not yet urban; Marepe´s prime material is his city. Born and raised there, the artist is still immersed in the customs of his fellow habitants, in the affect expressed in their most daily gestures, in the drawn out way that the locals speak a correct Portuguese, in the colorful and spicy foods with arousing aromas, in the particular way of doing business, in the love of parties, music and songs, in the same material that produced Dorival Caymmi, João Gilberto and Caetano Veloso. All of Marepe’s work consists of defending his emotional territory, a territory that stretches through both the physical and psychological space of his city and through the time that it has reverberated within him until becoming a part of him and he a part of it. And his way of defending this territory consists of affirming the urgent need that some of its parts and some of the things that make it up be seen. Looking at his work all at once, understanding in it the appropriation and profound interest in popular traditions, the viewer might be inclined to consider him another tropical heir to Duchamp, one duly passed through the filter of pop spirit. But what in Duchamp is neutrality in terms of the object, and irony in terms of the art system is understood in Marepe as appreciation; what in pop is mass production and the dissolution of the individual is in Marepe a demonstration of the ongoing validity of an atavistic force that insists on being felt against a world determined to construct homogeneity. A force that leaks through the cracks in the system, its interstices, that advocates a slower, more flexible, more versatile and perhaps happier time. Happy? Marepe’s poetics contrasts with his colleagues’ not only because it refers to that which tends to be left aside for being too popular, but also because of the joy and very light layer of irony it gives off. It does not cease to be a curious coincidence that it is another Bahian who reminds us of the power of joy and exaltation as strategies for resistance in a world that ferments solitude and despair. I am referring to the sambista Assis Valente, a descendent of slaves like a large part of the Bahian population, who wrote: “Tired of suffering, my people made up the batucada To stop suffering Long live pleasure! Long live pleasure!” September 27 is the day of Saint Cosme and Saint Damian, protectors of children. Traditionally, they are given gifts on this day. On that date in the year 2001, Marepe made a piece called Palmeira Doce (Sweet Palm Tree). It consisted of 400 cotton candies of different colors (green, yellow, blue and white), duly wrapped in plastic bags in the same way the street vendors do. These bags were then nailed to the trunk of an imperial palm tree. The children ran after the artist who, with the help of an assistant and of the candy maker (Tonho do algodão, a man extremely
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well known throughout the city), gave out and replaced the delicate and strange fruits that on that day blossomed on the trunk of this traditional Bahian tree which, on this occasion, was turned into a rainbow. The artist does not hide his admiration for the “anonymous artists that stamp a particular aesthetic on the city and for the fact that they do so in their daily work.”1 This comment applies not only to craftsmen, but also to everyone else who, out of necessity, transforms something prosaic into something extraordinary. In addition to the aforementioned Tonho, there are the happenstance street vendors called “camelôs,” who lay their goods on the sidewalks or between the stalls at the fairs; they are always hidden in the openings left by official business, where they offer condiments, rat poison, needles, thread and buttons, costume jewelry and all sorts of knick-knacks. They display their goods on colorful, wobbly, portable tables which can be taken apart at the blink of an eye as soon as the police come and they must flee. “Trouxas” or canvas sacks are among the objects produced in a daily kingdom founded on instability; these are used by an enormous number of workers in the country and the city alike to carry food wrapped in the same white fabric that will then serve as a tablecloth when it comes time to eat. In showing the Trouxa, an object belonging to a large series, after all there are so many objects like “trouxas” that can be carried in hands or on heads, the artist does not fall into an aestheticization of the difficulty of daily life; instead, he emphasizes care and respect for food, for the precious trifles available in a country marked by a poverty begotten by a poor distribution of wealth and the inclemency of climate and land. The idea that the minority and the uncommon should be cultivated as such is strongly felt in Marepe’s installation Filtros (Filters, 1999). This piece exhibits modified versions of the mud filters used to purify and cool water in practically all the houses outside the major cities. Here, these filters are displayed in high columns on wooden benches, piled up five high. The tiny glasses placed under the lathes show the amount of purified liquid that has reached them only after taking a long journey through all the recipients; the liquid takes its time to pour down and part of it is lost in the mud walls that end up damp through leakage. An inhabitant of a region that suffers the indirect effects of drought in the flesh, Marepe shows with his filters how the purity of the vital substances contrasts with its scarcity. The artist’s work often makes use of metonymy. This is certainly the case in a house that only has a roof [O telhado (The Roof), 1998], a house reduced to its cover, the sketch of a place that is yet to be imposed geographically. In a country where the “dream of a house of one’s own” is associated with the idea of security and given that it is, according to annual statistics, the first item a family consumes, this embryo of a house means a lot. The house insists on staying as it is, submerged at the threshold of its future condition as a home. Maybe with time we will witness the slow irruption of walls and how that roof finally adjusts to the role of an architectural object within which men construct their stories.
The house appears in various versions. Presented at the 2003 Venice Biennial , Embutido (Inlay ) consists of a house conceived from the shacks built up in the outskirts of the big cities or in abandoned and unsafe areas like the banks of rivers, old industrial areas and other stretches that have succumbed to the implacable logic of real estate speculation. Generally constructed from sheets of wood used to make the fences that surround civil constructions, Marepe takes these shacks as an inalienable example of constructive intelligence. Embutido is, after all, a minimal and tight cubic space. Through a mechanism of hinges inside the structure, all domestic activities and their due spaces overlap. And don’t think that this is an apology for poverty; it is rather an evidence of a single reality that is, nonetheless, multifaceted and within which we find the endurance of generosity and hope, even when the conditions are extraordinarily adverse. There are many ways to vindicate the dignity of a community. For the 2002 São Paulo Biennial, Marepe tore down and sent in a threeand-a-half ton wall that measured six meters long by two meters high. Painted in the style of an outdoor craftsman (in fact, it was done by Roque, a local wall painter), with black letters on the yellow background, on the wall is a sign for a store: “São Luis Store: Everything in one place but for less.” The survival of the ancient craft of sign painting is an indication, on the one hand, that not everything
has changed with the advance of globalization and, on the other, that in Santo Antônio, like so many other towns, the interpersonal relations based on identity have not yet been destroyed. Moving the wall to the distant and powerful São Paulo filled the inhabitants of Santo Antônio with pride. Bearing a phrase rigorously opposed to what goes on in the art market, the wall’s presence at the megaexhibition is a subtle irony. Far from being just any establishment, São Luis Store was where the artist’s grandfather and father worked and where he himself had to go every day after school; it was “an extension of my house and my body”.2 In fact, with its wide range of products and its rich variety of shapes, aromas and colors, the store was a treasure chest of things and people that permanently aroused the artist’s imagination. Things, Marepe tells us, have their history, a history that is in part ours as well. For that reason it is essential that these things survive.
1 Letter to the author February, 26, 2002. 2 Ibid.
English translation by Jane Brodie.
Marepe. Doce Céu de Santo Antonio (série B). 2001. Photography. 1/5, 6 Photos. 15 x 10 cm. Courtesy: Luisa Strina Gallery.
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Artistic practice and new tools. [On free software]
Daniel García anDújar
The so-called “information revolution” has had an unquestionably radical effect insofar as it has helped to break down old ways of thinking and working. The spectator —the audience at which the artist’s work is aimed— is today, more than ever before, accustomed to very sophisticated display methods on such media as advertising and television, but above all, from the transformation of media consumer habits brought about by the advent of the Internet, other telecommunications tools and the systematic introduction of the computer into private homes, whence its importance and influence in different social, political and economic sectors. Undoubtedly processes are now underway to bring about the structural change and basic transformation which will irremediably shape social action, the human experience, and will naturally influence the work of individual artists and collectives. But let us
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bear in mind that that utopia of freedom and global access to information and knowledge that came along with the technological bubble is slowly vanishing, which puts us on our guard, not only as artists but as citizens. The acceleration of conservative policies provoked by the events of 11 September, allied to the perverse effects of dehumanised globalisation, are seriously curtailing the unregulated, uncontrolled, free use of information and communication transmission technologies. We are ever nearer to a regulated and directed system, with openly commercial, censored, pre-selected contents, and with the sole purpose of controlled consumption, and imposing a remote-controlled ideology. The Internet, as a public space, is determined by social and power relations, it is a negotiating space which is presently
undergoing a strategic privatisation process, as is also occurring with other public spaces. Clearly, the Internet is a disputed territory. The large corporations, supported by some governments, are promoting the idea of private digital space, and altering the structure of the public digital space. Digital space is not simply as a medium permitting instant communication at low cost and at trans-national level, but is also, unfortunately, a new theatre of operations for the accumulation of capital, for conducting economic operations on a global scale, and the exercise of control. It is not true that the new economy companies created and developed the Internet; they are merely companies that in the Internet, like so many other social groups. Furthermore, the large corporations are the ones who are currently seriously limiting development and inventiveness. Proof of this is the European Directive on the admission of software patents. The European Commission used a report by the BSA (Business Software Alliance) to justify the directive, although that report does not include any points connected with patents, and ignores other reports from France and Germany which point to the negative impact of software patents on innovation. Another of the practical consequences affecting more directly those who work on the Net is the real difficulty encountered on the Internet of posting particular projects, which are embarrassing or simply annoying, let us say, to certain sectors. Obviously the Internet does not begin and end in WWW, but I believe that it is a perfect example, illustrating one of the basic problems facing artists and design professionals and in general all those who use the medium. Currently, the greatest reason for the disappearance of projects from the Net is undeniably connected to hosting. We must find and implement independent platforms for the production, discussion, experimentation and diffusion of particular artistic skills. The practice of art –certain projects and artists– has helped to establish on the Internet unique mechanisms of social relation which enable its discourse to be transferred beyond the confines of art spectators and the of art as an institution. But this practice should continue developing an organisation and working system on the net different from the institutional and corporate pattern –traditionally charged with a more hierarchic meaning– beyond mere formalist experimentation or the simple re-adaptation of formats. The net allows the de-concentration of knowledge and information. It is an instantaneous medium of relatively low cost which, potentially, all least, offers hope for the democratisation of culture and access to knowledge. It is the ideal medium and tool to develop many art and cultural projects in general, and also those of a political or social nature. An ethical commitment must be made to the work we carry out, anticipating events whenever
possible, and becoming part of –or taking over– the development of the tools and technologies so longed for by the market. They won’t make it easy for us, believe me.
Proposal for a directive on the patentability of software http://proinnova.hispalinux.es/infopaquetes/directiva-patsw/index.html Business Software Alliance http://global.bsa.org/espana/
English translation by Dwight Porter
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CIBERCONTEXT DANIEL GARCÍA ANDÚJAR
Social Network Architectures Collaborative Models for Cultural Resistance April 24-25, 2004
The artist Trebor Scholz and the well known media critic Geert Lovink are organizing a conference at SUNY Buffalo on the art of collaboration, models of critical art on the web and the role of new technologies in the construction of social networks. The conference will be held in April, 2004 The conference will bring together artists, designers, sociologists, engineers and scientists in a series of workshops, open presentations, parties, discussions, interviews and work sessions. The aim is to work and reflect on different models of collaboration and the creation of work prototypes. The conference will try to deepen knowledge and develop systems of collaboration using an alternative model for discussion, presentation and debate; the model ventures from the more common models of hierarchical conferences. There is a list of email addresses to which those interested in the conference’s issues can subscribe. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
netart_latino ‘database’ is a data base of projects in network by Latin American artists with links to electronic magazines, mailing lists and discussions, and other projects related to the use of information technology. From Uruguay, Brian Macken puts at our disposition a personal source of public information that without a doubt will allow us to discover some of the works that are being developed on the other side of the Atlantic. Brian Mackern/1962-Uruguay email@example.com [http://netart.org.uy/latino/]
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rotorrr.org The recent transformations in Barcelona as a consequence of the controversial Forum of Cultures Barcelona 2004 have been opposed by numerous social collectives that have refused to participate in the organization. The criticism of the event involves the indefiniteness of its contents, the lack of specific proposals and the dramatic modification of the urban environment undergone by some of the city’s neighborhood. Speculation, brutal transformation and the loss of identity in neighborhoods like Poble Nou is creating, in the words of Manuel Delgado a “great circus of cultures.” These issues are the central concern of a project by artists Vahida Ramujkic and Laia Sadurní, who come together as rotorrr. Their work can be followed on the web and was recently seen at the Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture in the show After the News, a solid proposal by curator Carles Guerra. [http://www.rotorrr.org].
lowtech In the cradle of the brutal re-industrialization of the United Kingdom, in the tough city of Sheffield, Redundant Technology Initiative has been effecting cultural resistance at its Access Space Lowtech, barely 350 meters away from the central station. In this occupied space, a marginalized and self-organized group of local artists interested in exploring information technology have managed to set up an authentic, open and accessible laboratory for experimentation. Since its inception, Lowtech’s methodology has consisted of reusing computers found in the trash or obsolete material no longer in use in order to install a free software network. “Technology at no cost,” as one of its founder James Wallbank often says. Access Space is one of the first laboratories with an absolutely public domain; it functions entirely with free software. Access to media, creation, recycling and training are four pillars that hold up this self-managing project. [http://lowtech.org/]
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Artnodes The Universidad Oberta de Catalunya has a contents section called Artnodes that publishes texts that reflect on and study the intersections and converges between art, science and technology, from a formal, historical and conceptual perspective. Artnode is structured through the ongoing construction of single issue dossiers that are called nodes: topic-based spaces through which it is possible to document, observe and ferment debate and participation for the study of this transversal environment. Recently, Artnodes has included a new node called Heterotopías glocales. This is a space dedicated to art, activism and technology that brings together documents, articles, experiences and an abundant bibliography; contributing authors include Laura Baigorri, Josephine Berry, David Casacuberta, Geert Lovink, Florian Schneider, Marina Garcés, Andreas Broeckman, David García, Joan Campàs and Pau Alsina. Articles are published in Catalan, Spanish and English. [http://www.uoc.edu/artnodes/esp/index.html]
El transmisor Since the year 2000, University of Barcelona professior Laura Baigorri has been feeding a directory of alternative information called El transmisor (interference in the channel of totalizing thinking). This website contains an exhaustive compilation of projects carried out by artists and activists working in the web in areas such as activism, counter-information, art criticism, property and privacy, and hackers. According to the author, the site is a work tool that attempts to facilitate the free circulation of information (access to determined knowledge that is difficult to get) whose dissemination is of no interest to media corporations. This initiative is specially aimed at students, artists, critics, professors, hackers, activists...anyone who mistrusts sole sources of “objective and truthful” information that are spread in the interests of the State and large corporations through mass media Spanish and English [http://www.interzona.org/transmisor.htm]
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World-Information.Org An initiative of The Institute for New Culture Technologies / Viena Public Netbase, the World-Information.Org has recently published a special, newspaper-format issue. The occasion of the publication was the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva from December 10-12, 2003, where the future of access to information was debated. This special, physically existent edition focuses on intellectual property, and contributions have been made by international experts such as the Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva whose book Protect
or Plunder? Rights to Intellectual Property was recently released in Spain. Other contributors include David Bollier, Peter Drahos, Yochai Benkler, Alain Toner, Mercedes Bunz, Peter Suber, Ignacio Escolar, Arun Mehta, Richard Stallman and others. World-Information.Org [http://www.t0.or.at] Institute for New Culture Technologies [http://www.t0.or.at]
Women Internet Researchers Since 1996, German professor Nicola Dรถring has been operating a list of researchers on the Internet (Women Internet Researchers) that provides access to more than 60 websites all over the world. Nicola is a professor at the Federal Armed Forces University in Hamburg, in the Department of Educational Sciences. She is an experienced researcher on new technologies and she has published numerous articles and books on social psychology and the Internet. [http://www.nicola-doering.de/women.htm]
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