[ISEA2018] Artists Statement: Francesco Mariotti, José-Carlos Mariátegui & Elisa Arca — Fireflies Memorial

Artists Statement

Art, Science & Us sub-programme

The Fireflies Memorial is a long-term-project which aims to build a hybrid habitat in memory of the murdered ecologists and environmentalists; a collaborative work that pays tribute to all the people and organizations that are committed to the protection of nature. It is also a stance to remember people in Latin America and South Africa who had been murdered during their struggle, such as Honduran environment and human-rights activist Berta Cáceres; Brazilian environmental activist Chico Mendes; and, South Africa’s Wild Coast anti-mining activist Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Rhadebe. This participative version was installed at The Green Camp Gallery, a rehabilitated space converted into an organic and sustainable lifestyle hub on urban farming and creativity based in Durban founded by Xolani Hlongwa.

The installation is a work-in-progress that combines light-emitting diodes (LEDs) –simulating fireflies sparks– and organic farming –in teamwork with Nkazimulo Gabuza–; sounds of the Amazonian Huirapuru bird and the South African cicada insect; a visual projection by Crosby Luhlongwane; and, written and spoken texts by Mzwandile Mlangeni which were nurtured and inspired throughout the happenstances. Source: ata.org.pe/2018/06/27/firefliesmemorialdurban


  • Francesco Mariotti is an artist of Swiss-Peruvian origin born in Bern in 1943, and has lived in Peru since 1952. In 1968, being only 25 years old, he was selected for the 4th Documenta in Kassel with the “Project Geldmacher – Mariotti”, one of the first interactive installations in the history of media art. Mariotti’s works are linked with nature, both oral traditions and Andean and Amazonian myths. Mariotti can be regarded as one of the most influential figures in the initial history of media art in Latin America and internationally, more importantly, his work linked both Europe and Latin America in a dialogue and exchange. mariotti.ch
  • José-Carlos Mariátegui, Peru,  is director of ALTA. ATA (Alta Tecnología Andina/High Andean Technology) is a non-governmental, non-profit, cultural organization. ATA was created in 1995 with the purpose of contributing to the formation of activators in all the fields of human activity that use technology as a main tool to develop and expand the frontiers of knowledge and to achieve the growth of research in an integrated form in society.   ata.org.pe
  • Elisa Arca, Peru

Facilitated by Francesco Mariotti. With the support of the Prince Claus Fund and Pro Helvetia.