Panel: VIDA: New Discourses, Tropes and Modes in Art and Artificial Life Research
The history of media art in Latin America dates from the avant -garde movements of the early 1920s, in which Latin America played a key role both locally and internationally. To give a full account of this history some experimental scientific proposals that laterally expanded the dimensions of media art in Latin America need to be incorporated. For example, in the 1970s the Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela introduced the concept of autopoiesis which defines and explains the nature and complexity of living systems and which today has become a fundamental tenet of artificial life. The scientific contribution of Chile is complemented by the contribution of the countries in the Amazon basin, which have a strategic geographical location and represent the biggest laboratory of biotechnology in the world. My presentation is intended as an account, within the context of artificial life, of the last decade of artists and projects that form part of the electronic art scene in Latin America. I will offer a timeline of the development of Latin American electronic art in the last decade based on a group of VIDA projects that have won awards and incentives for production. Most of these projects offer an innovative stance that expand the field of artificial life: the chaotic assemblage of large cities that inspires and reveals complex urban and informational processes, the context of recycling technological waste and the development of antagonistic ways of life that create hybrid ecosystems where both biological and synthetic species co-exist. I will discuss how the assimilation of artificial life is often affected by social and cultural patterns that process and analyze it in different and complementary ways, allowing not only a critical perspective but also an innovative path.
- Jose Carlos Mariategui is a scientist and media theorist with a combined degree in Biology and Mathematics, and an M.Sc in Information Systems. He is a founding member of Alta Tecnologia Andina, a non-for-profit organization for the development and research of artistic and scientific theories in Latin America. He is also the founder of the VAE Festival in Lima, Peru. He has taught, researched and published extensively on the themes of art, science, technology and society. He was the curator of several international exhibitions of media art such as: Nueva/Vista: Videokunst aus Lateinamerica, ViaSatelite and Videografias In(visibles). He acts as a node in the Tester project. He is currently a Ph.D student in Information Systems at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He lives in London, UK.