[ISEA2011] Panel: Jose-Car­los Mari­ategui – Art and Ar­ti­fi­cial Life in Latin Amer­ica: the His­tor­i­cal Legacy Takes on the Artis­tic Es­tab­lish­ment

Panel Statement

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.