[ISEA2016] Artist Talk: Gabriel Menotti Gonring — Souvenirs (Corcovado Series)

Artist Statement

Souvenirs (Corcovado series) is a collection of 3D printed sculptures made from virtual models of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro’s famous monument. Each model was treated algorithmically from videos found on the Internet, representing the ways in which computer networks might understand an object based on the visual information they have access to. The work is part of Provisional Objects, a project that explores how 3D replication technologies articulate the existence of objects as images. The Souvenirs series in particular attempts to recover an image from other images; the monument from the many electronic traces it leaves behind.

A computer is fed with random videos of the piece and instructed to reconstruct it virtually, employing software that is normally used for precision cartography. This procedure results in a number of copies that, although absolutely faithful to the available information, are far from identical to the object-itself, putting into question their own ontological condition; the technological mediation of memory, religion, and city branding; and our confidence in computational representations of the world.

In this presentation, we will discuss this and other works related to Provisional Objects. We mean to address how the technical reliability achieved by 3D replication in fields such as prosthetic medicine and engineering has contaminated their uses in cultural heritage and the arts, promoting a sort of fetishist materialism at the expense of actual considerations for the materiality of these cultural systems.

  • Gabriel Menotti is Lecturer in Multimedia at the Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Brazil. He works as an independent curator and has previously organized pirate film screenings, remix video festivals, videogame championships, porn screenplay workshops, installations with super8 projectors, generative art exhibitions and academic seminars. He holds a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London, and another from the Catholic University of São Paulo. He is the author of “Através da Sala Escura” (Intermeios, 2012), a history of movie theatres from the perspective of VJing, and co-editor of “Besides the Screen: Moving Images Through Distribution, Promotion and Curation” (Palgrave, 2015). Currently, Menotti co-coordinates (together with Virginia Crisp) the AHRC Besides the Screen Network.