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Electronic art in Mexico has been at the vanguard investigating the relationship between art, science and technology. This program proposes a dialogue between artistic works that explore environmental issues. What happens when artists approach environmental issues using frames from anthropology, sociology, biology, genetics, etc.? New approaches will be examined through works like Exhaust by Marcela Armas, Sea Turtle Nesting & Hatching by Ximena Cuevas, and Nanodrizas by Arcangel Constantini. To further open the conversation other works by artists from South America and Canada will also be included.
Artists Hector Centeno and Brian Kent Gotro will be present for Q&A
Toronto_08apr2017 by Hector Centeno 10 min., multi-channel sound improvisation
Postmodern society is characterized by an increasing disconnect with our urban and natural spaces. The global homogenization efforts made by commercial interests and the emphasis on the utilitarian conceptualization of the world affect local culture, contributing to a thinning out of the relationships between society and their everyday inhabited places. I believe that artistic processes and works informed by the attentive exploration of a geographical location may contribute to create an intuitive awareness about the nature of this disconnect.
This is a multi-channel sound improvisation that utilizes spatial audio (ambisonic) field recordings that are processed in realtime with a computer system. The soundscapes, captured at a specific location in Toronto a few days prior to this live presentation, and the fresh intuitive insights acquired during the mindful perception of the place, are what guide the whole creative process. The result intends to invite the listeners to mindfully inhabit the resulting artificial soundscapes and their emerging virtual places.
Laúd Plasmath, Ariel Guzik 5:33 min.video
Laúd Plasmath is a sophisticated instrument made of fine woods using traditional techniques. The Laúd is connected to a receptor that uses electromagnetic sensors to capture the signals emanating from plants. These signals are read as vibrations that are consequently translated into sounds and immediately fed back to the plants. “Nothing rests, everything moves, everything vibrates.”
Exhaust, Marcela Armas 5:56 min. video
Exhaust explores the relationship of spending on fossil fuels with the dynamics of urban space and points out the waste as a structural element of contemporary society. A clear plastic container works as a reservoir of gas emanating from six car at the foot of the sculpture. The mufflers of each car are connected to the plastic container that emulates a kind of support element on the bridge. Mexico City.
Sea Turtle Nesting & Hatching, Ximena Cuevas, 5 min. video
It documents the nesting and hatching of an Olive Ridley Sea Turtle in the camp for the protection and conservation of sea turtles in Buenavista, Guerrero. Mexico.
Solo de Violín, Mario Opazo 17 min, video
In the 70’s many political prisoners from Chile and Argentina were exiled to remote islands; they never came back. These islands have sorrowful and despairing names: Gulf of Pains, Last Hope Bay, The Island of Death, Peninsula of Disappointment. This video is part of series of performances using the violin played by the wind to remember and to search for the disappeared.
Plantas Nómadas, Gilberto Esparza, 10:11 video
The Nomadic plant itself is an ecosystem contained in a biotech robot made by plants and microorganisms living symbiotically in the body of a machine. This organism lives near rivers that are being contaminated by waste from the city: the robot moves to find water waste and process it to transform nutrients into energy, fulfilling in this way, its life cycles.
Espejo Plasmath, Ariel Guzik 4:03 min., video
A machine capable of reading and transforming vibrations imperceptible to human ears: brain waves, the sunlight and the growth of plants.
SEFT1 Sonda de Exploración ferroviaria tripulada Ivan Puig, (2006-2010) 3:00 min., video
It proposes the exploration of disused railway lines as a starting point for reflection and research, its historical importance, its social implications, circumstances and current contexts. It addresses issues related to space, knowledge, movement, experience, memory and obsolescence.
Formula Secreta/ Tianguis, Ivan Puig 6:12 min., video
An investigation of the relationship between neoliberalism, the body and energy. It compares what Fossil Fuels are to Industry with what food is to the body (in this case soft drinks). This is the first attempt to convert soft drinks into water. The distillation took place in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where the water was offered to people passing by.
Nanodrizas, Arcangel Constantini, 5 min., video
‘tactical eco-tech’. Nanodrizas addresses immediate local environmental concerns utilizing multiple wireless networked devices, in this case floating devices, which collect and send data about water pollution and respond to the conditions with both chemical interventions and acoustic expressions. The Nanodrizas are autonomous floating devices which monitor pollutants in real time, generate sound, send data to centralized data interpretation and visualisation systems via wireless communications and also disperse bacterial and enzyme remedies in situ. The work thus moves beyond other environmental tactical media interventions by making an attempt to be actively therapeutic. The work will also function to alert and sensitize people to the situations via, in the first location, the sound emissions of the Nanodrizas and second via displays in exhibition centers and online.
Cross Coordinates, Ivan Abreu 5 min, video
Designed as a gaming device, inspired by the bubble level, to activate a collaboration, which aims to put (it on) both sides at the same level, and the only way is to cooperate. This rule makes it that either both sides win, or both lose. The balance always takes two. Cross Coordinated was played in three situations: 1) the physical line that divides Mexico and the United States, putting players on each side of the border; 2) public areas of the cities of Juarez and El Paso; and 3) public figures who because of their roles, represent different sides sometimes in tension.
Artist At Work, Brian Kent Gotro 2017, 6:47 stereo, video
(Recorded in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia/Toronto, Ontario. Cameras: B. Gotro/P. Wong)
Here a central figure dances in rhythm to his cell-phone recordings in a quaint seaside landscape. Popping on and off screen is picture in picture video play that presents two distinctly different responses to a ‘place’.
Recorded in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia this place is part of the Eastern Canadian seascape… it is the dominant subject in the frame. Unlike Western or Central Canada the Maritime Provinces are less condo-ized, and is a place where ‘waterfront’ still means water meeting beach and not privatized beachfront property.
The response to this ‘place’ is informed by one’s unfettered access to it. Here one is free to walk out and explore the shoreline. This activates the human body in a completely different way than if that body where in the city. Artist At Work is a response to this access, and as such asks the viewer to consider their relationship to the landscape and the increasingly fragile relationship we have with mother earth.