From Chile to the Ars Electronica Festival


Santiago, the capital of Chile, and the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria, are more than 12,000 kilometers away from each other as the crow flies – and this year again, several Chilean artists are taking on this long journey to present their media art projects to a broad audience at POSTCITY from September 5 to 9, 2019. The visit of these artists, scientists, designers, researchers, entrepreneurs and social activists from Chile will be realized in cooperation with the Ministerio de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio, the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores | Gobierno de Chile and Ars Electronica. We would like to introduce you to the Chilean projects that were selected after an Open Call and which will be shown at the 2019 Ars Electronica Festival “Out of the Box – The Midlife Crisis of the Digital Revolution”.

KHIPU – Electrotextile prehispanic compute, Constanza Piña

In the first project, KHIPU – Electrotextile prehispanic computer by Constanza Piña, everything revolves around data storage and the ancestors of today’s civilization. Here, information is not stored on ordinary data carriers of our time, but on hand-spun alpaca wool and copper wire using knots. This tradition of data storage goes back to the time of the Incas, who not only “noted” numbers with the knot script Khipu, but also used it to communicate with each other. KHPIU makes the voice of silence audible by reproducing data from the inaudible universe around us – data such as the spectral classification of the stars in the Boötes constellation, from a lunar calendar or from earthquake measurements.

Meditative Symbiosis by Jean Danton Laffert, Karin Astudillo and Camilo Gouet is a transdisciplinary project investigating the interdependence of a living organism and an electronic system. Plants of the genus Soleirolia soleirolii grow in a small greenhouse. Sensors measure their photosynthetic activity using a carbon dioxide sensor. These data are used to create graphic light patterns that are projected onto the plants, allowing them to grow faster or slower depending on the light intensity.

In her project The Life of Crystals by Mónica Bate, she turns to piezoelectric crystals as they occur in sensors or other electrical components of our technology. The crystals first grow for the project and are then selected according to their best structural properties. In the exhibition itself, the physical object, the crystal, is exhibited and its vibrations are made audible.

With their performance “Vocals“, Carla Bolgeri and Francisco Marín want to explore the sonic power of speech – both as body language and with speech itself. Encounters of real and invented languages overlap in meanings, sounds, vocals, consonants, etc., in diverse forms of voices, produced by a microphone that is amplified and processed live. Vocals is an invitation to visualize the movements of language as a flow of sonic processes in space and in the body.

Another project from Chile will be “Mezza: Archivo Liberado” by Sebastian Vidal Valenzuela. The Chilean artist Gonzalo Mezza has dedicated himself to media art since the 1960s and is a pioneer in this field in his country. His poetic approach to the landscape, his reformist reading of art history, photographic exploration and multimedia installation, among other topics, led him to consolidate a body of work that opens complex readings about ecology, geopolitics, spirituality and media culture. A selection of documents and works from 1969 to 1990 – from video art to performances to Polaroid photography – are presented in this project.

All the listed Chilean media artworks can be found at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. We are looking forward to your visit!

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