Between September 6 and 10, the famed Festival of Art, Technology and Society Ars Electronica 2023 was held in the city of Linz, Austria, with the participation of the inter-institutional new media art initiative PRISMA: Art, Science, Technology.
PRISMA, based in Santiago, Chile, has as its main objective to promote research, production and exhibition of works that explore the intersection of art, science and technology, with a special focus on nature. This initiative was founded by three researchers who combine their expertise in this intersection: Alejandro Jofré, PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Pau in France, researcher at the Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM) and full professor at the University of Chile; Valentina Serrati, multimedia artist and lecturer with a master’s degree in Digital Media from Goldsmiths University in the UK, and lecturer at the School of Art at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; and Jazmín Adler, an art historian with a PhD in Comparative Theory of the Arts from the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) in Argentina, and professor in the Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Electronic Arts at UNTREF.
PRISMA’s fundamental mission is to enrich the dialogue between art, science and technology in both academic and professional contexts. This is based on epistemological, conceptual and pragmatic aspects shared between artistic activity and scientific research, such as observation, hypothesis formulation, empirical research, creativity, innovation and experience. PRISMA seeks to connect experts from diverse fields, from visual arts, film and dance to mathematics, physics, biology, neuroscience and engineering.
In addition to organizing seminars and workshops that bring together national and international artists, curators and researchers interested in the convergence of art, science and technology, PRISMA has participated in prestigious events such as the Ars Electronica Festival. At Ars Electronica 2023, PRISMA had the significant opportunity to present in the European context the research carried out by students from leading universities in Chile and Argentina, around these crossings between technologies -which correspond to different temporal and spatial spheres-, and which constitute a recurrent practice in the field of Latin American new media art. These works explored contemporary issues such as new ecologies, the accelerated evolution of technological innovation, alternative paradigms for thinking about the problem of materiality and the recovery of ancestral techniques from contemporary imaginaries.
PRISMA at Ars Electronica 2023
The curatorial proposal presented at Ars Electronica 2023 consisted of three artistic projects by students from each of the institutions represented at PRISMA: Angel Salazar (Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, UNTREF), Diego Silva (UC Chile) and Viviana Vergara (Universidad de Chile). The three installations stage a series of processes of transformation of matter from the natural world into new materials, intertwining ancestral techniques and contemporary technologies.
Fragments of the jungle
In Fragments of the jungle, Angel Salazar (UNTREF) presents an installation consisting of three screens and a series of 3D objects based on aerial images of geoglyphs. These images were made by Amazonian civilizations in different areas of the jungle and later discovered after the massive deforestation of these territories. The ancient geoglyphs, understood as biodesigns of Latin American ancestral thought, are converted by the artist into digital volumetric reconstruction visualizations –”speculative reconstruction”, in Salazar’s words–. The creative process involves learning the patterns of the forms found in the jungle and also the production of sculptural objects using digital fabrication techniques.
Holobionte, by Diego Silva (UC), is a site-specific installation composed of pools containing a SCOBY culture (a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts). The exhibition space is integrally connected to several Arduino-controlled sensors. As the public walks through the room, a series of water pumps and sounds are activated as the culture responds to these spatial stimuli. The Holobiont concept refers to beings formed by the association of different species, which in this case give rise to techno-ecological relationships. The main objective of Holobionte is to build a space where different degrees of habitational and technological complexity coexist and interconnect through physical, conceptual, olfactory, material and sensorial relationships.
TEJIDOS: De humanos a máquinas vivas (WEAVES: From Humans to Living Machines), by Viviana Vergara (UCH), is a biomachine for weaving in which artisanal techniques rooted in different pre-Hispanic cultures are combined with scientific and technological knowledge. The artist uses mechanisms built from biomaterials to design a machine that produces a fabric over time. The work is composed of two main joints: one that weaves and one that winds; each of them comprises a series of interlocking mechanisms.
Ars Electronica is an Austrian cultural, educational and scientific institute active in the field of new media art, founded in Linz in 1979. The activities of Ars Electronica focus on the interrelations between art, technology and society. It organizes the annual “Festival of Art, Technology and Society” and runs a multidisciplinary R&D center for media arts known as Futurelab. It also awards the Prix Ars Electronica.
Posted on Sep 12, 2023 in News