Amor Muñoz, 'Chimera, Expanded Bodies'. Courtesy of CIFO
A Parallel (R)evolution: Digital Art in Latin America
CIFO-Ars Electronica Award Exhibition
Linz, Austria | September 7 - September 29, 2022
Six artists working in art and technology from across Latin America debut major new commissions within the Ars Electronica Festival at the Lentos Art Museum. The exhibition showcases the works of the inaugural CIFO-Ars Electronica Award recipients, Dora Bartilotti (MX), Electrobiota Collective (AR/MX), Thessia Machado (BR), Amor Muñoz (MX), and Ana Elena Tejera (PA). Their works reflect the ways Latin American artists employ technology such as electronic textiles and AI computers as media to explore individual and collective identity, culture, and history.
Launched in 2021, the CIFO–Ars Electronica Awards celebrate and advance the practices of emerging and mid-career Latin American artists working with technology in the field of new media and digital art, providing up to $30,000 per recipient to develop a new project. In addition to the exhibition the resulting works join the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO)’s renowned permanent collection of modern and contemporary art, with a special focus on Latin American art. As an institution, Ars Electronica have been analyzing and commenting on the digital revolution since 1979 - developing projects, strategies and competencies for digital transformation since 1996 together with artists, scientists, technologists, designers, developers, entrepreneurs and activists from all over the world.
“CIFO is a resource and advocate for Latin American artists worldwide. Coinciding with CIFO’s 20th anniversary, our partnership with Ars Electronica builds on CIFO’s Grants & Commissions program to create another significant opportunity for the practices of Latin American artists to be shared with a global audience. The exhibition offers a glimpse at the range of art-making visible across Latin American art today, particularly the ways that artists continue to innovate and experiment with new media and technology.”
--- Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, Founder and Honorary President of CIFO
As early as the 1980s and 1990s, the digital revolution was announced and proclaimed as a global paradigm. Digital technology was presented as a symbol of technological progress that would permeate all facets of everyday life with a lasting impact on people’s actions and behavior. We find ourselves in a reality where the predictions of the 80s and 90s have already materialized and in many cases been far exceeded. Our reality today is more complex than all the forecasts put together. Now we are confronted with the urgent task of following the digital revolution with a concept for digital culture. The last 40 years have shown the extent to which technology can influence and alter our cultural behavior. In “A parallel (r)evolution - Digital Art in Latin America” we ask this question with a special focus on the Latin American cultural space. The exhibition examines how the digital revolution spread and established itself across Latin America. At the same time, we are interested in how this cultural area, with its profound history and countless dialects and varieties, unified digital technologies for itself, internalizing and developing them into the region’s unique form of media art.
Five artistic perspectives of media art from Latin America, by five female representatives of this interesting guild, have been selected from over 160 submissions, allowing us to delve into five themes that, while originating in Latin American cultures, all have equally high global relevance and topicality.
The five new works created by the CIFO-Ars Electronica Award recipients represent how artists across Latin America are using technology to grapple with the complex global challenges of our time. Projects were awarded by a selection committee of curators and scholars in contemporary art and new media: Tania Aedo, Sergio Fontanella, Hemma Schmutz, Martin Honzik and Christl Baur. The evaluation was based on conceptual merit, including the artistic and research motives for the project, as well as the context in which the work was created and the artist’s entire body of work.
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