Emergentes Biocollage Workshop
Children are invited to use their imagination to invent characters, animals, monsters, real or fictional beings.
Image: LABoral
Emergentes José-Carlos Mariátegui
Investigator, London School of Economics, London; founder, ATA-Alta Tecnología Andina and Escuelab.org, Lima
Simposio Feedforward. Foto: Piru de la Puente
Emergentes Divergencia Diferente de Cero, 2001
Interactive Installation Variable Dimensions Courtesy of the artist
Emergentes Mitozoos, 2006
Interactive Installation Variable dimensions Commissioned by Fundación Telefónica
Emergentes Ambiente de Estereo Realidad 4, 2007
Robotic Installation Variable dimensions Courtesy of the artists
Emergentes Almacén de Corazonadas, 2006
Interactive Installation Variable dimensions Courtesy of the artist
Emergentes Recomputing Space, 2006
Sound Installation Variable dimensions Courtesy of the artist
Emergentes OP_ERA: Haptics for the 5th dimension, 2007
Immersive Interactive Sound Installation Programming: Víctor Gomes Variable dimensions Courtesy of the artists
Emergentes Spio, 2004-2005
Robotic Installation 5 x 5 x 10 m Courtesy of Galería Brito Cimino
Emergentes Proxemia, 2005
Interactive Robotic Installation Robotic Design: Miguel Grassi Variable dimensions Courtesy of the artist
Emergentes Llegaste con la Brisa 1.5, 2007
Mechanical Installation Variable Dimensions Courtesy of the artist
Emergentes 8520 S.W. 27th Pl. v.2, 2004
Robotic Sculpture Variable dimensions Courtesy of the artist
10 installation works from Latin-American artists


10 installation works from Latin-American artists


The concept of “emergence” embraces all qualitative changes spontaneously generated by a system. The properties of this behaviour are rooted in interactions between the various compositional elements of a system, which cannot be treated as individual components. An emergent behaviour is more than the sum of its constitutive parts. These discussions are rooted in science and more specifically in complexity studies. The concept can also be co-opted from a socio-cultural perspective when referring to new knowledge making a radical entry into our contextual surroundings. For instance, when regions or areas that were not in the Western cultural cartography start to glitter in the map, these regions are defined as "emergent".

Thus, the concept of "emergence" has two meanings which, instead of opposing each other, are jointly structured. “Emergence” is said to widen cultural developments using science and technology with a view to creating a new kind of social-cultural interaction. Uses other than those originally conceived emerge from the interaction between people and technology. This process is usually defined as “interpretative flexibility”. Therefore, creative forms of exploring science and technology offer novel proposals both critically and regarding the innovative use of convergent media. The visual, sound and tactile redefine our way of interpreting scientific and technological processes.

Installations using technological means are shaping present media convergence, allowing us to interpret the different processes of study, research or speculation; interweaving technology into the social fabric, and generally unveiling a hidden working process. In real life we come across finished products with predetermined paths which rarely bring us face to face with new possible alternatives. Media installations enable a transversal exploration as they are open to many kinds of interpretation. From a personal or group experience the work redefines its shape and the work-in-process moves forward and progresses. The museum becomes a “test ground”, a “hands-on” space, an open lab illustrating the process of trial and error. In short, installations provide us with a continuous process of exploration tying the social to the technological.

The idea behind Emergentes is to explore this process and the various potentials for using technological artefacts in interpreting the contemporary world. In each work we are underscoring the work-in-process and the research linked to scientific and technological issues that may impact on society. Today more than ever before, these investigations underpin the debate on the digital universe and information growth. Through the increase in digital information in the contemporary world, we are not only more exposed to contents and artefacts, but there is also a higher migration from analogue information to digital information. Likewise, there are highly significant changes affecting people’s social and economic life. Now we are able to store and combine different kinds of digital information, however we are not aware of the consequences behind this kind of manipulation. The inter-operability of information leads to new forms of control as well as a real change in our private lives through digital representation. Computerized automatas both in the physical and virtual realms now seem to have a life of their own. The works included in this exhibition belong to fields such as robotics, augmented reality, artificial life and operational semantics. Nonetheless, these works break their formal liaison with science when related to notions such as expanded cinema, tele-surveillance or social sculpture.

The installations in Emergentes do not neglect the new techno-social fabric. A flexible interpretation of this development against univocal technological-medial consumption today is achieved through making visible their in situ experimental processes.

Emergentes also endeavours to question the generally accepted vision of Latin American art. Although electronic art from Latin America is not altogether unknown, there are still many largely invisible variations that are related to multidisciplinary research processes. These proposals are on show at Emergentes. More than referential or historic pieces of media art, they are new or recently produced works focusing on the applications of science and technology with the intention of generating a dialogue with the social. There is no attempt to put forward an all-embracing or thematic view of art and technological production and its connection with Latin America. The goal is to shape the current partial image of what is defined as contemporary electronic art through a wide range of critical perspectives, both established and incipient.

That said, we cannot overlook the strategic geographic location of Latin America, when referring to the digital information expansion. The countries in the Amazon basin own the biggest laboratory of biotechnology in the world, which is economically more important than the current exploitation of its natural resources. Less than 1% of tropical plants have been studied from a perspective of economic potential. Biotechnology is grounded in nature, yet it is still barely explored. Nowadays, the spotlight is on digital information but the informational value of biogenetics in Latin America is largely unknown. Emergentes seeks to activate this discussion.

Curated by: José-Carlos Mariátegui (Lima, 1975)

Artists: Lucas Bambozzi, Rejane Cantoni y Daniela Kutschat, Rodrigo Derteano, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, José Carlos Martinat y Enrique Mayorga, Fernando David Orelllana, Santiago Ortiz, Mariana Rondón, Mariano Sardón, Mariela Yeregui

Spatial design:Fernando Muñoz y Sergio Sebastián arquitectos

Graphic design: The Studio of Fernando Gutiérrez

Coproduced by:

Logo Laboral Logo Telefónica



Created by Fernando Muñoz y Sergio Sebastián arquitectos

Credits of the exhibition: Emergentes

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