Project – Process – Prototypes and Interfaces. Beyond Art and Technology

LABoral Centro de Arte will hold the seminar “Project-Process. Prototypes and Interfaces”, as part of the project “Beyond the Exhibition: New Interfaces for Contemporary Art in Europe from 2 to 5 September”.

Published: Jul 17, 2013
Project – Process – Prototypes and Interfaces. Beyond Art and Technology

Theodora Barat, Dead End, 2012. Photo: Oliver Anselot

New-media, technological art,, cyber art, virtual art, software art… As our late professor José Luis Brea observed more than a decade ago, this terminological variety is one of the various symptoms that demonstrates not only the variety and complexity of technological media in the art of the last few decades, but also the public interest.

Technology is part of our lives and, consequently, of art as well and everything that surrounds its exhibition and diffusion. Technological devices are in the interests of a broad public, either because they are the current media which you feel familiar with or because you can interact with them. They appeal both as media in the art work by themselves and in their use as additional educational material for the exhibition. A great deal of care has to be taken when using them as with any other kind of medium - even more in this case. At present, education in art and new technologies has been growing. You do not have to surf the net very much to notice the vast array of courses, conferences, seminars and postgraduate courses in this subject. However, this wide range is often insufficient to answer many questions that encompass what we call “new media”, mainly because of the complexity of the technical content they contain, or due to sometimes not focusing in a sufficiently effective way. In the best of cases, as a constantly changing area, this training always needs to be continuously reviewed and updated by professional experts who provide a highly practical view.

In this immense sea, LABoral Centro de Arte will hold from 2 to 5 September the seminar Project-Process. Prototypes and Interfaces, precisely on account of the project Beyond the Exhibition: New Interfaces for Contemporary Art in Europe. This seminar will practically answer some of the following questions which not only art curators, cultural managers, museologists, educators and other professionals of the art world ask ourselves, but they obviously affect the public and its perception of “new media”, or whatever you would like to call it.

How should digital contents in a show be exhibited to the public so that their decoding is as fair as possible with respect to what the artist intends? How should the pieces communicate and how should they be arranged so that none of them lose their own identity while respecting at the same time the curator’s discourse? How do you manage those works in which the spectator has an active presence in the piece, as a spectator or even as a co-author? What relationships can or have to be established among the works and with the public so that the latter takes advantage of the resources that these media could offer beyond the exhibition?

As we all know, since the arrival of these new or brand-new media a longer time ago than we would imagine, not only has it gradually changed the sender-receiver relationship in art, but also that of the other agents that we move around/operate in the art-technology partnership. We do not have any choice but to be as up-to-date with these applications as with our own that we have downloaded to our mobile devices. Smartphones, GPS, Internet, video-games…the technological typologies that we find at the moment in technological art exhibitions are very extensive. A good proportion of them are present precisely in the exhibition Realidad elástica [Elastic Reality] at LABoral, which forms part of the project mentioned above “Beyond the Exhibition” and which, in addition to the show and seminar we are discussing, includes the artist residency by Maya Da-Rin, two screening cycles and another two seminars on art and technology, which take place at Le Fresnoy (France) and CAC de Vilnius (Lithuania), the other two art centres without which this project would not have been possible.

The exhibition “Realidad elástica”, which we can visit until 8 September, is accordingly an ideal framework to study these interesting challenges in this seminar, as demonstrated by, for example, the use of GPS technology in the work of Maya Da-Rin, the video-games in the work by Vincenzo Ciciliato or the sensors that activate sounds from movements in Zahra Poonawala’s work.

The seminar “Project-Process. Prototypes and Interfaces” will therefore critically and reflectively analyse the role of technological media in art exhibitions, as well as its disposition and optimisation for an understanding of the discourse with the public. It will also explore in particular the practical questions that affect both the management and curating of these technologies and its proper conservation, to carry out an update on the state of this matter, by outstanding professionals from different international centres and institutions. The day’s events, with a theory-practice approach, will be accompanied in the evenings by practical sessions led by the research group Las Lindes. A great way to start the November period , catching up on this highly topical subject. Further information can be found on the programme and registration for the seminar on the embedded links, and also on the LABoral Centro de Arte’s website.

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