Rodriguez Foundation
Marina Griznic
Oliver Ressler
Hito Steyerl
José Carlos Mariategui
Marcus Neustetter
november 5
19:00 >> Fundación Rodriguez
20:00 >> Marina Griznic
november 6
19:00 >> Oliver Ressler
20:00 >> Hito Steyerl
november 7
19:00 >> José Carlos Mariategui
20:00 >> Marcus Neustetter

A summary of the conference given by José Carlos Mariátegui on Local Creation / Global Articulation at the Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea on 7 th November within the framework of the conferences on Artistic Proposals of today, here and there.

José Carlos Mariátegui is a scientist and media theorist. He is President of ATA (Alta Tecnología Andina – Andean High Technology) an NGO dedicated to research and development in art, science and technology. ATA has become a reference point for the Latin American audiovisual scene for all those who are trying to link art to technology. He resides at CICV in France (International Centre for Video Creation). He is a member of the Philosophy and Scientific Thought program of the Cayetano Heredia University. Since 1998 he has been the general co-ordinator of the International Festival of Video/Art/Electronics held in Lima, Peru. He is a member of various committees for virtual reality, interaction, computers and artificial life.

The presentation attempted to analyse that hybrid place that arises from the attempt to articulate what is global and what is local, and to see what new identities are generated by this unstable scene. The articulation of these intermediate proposals which arise from the hybrid ambit located between what is local and what is global is, in his opinion, a fundamental value in current creation.

José Carlos Mariátegui commenced by explaining that Latin America is a very vast territory with tremendous communication problems both in geographical and cultural terms. “There is very little communication in the system that we articulate as a country and this is directly reflected in human rights. We cannot understand what is happening in our country”, he declared. Violence is a very important problem that is present throughout society. In the case of Peru, 60.000 people have been assassinated over the last twenty years. In the opinion of José Carlos Mariategui, violence is nothing but a demonstration of the ethnic inequalities that are present in the country. Moreover, he declared that, in Latin America, the concept of “nation” is non-existent. “We have lost this concept”, he declared. According to him, many areas generate the sensation of being a foreigner in one’s own country.

The metropolis of Latin America imitate western ones, José Carlos Mariátegui is of the opinion that “it is a little like the dream of trying to be like the other”. There are no great differences between large western cities and the great Latin American metropolis, despite the immense poverty belts surrounding them. Meanwhile, in the periphery, in the provinces, creative interactions are occurring continuously. José Carlos Mariátegui defended the need to reconsider these relations, the articulation of the periphery with the periphery. In his opinion, for this task, the importance of applying off-line systems is vital since the new technologies do not reach these areas. He also pointed out the need to massify possibilities and the different forms of creation in order to be in a position to stand firm in the international art scene. In his opinion, globalisation, the massive access to information should serve to make full use of this information without having to imitate the west. “We must adapt it to our own requirements, recreating the same as what has already been considered but using different languages”, he declared.

During the presentation, he showed three examples of the regional and local use of new technologies by visual artists in Latin America. Three lines of work which show local applications of global concepts.

The first example was a piece of work by the Peruvian artist Alvaro Zavala called Atipanakuy. The central figure of this work is a scissors dancer, a marginal artistic figure in Peru. He represents this lack of identify, this feeling of being a stranger that is so widespread in the country. In his work, Zavala criticizes this phenomenon. In Atipanakuy we can see how the scissors dancer comes out of a mine scene to become a man. Referring to this image, José Carlos Mariátegui pointed out that, in Peru, the country is experiencing a resurgence of traditional culture. Folklore is coming alive again and is fighting for its art. “Even so, it should be pointed out that the scissors dancer is not purist. It is a mixture of global icons and own elements. It mixes hip-hop steps with its own dance and with colonial elements. It is enriched with other cultures, whilst maintaining its own”, he explains.

According to José Carlos Mariátegui , the second example is one of transnational movement. This movement has some anti-global characteristics; it takes over the language and use of image by the mass media and adapts it to the local scene. The information that reaches us, principally through the television, is transformed and an attempt is made to change it to make it into a different picture. Visual filters, the use of music or fading to black serve to transform the initial message. To illustrate these ideas, he showed two works: Cows by the Argentinean producer Gabriela Golder and The Image by Angie Bonino.

The third example is what José Carlos Mariátegui defines as a peripherisation movement, the use of global strategies to try and be in the relative centre. The aim is to criticise established art by using western codes. Two works were shown, produced by Ivan Esquivel and Diego Larrea and which are included within this line. In his work, Ivan Esquivel criticises the video as a means that is in fashion, how the artist participates in the art system. Diego Larrea, for his part, relates two elements which, in principle, appear to be somewhat difficult to connect, such as the art biennials and the film “The Godfather” by Francis Ford Coppola.

[Arteleku] [Rodriguez Fundazioa] [Eusko Jaularitza] [American Foundation Center] [Casa Asia]