Aug 11, 2004 - Oct 13, 2004
SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil
Artificial Emotions 2.0
by Virginia Gil Araujo
During recent years, Brazilian cultural institutions have been especially interested in showing international works using new technologies, as well as developing local representatives within this artistic field. They intend to update and expand the discussion on the use of technological media, since the sudden appearance of digital and biogenetic media and its accompanying discourses created havoc among the most traditional art discussions.
Striving to make a deeper social commitment, cultural institutions came up with the idea for this event, together with research facilities at Brazilian universities and shared with curators Arlindo Machado and Gilberto Prado the responsibility of selecting exemplary experiences and ideas.
The topic of this bienial: "Technological Divergences", still carries the issue of the world of art and technology further. At the suggestion of event consultant Australian critic and artist Jeffrey Shaw, this topic aims at questioning the political uses of technology and its insertion and impact in societies which are marked by social differences and disparities. The thirty works - DVDs, CDs, sites and installations- encourage the politicization of this debate on technological mediation - a debate which becomes even more significant in light of many exhibitions held recently in Brazil which privilege the excessive use of technological media. As of July this year, Santander Cultural from Porto Alegre and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil from Brasília will be exhibiting art and electronic and digital media shows; in August, again in São Paulo, Paço das Artes will be hosting the exhibition of the 4th Sergio Motta Award prize winners; in September, two media art shows at Sonar Brasil, and at the end of the year 2004, the File (International Festival of Electronic Languages), whose exhibition will be held at the Fiesp Cultural Center, at Casa das Caldeiras, with VJs and DJs performances at the British Council, where the event’s symposium will be held.
The proliferation of so many events sponsored by companies which sell state-of-the-art technology- still inaccessible to most- limits a full range of criticality of the media. Nevertheless, the curatorial initiative of "Artificial Emotion 2.0" is fair, although sometimes a bit too narrow, as when choosing to create a scene with works that are both stingingly subversive and/or too politically straightforward with the public, such as Gaza Strip by José Wagner Garcia (Brazil) and Das Kapital by Marcello Mercado (Argentina). The immediate sensation that nothing surprises quick-thinking audiences, may be noted as well in the banalization of the bug effect by Giselle Beiguelman.