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Art & Theory
Panorama from the Bridge (A Little Historical Background) - Part 1 of 3
by Rodrigo Alonso

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Complementing the technological status of post-industrial societies, digital culture has laid the groundwork for a new relationship between human beings and the universe surrounding them. Their entrance on the stage of the contemporary world began with the questioning of the way reality is represented, in the sense of the "objective reality" of scientific positivism, thanks to the possibility of unlimited transformations of digital images, following the movement begun by the mass communications media and its many interpretations in the course of human experience. Digital representations are no longer simply a method of translating reality, but rather a means to a new way of thinking about it. Because of their intrinsic characteristics, traditional ideas about space, time, unity, and original or copy have become irrelevant in their context, and must be reexamined in light of the particular characteristics of this new medium.

Perhaps it is an exaggeration at the moment to speak of digital art. Nevertheless, the growing need for artists to abandon traditional mediums and enter the world of binary images points out the urgent need to review our culture from the new paradigm, although the results may be imprecise and difficult to catalog. The meteoric expansion of digital media in Argentina during the last ten years has been the reason why a wave of young artists is taking part in this activity. Now is probably one of the most productive moments to explore the aesthetic implications of this necessary period of transition.

Translated from Spanish by A. McEwen.

[For more information on contemporary artists exploring digital art in Argentina during this exciting time, please join us for PART 2 .]

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About the Author

Rodrigo Alonso received his degree in art from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently professor of Art History (contemporary art) in the department of Philosophy and Letters, and teaches in the workshop of Audiovisual Expression in the department of Social Sciences, both at the University of Buenos Aires. He has taught courses in his specialization for national and international educational institutions. In 1998 he designed the degree program of Multimedia for the Institute Universitario Nacional del Arts (IUNA).

Based in Buenos Aires, Alonso has worked as an art critic since 1992, specializing in new media (photography, creative video, and digitial art). He has published regularly in magazines on contemporary art, cinematography and video, and sporadically in other publications and catalogs. He has also been a curator, judge, and organizer of numerous exhibitions and theoretical events for many institutions -

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