[NetBehaviour] The Discreet Charm of Technology. Arts in Spain...

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Tue Sep 9 20:49:34 CEST 2008

The Discreet Charm
of Technology. Arts in Spain
September 27, 2008 -
February 15, 2009

ZKM | Center for
Art and Media Karlsruhe
Lorenzstrasse 19
76135 Karlsruhe, Germany
+49 (0) 721-8100 1200
info at zkm.de


Presenting for the first time a wide outlook of Spanish art and 
technology productions, the show has been produced by the Museo 
Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo (MEIAC), and organised 
by the Ministry of Culture and the Culture Department of the Regional 
Government of Extremadura.

The international touring of this exhibition has been organised by the 
State Corporation for Spanish Cultural Action Abroad, SEACEX, and the 
General Directorate of Cultural and Scientific Relations of the Spanish 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and ZKM Center for Art and 
Media Karlsruhe.

The consolidation of arts that use audiovisual, computer, digital or 
telematic techniques is a fact. But, the impact of technology in visual 
arts goes beyond its mere use as a tool.

The exhibited works do not have necessarily a technological support, but 
they are indeed based on innovating proposals that support their 
approach on technique and science. Painting, sculpture and photography 
coexist with interactive installations, experimental cinema, video and 

Under the curatorship of Claudia Giannetti, Antonio Franco and Peter 
Weibel, the exhibition is structured in five thematic sections, in which 
some of the general concerns in art and culture are inserted: Acting on 
the formal code; Acting on the visual code; Acting on the sensorial 
[space-time] code; Acting on the body's interface; and Acting on the 
reality interface.

The first section, Acting on the formal code, addresses the 
formalization of language proposed, in a pioneering way, by the medieval 
philosopher from Majorca Ramon Llull (13th century), who created binary 
combinatory rules in order to achieve an universal language. On this 
basis, six centuries later, digital computers, automation, artificial 
intelligence and cybernetics were developed. Artists such as Barbadillo 
and Alexanco, pioneers in computer art in Spain, have been able to 
implement the combinatorial analysis and the generative system to their 
works. More recently, Leandre or Marino, are continuing that research path.

The second section, Acting on the visual code, includes books and 
micro-photographs of the famous scientist and Nobel prize, Santiago 
Ramón y Cajal, which allowed to visualize what was invisible, thus 
modifying the perception of our immediate environment. New vision and 
action fields are researched by artists such as Daniel Canogar and 
Moisés Mañas.

Taking as a starting point the pioneer works of experimental movies by 
José Val del Omar, the third module, Acting on the sensorial 
[space-time] code, analyses the media capacity to overflow the 
traditional limits of space, time and senses. The installations by 
Eugènia Balcells and Pedro Garhel, among others, offer the viewer 
pluri-sensorial and immersive experiences.

The body as interface and the way the concept of identity is built are 
some of the issues addressed in the section Acting on the body 
interface, in which works by Pilar Albarracín, Marcel·lí Antúnez, Javier 
Codesal and Begoña Vicario are presented. The body becomes a surface to 
explore the individual as a perishable being, as well as an instrument 
for the relation with society and also to question the traditional 
concepts of genre.

Reality is a subjective perception, as addressed in the last module of 
the show Acting on the reality interface, which depends on how the 
subject is observed. Technical means allow us to show the coincidence 
between fiction and reality. In this section, the artists question, in a 
critical way, the relations between the subject and the reality of 
social environment. Pioneers such as Miralda, Montes-Baquer/Salvador 
Dalí or Fontcuberta, as well as artists of the last generation, such as 
Cajaraville, Marino, Ruiz de Infante o Valldosera, present proposals of 
special interest stressing this far-reaching issue.

This is the broadest and most exhaustive show that has been organised to 
date in Spain on this subject matter, a fact that will no doubt turn it 
into a showcase full of special meaning. (A 598 pages catalogue with 
unpublished texts will be issued).

Participating Artists:
Ramon Llull, Santiago Ramón y Cajal
Antoni Abad, Roberto Aguirrezabala, Pilar Albarracín, José Luis 
Alexanco, Abu Ali * Toni Serra, Jesús Alido, Julián Álvarez García, 
Marcel·lí Antúnez Roca, Eugènia Balcells, Manuel Barbadillo, Eugeni 
Bonet, Bressemer & Alia, Maite Cajaraville, Daniel Canogar, Gustavo 
Caprín, Nilo Casares & Bernardo Tejeda, Javier Codesal, Salvador Dalí & 
José Montes-Baquer, Pep Dardanyà, Juan Carlos Eguillor, Equipo 57, Evru, 
Joan Fontcuberta, Dora García, Pedro Garhel, Marisa González, Isabel 
Herguera, Concha Jerez & José Iges, Jodi, Joan Leandre, Moisés Mañas, 
Iván Marino, Enrique Marty, Anna Miquel, Miralda, Sylvia Molina & Juan 
Millares, Jordi Moragues Massanet, Thomas Nölle, Victor Nubla, Daniel 
Palacios Jiménez, Carles Pujol, Benet Rossell, Francisco Ruiz de 
Infante, José Antonio Sistiaga, José Val del Omar, Eulàlia Valldosera, 
Begoña Vicario, Wolf Vostell

Produced by:
MEIAC, Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, Badajoz 

Organised by:
Ministry of Culture
Regional Government of Extremadura. Culture Department of the Regional 
Government of Extremadura, Office for Cultural Heritage

International Touring Organised by:
State Corporation for Spanish Cultural Action Abroad, SEACEX
Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Directorate General for 
Cultural and Scientific Relations
Embassy of Spain, Berlin
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Idea and Conception: Claudia Giannetti

Claudia Giannetti, Specialist in media art, theorist, writer and 
exhibitions curator
Antonio Franco, Director of the MEIAC, Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano 
de Arte Contemporáneo
Peter Weibel, Director of ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Press department
Friederike C. Walter
phone: +49 (0) 721-8100 1220
fax: +49 (0) 721-8100 1139
e-mail: presse at zkm.de

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