ART, TECHNOLOGY AND NEW MEDIA WITH PATXI ARAÚJO IN ART MADRID’20

Within the activities program "Art Madrid-Proyector’20" organiSed throughout last February, one of the most interactive actions was offered by Patxi Araújo at the Medialab Prado cultural centre. This artist offered a master class on February 12th, but also had a digital installation on the main facade of the building that was in operation for a month. We want to remember the result of this experience and offer you the possibility to enjoy the full master class online for all those who could not attend.

Patxi Araújo (Iruña, 1967) is an artist, researcher and teacher. He combines his academic work at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of the Basque Country with his artistic career. In the field of creation, Patxi was interested from the beginning in the technological application to the arts, in the search for an aesthetic that deals with concepts such as the human, the natural, the creation of spaces, the corporeal... through programming and the use of the software. His work has been recognised and selected in different biennials, festivals and video art and electronic experimentation competitions, such as "Share Festival XIII", Il Moderno Prometeo, Turin (2018); "Zinetika Festival", Bilbao (2018); "Life at the Edges", Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin (2018); “Osmosis Audiovisual Media Festival”, Taipei (2016), to name just a few.

True to his career, Patxi Araújo's master class entitled “All Prophets are Wrong” offered a vital and practical tour on the use of technology and computer programming in artistic creation. We are entering a hybrid terrain, where processes require knowledge contributed from different areas so that technological training and creative impulse merge into a field yet to be explored. Like any new language, it is a matter of mastering a technique, methods that depart from traditional artistic disciplines, not only because of their expression but also because of the type of training required. This is one of the essential characteristics of technological art, a fully up-to-date area that many authors come to because of their need to work with guidelines beyond the conventional. Likewise, the presence of technology and digital in our environment makes it natural for many to opt for these paths and consider projects that exceed the limits of physical support, allowing the creation of pieces that work with concepts such as the unpredictable, chance or randomness, philosophical questions that do not easily fit within the most classical art.





Patxi shared with us part of his experience and put into practice some of the technological processes that he uses in his work, in a fascinating session where we all could appreciate how to create through code and the final result achieved. In addition, one of the most complex parts of the process was revealed: the degree of abstraction with which the programming is carried out because the artist must at all times be aware of the aesthetic objective that he seeks, but often he does not come to see it until coding is well advanced. In this creative speciality, it is also essential to gain experience and be up to date with all the technological innovations applicable to the artistic world.

In addition to the master class, Patxi carried out a site-specific artwork for the main facade of Medialab Prado, equipped with a large 14 x 9 metre LED panel to display technological and digital projects. His proposal was an interactive literary-visual piece that required public intervention to activate its operation. With the title “Sherezade”, the work elaborated sentences in the scheme: article + noun + adjective, taking the words from a database of almost 2,000 terms. The combination of the 24 prepositions, 31 articles, 926 adjectives and 726 nouns activates when people and elements cross the square located in front of the Medialab building, thanks to a sensor camera that collects movements. In full operation, "Sherezade" shuffles the words on the screen, to offer a final phrase that can be as absurd and surreal as poetic.



The work was inaugurated on February 12th, at the end of the master class, and remained installed until March 12th. A whole month in which the public was able to play automatic writing with “Sherezade”, as a true exercise in Dadaism in the 21st century.

We want to thank the support that Medialab Prado gave us at all times to host the activities of the parallel program. The centre defines as a citizen laboratory for the production, research and dissemination of cultural projects. In the words of its director, Marcos García, Medialab “characterises by offering a place for experimentation and collaborative creation of projects. It is what we call a 'citizen lab', a space in the city where neighbours can come together to develop an idea. Unlike traditional cultural centres –which can host an exhibition or a concert–, the idea here is that people come together to 'do'. There is always someone with a proposal and others who join it as collaborators”. And we were able to verify this philosophy during the development of the program, in which many regular users of the centre were encouraged to participate.

 

The cultural agenda gradually recovers after the health-crisis halt and art lovers are eager to enjoy the rich cultural offer that the different spaces and museums throughout our geography have to offer. In addition, one must remember that these centres have made an enormous effort to adapt to the demands that the new situation imposes and have created abundant online-accessible content to overcome confinement. We bring you a selection of content that can be visited both in person and through the web. There is no excuse for not enjoying contemporary art again.

Olafur Eliasson, “En la vida real (In real life)”, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao continues with its exhibition dedicated to Olafur Eliasson and offers numerous resources to understand not only the exhibition but also the work of the centre in the assembly and installation process. The website allows us to expand content with interviews with the artist, the download of the audio guide and the vision of the curator Lucía Aguirre, who offers us different video-pills on the pieces in the exhibition.

"Olafur Eliasson: in real life" brings together a part of this artist's work since 1990 through sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colours. Likewise, the integration of elements such as moss, water, ice, fog... put the visitor in a situation that confuses the senses and tries to challenge the way we perceive our environment and move in it.

Regina de Miguel, “Isla Decepción”, 2017

The Botín Centre in Santander hosts the exhibition "Collecting processes: 25 years of Itineraries" which brings together the work of 25 of the 210 scholarship recipients who, to date, have enjoyed the Botín Foundation Plastic Arts Scholarship, started in 1993. With the works Lara Almárcegui, Basma Alsharif, Leonor Antunes, Javier Arce, Erick Beltrán, David Bestué, Bleda and Rosa, Nuno Cera, Patricia Dauder, Patricia Esquivias, Karlos Gil, Carlos Irijalba, Adrià Julià, Juan López, Rogelio López Cuenca, Renata Lucas, Mateo Maté, Jorge Méndez Blake, Regina de Miguel, Leticia Ramos, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Teresa Solar Abboud, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Jorge Yeregui, David Zink-Yi, the exhibition is a good example of up-to-date and young contemporary art contributed by artists with very diverse profiles.

Clemente Bernad. Series “Ante el umbral”, Madrid, 2020

The Reina Sofía Museum wanted to create a visual chronicle of what the confinement and the tragic numbers of infected and deceased have meant for the lives of many of us: a tale of pain, nostalgia and uncertainty made by the photographer Clemente Bernad. This exhibition, curated by Jorge Moreno Andrés, is entitled “Before the threshold”, a title that expresses the strange sensation that occurs when faced with something new and unknown, something that we cannot control or avoid, and that we all must go through. The alteration imposed on our lives unexpectedly is reflected in the streets, transformed into places of solitude and abandonment where life has been paralysed.

Mario Merz / No title, Triplo Igloo, 1984 MAXXI Collection

At the IVAM, the exhibition "What is our home?" brings together works from the IVAM collection and the MAXXI centre in Rome to propose a reflection on the space we inhabit seen from a personal and social perspective. It is about investigating the value that these spaces have as a home or refuge, as well as part of a city or community.

The exhibition, curated by José Miguel G. Cortés, also wants to delve into the feeling of those who feel like foreigners anywhere, because they do not identify with the habits or customs of the society, they do not fit into these social patterns, and home becomes the only shelter space that can adapt to their identity needs.

Martha Rosler, frame from “Backyard Economy I-II”, 1974 © Courtesy of Martha Rosler, 2020

Es Baluard Museu is committed to video creation and performance and hosts the monographic exhibition “Martha Rosler. How do we get there from here?” dedicated to this New York artist who pioneered the use of video as a mechanism for social and political analysis. This exhibition includes various works, from video to photography and several publications, which synthesise her main lines of discourse. Her concern for public policies and the social equality of women has led her to actively participate in numerous social movements in La Havana, New York, Mexico DC or Barcelona, and these experiences are present in one way or another in her work.

With the curatorship of Inma Prieto, a selection has been made within the abundant production of this artist, which presents one of the most coherent careers in towards-the-new-Millenium contemporary art.

Image from file, via meiac.es/turbulence/archive/acceso.html

The MEIAC - Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, host the works of the prestigious international digital art archive "Turbulence", a platform dedicated to network and hybrid art. In view of the inevitable closure of this institution, the MEIAC has offered to host all this valuable content collected since 1996. The uploading of the file also served as an opportunity to restore numerous pieces and convert formats so that files that had become obsolete remain readable by new systems. A huge job of conservation and updating that can be enjoyed online today. The archive is made up of hundreds of digital works from around the world that can now be visited remotely.