Day 3, Stream 3

PART 1: 3 presentations


Andres Burbano, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia


Juan José Díaz Infante: Play! Festival, Mexico

Nahum Mantra: The Arts Catalyst, Mexico/UK

Delinda Collier: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, United States



Juan José Díaz Infante: Play

PLAY! Festival: An experiment in augmented reality. Artistic Director Juan José Díaz Infante

This presentation shows via a series of slides different examples of the pieces that were shown, how they were presented and how the public reacted.

Silence! Invisible Poets

Play! is in its third edition; the festival is based on the lack of translation of the word “play” into Spanish. Each year the festival has a theme that is explored. For this year´s festival we decided to explore the telephone as the interphase of reality. The festival was a great success; this is a brief description of the different pieces that were shown.

Calling the Big Bang
by Nahum Mantra

Sound performance in which four antennas catch the frequency of cellular phones and the frequency of the Big Bang is filtered out. The audience hears the echo that remains from the beginning.

Sound Images
Curated by André Oddone
Programming by Hugo Solís
GPS, QR, Augmented Sound

As part of the experiment we decided to leave the museum space and stage a walk through a street. On each corner we recorded the sounds, 12 composers from different countries were selected, and each reworked the sound of each corner in order to generate a different experience. The public downloaded the app to their phone and were given a map. It was a different way to ‘feel’ the neighborhood.

Dear Qwerty
Erika Beatriz

A book object that explores a new narrative on each page is a QR code, the story changes continuously.

H2O K T / A tree of life / Fiction Sculptures
Hugo Solís and Juan José Díaz Infante
GPS, Augmented Reality

A virtual avocado tree was planted on the World, giant floating avocados were set in different parts of the world.


Nahum Mantra: The Arts Catalyst with Mexican Artists

The Arts Catalyst is one of the UK’s most distinctive arts organisations, distinguished by ambitious art commissions and its unique take on art-science practice. Our primary focus is commissioning new artists’ projects, presented in a range of museums, art galleries and other public spaces in the UK and internationally. In its 17 years, The Arts Catalyst has commissioned more than 90 artists’ projects. Through our exhibitions and events programme, we enable people to have distinctive, thought-provoking experiences that transcend traditional boundaries of art and science.

During ISEA2012 in Albuquerque and the first KOSMICA Mexico organised by The Arts Catalyst and Laboratorio Arte Alameda in the autumn, we had the opportunity to meet some of the artists we have been following from abroad. This gave us a better insight into the new work being produced by leading Mexican artists, and enabled conversations about potential collaborations with The Arts Catalyst; hence we have planned that in 2013 we are going to focus on working with some of these artists and organisations. For ISEA2013 will show the progress of this series of collaborations within the Latin American Forum. These collaborations include:

Ariel Guzik
SEFT – 1
Laboratorio Arte Alameda
Mexican Space Collective


Delinda Collier:  The Tacet Mark as Blackness: Interrupted Currents in African Electronic Art

This paper examines several electronic artworks in Africa that reflect on the fits and starts of electricity, the absence of infrastructure as a signifier for ‘Africa.’ In the electricity-based artworks discussed, disconnection is a ‘blackness’ that is both textual and mechanical, and includes discourses of development and underdevelopment, and the mechanical connections and amputations of Africa from global technology. This essay places these artworks against a historical background of the so-called Dark Continent that has, in media history, been figured as the unmediated, ‘real’ and base material side of technological development. That blackness, like a tacet mark on music notation, has been the space in which artists and theorists develop counter-intentions, strategies variously termed pan-Africanism, Afrofuturism, and Afrocommunism—and now a global DIY movement that spreads open source knowledge and tools for ‘making.’ Along the lines of DIY practice, Jean Katambayi Mukendi’s Ecoson (2011) rewires faulty electricity circuits using organic matter (ecoconductors) and semiconductors (diodes) together to light up a world map. His work has been featured at Kër Thiossane in Dakar, a collective dedicated to art and technology under an open source platform. Against Mukendi’s DIY connections, I discuss disconnection as blackness in South African artist James Webb’s recent performance The World is Listening (2012) in Johannesburg. The performance sent a gallery opening of new media work into total darkness when Webb cut the power to the Bag Factory gallery for 4’33”, unannounced. We may thus see a recent desire to ‘re-materialize’ the object (apparatus, body, etc.) through theory and media practices that can be, on the one hand, considered a subversive practice, but should more accurately be understood as what was always a myth of dematerialisation in postwar global avant garde practice.


PART 2: Re:imag(in)ing Indigenous media art histories (panel)


Tim Maybury: College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Australia


Esteban Garcia: Purdue University, US

Brenda L Croft: National Institute for Experimental Arts, COFA, UNSW, Australia

r e a: independent artist, Sydney

Jenny Fraser: independent artist, Sydney

Andres Burbano: Universidad de los Andes, Colombia


Reconsidering Australian Media Art Histories in an International Context (RAMAH) is an ARC Linkage project undertaken by researchers at the National Institute of Experimental Arts, in partnership with a host of national and international partners, that researches the contribution of Australians to the development of media arts as a contemporary art practice, while at the same time examining the important artistic and technical contributions that have shaped media arts in the global arena. The project aims to propose new frameworks, refute inaccurate ‘facts,’ question or expand upon theories, and point out unseen associations and critical connections. The potential for online access to collections of media art in all its manifest forms has been the subject of detailed media art history research. RAMAH aims to provide for a deeper knowledge of the histories of media art history in the international context by making accessible documentation and a range of other materials via an evolving online archive.

The process of archiving as a practice itself is crucial, and invites questions: What is the relationship between history and the archive? What is the history and what is the archive? Does there need to be history first before there can be an archive – or When does the archive itself become history? To date RAMAH has brought together key academics and practitioners at a series of roundtable discussion events in Liverpool in 2011 and Melbourne in 2012 in order to explore and expand upon these concerns. Noting that international publications and online archives dedicated to the study of media art are often dominated by white European and North American exemplars, at ISEA2013 RAMAH partners the Latin American Forum to further the discussion by drawing attention to the multiple trajectories that have sprouted from outside of the usual centres and dominant paradigms.

Re:imag(in)ing Indigenous Media Art Histories engages both Australia and Colombian practitioners to focus on histories of Indigenous Australian artists working with new media, and in particular the inroads and dialogues they have established in international networks. More broadly, the session will address issues of identity, representation and visuality in the so-called ‘Global South’.



Brenda L Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudpurra peoples in the Northern Territory on her paternal side, and Anglo-Australian/German/Irish heritage on her maternal side. She has been involved in the arts and cultural sectors for three decades as an artist, arts administrator, curator, academic and consultant. Since March 2012 Brenda has been a Senior Research Fellow with the National Institute for Experimental Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. In 2011, she was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Award. She is currently undertaking her PhD.

Still in my mind: Gurindji experience, location and visuality draws inspiration from the words of revered Gurindji elder and kadijeri (senior law man), Vincent Lingiari, ‘that land… I still got it on my mind’, a profound statement reiterating his deep commitment to his Gurindji/Malgnin peoples and their customary homelands on Wave Hill in the Northern Territory. On 23 August 1966, alongside his compatriots, Lingiari led the ‘Gurindji Walkoff’ commencing an 8 year-long strike by Aboriginal stockmen and their families working at Wave Hill Station, owned by British Pastoral Company Vestey’s.

A retelling of this story from an Indigenous perspective forms the basis of this project. Croft is a direct descendant of these senior Gurindji/Malgnin elders, and these familial relationships underline the significance of this project in ensuring that living family members maintain Indigenous cultural practices of obligation and responsibility for transmitting knowledge through kinship connections.


Jenny Fraser works within a fluid screen-based practice of bold and confronting art that utilises popular cultural references as a bridge to challenge viewers’ frames of reference. Her practice has also been partly defined through a strong commitment to collaboration with others, and she is motivated to redefine the art of curating as an act of sovereignty and emancipation, founding cyberTribe online gallery over a decade ago.

A Murri of mixed ancestry, she was born in Far North Queensland and her old people originally hailed from Yugambeh Country in the Gold Coast Hinterland on the border of South East Queensland/ Northern New South Wales. She has a professional background in Art and Media Education, and has since completed a Master of Indigenous Wellbeing at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW.

Jenny is a celebrated screen artist. She was awarded an honourable mention at the 2007 imagineNATIVE Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, and in 2009 she was nominated for a Deadly Award.  She has travelled extensively and completed residency programs in remote communities from Queensland and the Northern Territory to the Rocky Mountains in Canada, and also Raw Space and New Flames in Brisbane. She was the first Aboriginal Curator to present a Triennial exhibition in Australia: the other APT. This exhibition coincided with, and responded to, the Asia Pacific Triennial, and was then accepted for inclusion into the 2008 Biennale of Sydney. Her upcoming Australia Council fellowship project Midden was awarded in 2012. Because of the diverse creative mediums Jenny uses, much of her work defies categorisation. Most recently her work takes iconic and everyday symbols of Australian life and places them into a context that questions the values they represent. With a laconic sense of humour she picks away at the fabric of our society, exposing contradictions, absurdities, and denial.


r e a is an artist whose work transforms across a number of art forms and flows into a new-media interdisciplinary arts practice which examines: history, memory, body politics and language, and the construction of Indigenous [Australian] identity. She is a descendent of the Gamilaraay and Wailwan peoples of Coonabarabran in north-west New South Wales. In 1994 she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, followed by a Master of Arts (Visual Art) from the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University and a Master of Science in Digital Imaging and Design from New York University. She has received numerous scholarships and grants throughout her professional creative and academic career, including a Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, a New Media Arts Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts, a Fulbright Scholarship, and recently an APA and R.E.A., from UNSW.

r e a has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1992 and has been involved in a number of international and national residency programs since 1996. She has participated in the Live-I Workshops presented by Troika Ranch Contemporary Dance Company, New York City; and the Witness Relocation Master-Class (based in New York City) at Legs On The Wall, Sydney, supported by ACAPTA.

r e a is currently undertaking her PhD in Visual Anthropology at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, full-time.


Esteban Garcia is a Colombian-born artist and researcher currently working on his Doctorate studies in Technology at Purdue University in Indiana. Garcia’s research interests include computer art history and digital media art practices. At Purdue he is a Course Instructor of digital image foundations in the Department of Computer Graphics. Garcia’s research has been featured in significant electronic art venues such as SIGGRAPH (2011), Leonardo Journal (2011) and ISEA2012. He has been awarded artist in residency by the Estímulos program Colombia-Venezuela (2004) and in Lugar a Dudas arts space in Cali, Colombia (2007). His hybrid art practice has allowed him to participate in curated art shows and workshops across the globe such as Kilómetro-0 Urbano in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (2005), the Live Performers Meeting in Rome (2011), and most recently at the Delicious Spectacle gallery in Washington D.C.


Timothy Maybury is a Sydney-based researcher and Juris Doctor candidate at Sydney Law School, University of Sydney. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Art Theory (Hons) from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW in 2008, Tim has been active as a musician, broadcaster, art writer and curator in both Sydney and New York. He is currently focused on merging his background in arts with his passions for social justice and human rights. He works as a researcher on the ARC Linkage Reconsidering Australian Media Art Histories in an International Context project at the National Institute for Experimental Arts at COFA and as a paralegal for Native Title Services NSW (NTSCORP), and serves as Vice President of Amnesty International Australia’s NSW Branch.