petite mort In this issueSomething from Nothing No.3 2005
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What else have you been working on?
Bakteria I think is another interesting project. It’s basically a collection of characters and sound toys that I’ve been drawing for eight to ten years now. The drawings are a kind of generative process: each one I draw starts from a dot and a line and I usually don’t know what form it’s going to take. Each one is different from the other.

You draw them on paper?
Yes. I then built this website from these drawings. When you get into the site you play with these characters. You can interact with them online and after a while of interacting with them you will get a message saying that you are infected. From there you are asked to send your impressions of what it was like to be infected. I receive those messaged and in turn I infected the grammar of the message and I upload the results on the website. So the idea is to make a flow between the concrete space [the drawings], the mind space [the origin of the drawings and your reaction to being infected], and the digital space [the website].

So you are taking the interactive concept outside of the cyber space?
Yeah, I also use Bakteria to do live performances/ultra-interactive performances in that context.


© 2005 Arcangel Constantini © 2005 Arcangel Constantini

ABOVE: Screenshots from Arcangel’s website where little bakteria creatures get under your skin in order to get a reaction from you.




Tell us a little bit about your role as a digital art curator?
As an artist living in this capital, you see the potential in spaces and you have dreams to show other people’s work and also to show your own work. So I got in contact with the museums and I submitted proposals for using their spaces for exhibitions. We have put together mini-retrospective of artists and group exhibitions. I think it is difficult to curate a digital exhibition in this city because it is not easy for everyone to understand the heavy-handed academic language that revolves around digital art and net based art. So I try to put together exhibits with artwork that contain universally conprehesible ideas. Work which is more visually aesthetic and process orientated so it can accommodate a larger audience.

Is it easier to gain access to museum spaces in Mexico City? Living in New York it has become almost impossible to have access to these type of space, there is so much red tape and you would have to wait maybe one or two years for your exhibit to take form, not to mention the getting past the Art Scene Mafia. Does it happen much faster here?
Yes, I think in that way it is different.

"We are just now experimenting with [...] immersive lucidity in digital space [...] My vision is that there will be no difference between this reality and the reality we are going to experience in the web." Net-artists round table discussion at Museo Rufino Tamayo, 2004.  The event was organized and hosted by Arcangel Constantini.
ABOVE: Net-artists round table discussion at Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, 2004. The event was organized and hosted by Arcangel Constantini.



Related Links:

Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo





Atari Noise


El Centro

Laboratoria Arte Alameda

Centro + Media
extensive reports by


Net Artists Mentioned:
Brian Makern

So in a way you are very lucky, like just last night you held an exhibition at the Laboratoria Arte Alameda and now you are here at the Museo Tamayo. It seems like a pretty good time and place for digital art exhibitions. How does the government view ephemeral exhibitions as compared to exhibitions of tangible art objects?
They are supportive. You can organize large exhibitions that provide digital artists what they need and at the same time bring people together. There is not much money in grants and commissions; most of the works that we are exhibiting are work that has already made. It’s just a type of mini-survey of what’s going on. The CyberLounge World, which I help organize, is part of the Museo Tamayo. it’s a space for new media. We also do a lot of promoting of the art in places like Cyber cafes in the area. Net-Art cybercafes can also serve as space for our exhibitions since people can also interact and view works online.

In Centro + Media, the inaugural exhibition at El Centro, you mentioned there would be a battle between “old school Net-Artist”, Can you define “old School Net-Art”?
[laughing] Well, first of all, it’s the kind of Net-Art that I like, it uses GIF animations, HTML and JavaScript – all using the browser languages as a tool of expression.

What do you think about other web mediums like Flash?
I also like it. I don’t have anything against it, it’s also a tool used for expression. If it is autonomous and you say you have an intention then it’s valid.

But you prefer HTML?
[laughing] I love it! But I also like a lot of work done in Flash and Director.

What do you think about the future of net art?
Well, that’s a difficult question. The curatorial name of the project here at the Cyberlounge in the Museo Tamayo is called Immerso like immerse, to immerse yourself. It’s an utopian vision of what the net could be in the future. We are just now experimenting with how we can achieve that immersive lucidity in digital space, just like when we are lucid in dream space, and to belong to a space completely. My vision is that there will be no difference between this reality and the reality we are going to experience in the web. To achieve that it will have to have a more powerful impact. In my work I like to distort these three spaces: the concrete, digital, and mind space. This idea or vision can also be compared to a lucid dream space. A lot of us strive to be lucid in a digital context but it’s more difficult today because you have various interface, like this monitor, but we deal with it. When you are reading a book, the pages are an interface to the story. You are looking at words on paper and reading them, but that interface eventually disappears and suddenly you are inside the situation. This also happens in the cinema, were you lose the outside world. It also happens when you’re online…

Very late at night sometimes actually! When clicking link after link you become lost and don’t know where the hell you are…
I’ve had that feeling. [laughing] With Infomera and a lot of other websites. Those are the ones you fall in love with.

Who are some of your favorite net artists? And why?
I like the work of Brian Makern. His work is really pushing it and is very intimate and passionate. I like a lot of works of Muserna, I really enjoy it because it is a very independent way of expression. They are sort of wacky and has a fine art aspect -It’s not just digital, it’s pure. Also one of the best experience I had was with is a collective online piece, a collective expression without boundaries. It doesn't have an origin, it’s like a black dot in the space, it’s a space where things just happen for a finite period of time or season - I was very impressed. X


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