1. MediaArt Histories from the South
The 1960s was a decade of unprecedented transformations in the field of media arts. Artists, scientists, and technology enthusiasts experimented with new and old technologies including mail, print, computers, video, radio, and television broadcasting, leading to the development of new technologies and interdisciplinary media practices. By reviving avant-garde strategies and experimenting with the mass communication capacities of these technologies these artists built transnational networks of exchange as alternatives to mainstream systems of communication. In doing so, they transformed art from an object of aesthetic contemplation to a gesture of political action.
Despite the artists’ emphasis on breaking with established borders (disciplinary and geographical) historical narratives of this period tend to be written from an art historical perspective that focuses on art movements or monographs of mostly male artists. While recent efforts in establishing research programs in media art history have brought together media, science, and art to develop interdisciplinary methods, theories and historical narratives of media practices, these are predominantly mediated through a Euro-US centric-lens and have yet to acknowledge methods, practices, and theories from the global south. These exclusions reveal the residues of colonial frameworks and the gendered matrixes that still mediate the histories and practices of media arts.
This line of research seeks to answer the following research questions:
How did networks of artists, scientists and technology enthusiasts forged outside US and Europe contributed to the development of media arts during the 1960s? What do these networks tell us about alternative forms of knowledge production regarding global media art?
To what extent have the geopolitical and cultural contexts of the Cold War in combination with colonial frameworks and gendered biases in the production of knowledge have prevented the inclusion of artists from the global south in narratives of media arts?
How do the perspectives on race, gender and ideology that emerged in different parts of the world during the Global Sixties vary? What might these variations contribute to the wider project of de-centering the Euro-US biases in media arts and practices?
Current research projects in this area include:
Weaving the Electric Wave: Latin American Composers, 1914-1989
This project examines the significance of Latin American female avant-garde composers in the global histories of experimental art, and the histories of music and women and technology in 20th Century Latin America and the Caribbean.
El Corno Emplumado/ The Plumed Horn
Analyzes the bilingual (English/Spanish) magazine as a valuable historical source of the global 1960s. This study proposes to discuss the magazine as an epistolary, visual and literary media and trace the networks of artists, activist and intellectuals forged through the pages of the magazine.
Probing the history of the category “Interactive Art”
Taking a feminist art historical perspective, this line of research seeks to: (1) map out a genealogy of interactivity in relation to other categories of participatory art practices including: “sociological art”, “participatory art”, “relational aesthetics,” and “art therapy;” and (2) to interrogate the exclusions and possibilities of the category “interactive art” with respect to its exclusive relation to technology and its utopian promise of integrating the Other as co-creator.