Juan Cortes & Estudio Atractor
Date: 10-14 June 2019
Location: Manizales, Colombia
For the second year in a row, Hyphen Hub was selected to guest curate the visual arts section of the 2019 International Festival of the Image, the internationally renowned digital and electronic arts exhibition held each year since 1997 in Manizales, Colombia.
We were particularly proud to have had many members of the Hyphen-Hub community play key roles in the 2019 festival. This year Hyphen Hub Director, Asher Remy-Toledo, was the keynote speaker for the festival’s new section, Creative Industries. Alexis Langevin-Tetrault represented this year’s guest country, Canada, in the opening night performance and Bogota-based Atractor Estudio (Juan Cortes) gave the closing night performance. New York-based Barbara London also gave a special preview of her upcoming book Video/Art: The First Fifty Years published by Pheidon Press, as well as a preview of the new Sound Art exhibition she was preparing to launch in 2020.
The theme of this year’s festival—Digital Humanism—once again became a platform for some of the world’s leading artists, scientists, designers, and creative technologists to showcase new work and exchange experiences and knowledge through a variety of events, performances, installations, and presentations. It was an invitation to reflect on a dynamic digital environment and human nature as immanent.
2019 Hyphen Hub artists:
Mattia Casalegno: Mattia is an interdisciplinary Italian artist, live media performer, and installation artist who works in a wide range of media. His multidisciplinary work is influenced by post-conceptualism and digital art and is defined as relational, immersive, and participatory. His practice explores the effects that new media have on our societies, investigating relationships between technology, the objects we create, our subjectivities, and the ways in which these relationships develop with each other. At this year’s festival, Mattia presented his installation Twins, which is comprised of two flat-screen monitors suspended by a manila rope—a comment on constraint and awareness of our senses.
Carla Gannis: While many aspects of culture and civilization have changed—in great part because of the technologies we have created to enhance the human experience with regard to our feelings and desires—much has remained the same. The most famous painting by Hieronymus Bosch is filled with idiosyncratic iconography that continues to intrigue viewers. Emoji is a system of contemporary glyphs that provides an emotional shorthand for virtual expression. Carla’s main intention when creating The Garden of Emoji Delights was to combine historical and contemporary popular signs and symbols as a reflection on human, earthly, and cosmological conditions in the 21st century.
Richard Garet: Richard works with visual and sonic arts and has been exhibited worldwide at major exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. His materials emerge from ontological investigations of background noise and the decadence-and-decay of technological utilities. Garet seeks to invert the normative function of background noise from unconscious status to active presence. The images and objects in his work stem from processes and experimentations applied to both outmoded and current technological media that emulate situations that translate material sources into abstractions. At this year’s festival, he presented the Four Horseman, an audiovisual installation on perception, decadence, and destruction, as well as an electro-acoustic performance with New York-based artist Daniel Neumann.
Alexis Langevin-Tétrault: Alexis is a composer and sound artist. Opening the festival was his work Interference (String Network) which is an audiovisual performance that is centered around a device that he created that is made up of sensors and ropes which are pulled to manipulate a soundscape.
Daniele Puppi: Daniele is an Italian artist working with re-animated cinema, film, and sound. He works with commonly used technologies such as video projectors, synchronizers, amplifiers, subwoofers, speakers, and microphones that function as activators and amplifiers of the perceptual capacities of the spectators, mainly visual and auditory. The viewer, as an integral part of the work, is called to enter a new space-sensory alienating dimension.
Atractor: The group, composed of Juan Cortés, Alejandro Villegas, Juan Jose Lopez, and Juan Camilo Quiñones, is an interdisciplinary studio based in Bogotá, Colombia. The group specializes in electronics, sound synthesis, programming, and the creation of facilities and machines, combining analog and digital technologies. The group designs and develops sound installations and experiences that aim to challenge the fuzzy boundaries between the humanities and scientific disciplines. For this event, the popular Colombian Electronic DJ, Magdalena (Ava Gardner) performed with the group.
Daniel Neumann: Daniel is an American (b. Germany) sound artist, organizer, and audio engineer. In his practice, he works on hybrid formats and installation performance, with a focus on how sound interacts with space and how spaces can be shaped by sound. He understands sound as an inter-field often enabled and expanded by audio processes. At the festival, he presented a new electro-acoustic performance developed with Richard Garet.
Juan Cortés: Juan is an audiovisual artist working in the field of science and technology. This year he presented his Supralunar installation, a mechanical sculpture that came out of his residence at CERN Accelerating Sciences, the home of the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Supralunar was co-produced by Atractor Estudio and will be presented at Barbara London’s upcoming sound exhibition. Juan was selected by the United Nations to present a project to commemorate the Beijing 2020 agreement on gender equality.
Jonathan Monaghan: Jonathan works across print, sculpture, and video installation. Drawing on wide-ranging sources, such as historical artworks and science fiction, his highly-crafted and fantastical works uncover subconscious anxieties associated with technology and consumerism. His work has been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, bitforms gallery in New York, Spazio Ridotto in Venice, and Palais du Tokyo in Paris.
2019 Hyphen Hub keynote speakers:
Asher Remy-Toledo: Asher is a Colombian-American producer of artistic events and multi-sensory experiences. Headquartered in New York, he is co-founder and director of Hyphen Hub, a non-profit organization that discovers, promotes, and presents new works by artists and innovators working at the forefront of immersive and creative technologies. Hyphen Hub seeks to create a bridge between innovation and artistic fields with its global community of artists, curators, engineers, designers, artists, choreographers, and composers. Asher was selected to be the guest curator at the festival for the previous three years.
Valentino Catricala: Valentino is a scholar and contemporary art curator specializing in the analysis of the relationship of artists with new technologies and media. He was the director of the Art Section of the Maker Faire-The European Edition and was recently selected to be the head curator of the School of Digital Arts (SODA) at the Manchester Metropolitan University in England.
Barbara London: Barbara is a curator and writer who founded the media collection and video exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) where she worked from 1973 to 2013. The exhibitions organized by Barbara included individual shows with pioneering new media artists including Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, Steina Vasulka, Joan Jonas, Shigeko Kubota, Peter Campus, Gary Hill, and Laurie Anderson. Barbara gave a special preview of her forthcoming book Video/Art: The First Fifty Years (published by Phaidon Press and spoke of decades working to build and establish, what was then, the emerging field of video art.