VEXTRE, augmenting rural realities

VEXTRE
In the popular imagination, a narrative has been constructed around the cultural nature of Extremadura that is rooted in stereotypes of socio-economic underdevelopment. Historically, the region has been defined by its status as a peripheral and border territory, a space on the margins with a low density of population and an example of what some scholars refer to as “internal colonialism”, reflected in the metrópoli-colonia dichotomy, between the centre and periphery or urban and rural, and visible here within the same territory. This implies different forms of domination over the decades, form estates held by large landowners to the repression to which more progressive forces were subjected after the Civil War.
Emigration has been a constant since the early 20th century and cultural identity has been constructed largely from outside through regional associations and centres that acted as meeting spaces with strong identity ties. These associations and centres were not without their critics, however, who claimed that they perpetuated the same social constructs experienced before leaving. True change must come from within. Having overcome the social inequalities that emerged in the wake of the Franco dictatorship, life is different in Extremadura. To continue the progress, the collaboration of the so-called Extremeñan diaspora is sought. The creative class is very much part of this diaspora and the artist Maite Cajaraville is rooted in that context. This new claim to identity is articulated through the symbolic and the political act rather than an administrative approach or one that reproduces the patterns of the past. Emigration between the rural and urban world is still present in the 21st century but life in the countryside and in small villages and towns is very different from the way it was fifty years ago. The Manifesto of Rural Futurism, drafted by researchers Leandro Pisano and Beatrice Ferrara challenges today’s capitalist discourses on the rural world as an authentic place: utopian, provincial, tradition or stable that idealises the anachronism of these territories from the megalopolis. The manifesto shares a new message, based on “belonging vs. alienation, development vs. backwardness.”
Vextre is presented as an emotional map in three dimensions. It is a journey that constitutes a rapprochement to rediscover the territory we inhabit and to subvert these accepted realities. It starts with a physical sculpture that Cajaraville designed using the 3D printing technique in 2017, during her participation in the first edition of the Regional Government of Extremadura’s Cáceres Abierto contemporary culture programme. Data compilation and new technologies were put to the service of modern art, and the documentation is materialised in a visual and organic piece of enormous presence and aesthetic beauty. Vextre evolved in 2021 towards an environment manufactured wholly in digital format. We find ourselves before a hybrid display that interacts with the audience / viewer through a mobile device, generating new environments for the museum and those who visit it. The piece, created ex profeso for the MEIAC, is a three-dimensional virtual object produced using technological media after exhaustive documentation and data processing work using a number of different parameters representing the socio-economic values of Extremadura, such as GDP and unemployment and emigration statistics. A series of narratives thus emerge, facilitating dialogue and critical thinking with the audience through each individual’s opinion. The data flow in this piece the same way culture is transmitted, evolves and is shared through social and educational processes, thus constructing identity. This exhibition aims to rediscover the territory with an urgent message on caring for the environment and its peoples against the mass tourism that can result from unabated consumerism, and to reformulate internalised prejudices with a technological and advanced image that interferes with traditional patterns with the idea of a new data map of Extremadura.
The landscape generated by the artist constantly questions nature, the city and the code as an example of interrelation between art, science and technology. There is also an online initiative that aims to break the passive viewer barrier, creating the Instagram profile vextre_extremadura. The aim is to reach a wider, more diverse audience and to spark a debate before the inauguration and to launch an exercise of reflection: how is Extremadura perceived elsewhere? But, above all, how is it perceived from within by its inhabitants? It also goes beyond the spatial boundaries of the museum. Cajaraville invites us to position Extremadura all over the world through our smartphones, advancing other possible formats for artistic expression and breaking the boundaries of the white cube.


Maite Cajaraville combines her artistic career with curator commissions and cultural management projects.

She is a media and video artist and AV performer whose creations have been exhibited in festivals and events such as the Sónar Festival of Advanced Music in Barcelona, Matadero Madrid and Art Futura in Madrid. Also the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, MACBA, MEIAC in Extremadura or the Art and Centre Pompidou in Málaga have displayed her videos and installations. Internationally her artwork has been displayed largely world wide, along EU, South America, Russia and Cameroon.

She is curating together with Gisle Frøysland, the Piksel festival in Norway since 2014. Under the Piksel umbrella in collaboration with Gisle F. she has developed other programs, Piksel Kidz, the Piksel Fest Spill, Music Pavilion events.

Cajaraville curates and coordinates cultural projects of national and international grounds, like TransPiksel.

Her videoworks have been shown in the most important cultural national TV programs: Metrópolis, La Mandrágora, Antiestático, Miradas,…

She has been teaching Media Art at Camilo Jose Cela University under the Film Studies 4 years (2014-2017).

Used to Be My Home Too

Are we living in a globalised world that is becoming more and more homogeneous? Plants, fungi and animal species are continuously decreasing. In the distant future, will only domesticated species survive? What impact does this homogenisation process have on our lives and our environment?
«Used to be my home too» addresses this global change and shows how humans have become biodiverse agents to interact with the most fundamental processes of the earth.
In this experiment you fly to the locations where observers send observations of organisms to *iNaturalist in real-time using *Google Earth. Threatened and extinct plants, fungi and animal species that are taxonomically most similar and occurred in the same country are automatically added. This data comes from *RedList.org.


Marc Lee *1969 *Switzerland creates network-oriented interactive projects: interactive installations, media art, internet art, performance art, augmented reality (AR) art, virtual reality (VR) art. He is experimenting with information and communication technologies and within his contemporary art practice, he reflects critically creative, cultural, social, economic and political aspects. His artworks reflect the visions and limits of our information society in an intelligent
manner and question this critically.


Marc has exhibited in major art exhibitions including: ZKM Karlsruhe, New Museum New York, Transmediale Berlin, Ars Electronica Linz, HeK Basel, MoMA Shanghai and MMCA Seoul. Lee’s work are in private and public collections including the Federal Art Collection Switzerland and the ZKM Karlsruhe and he has won many prices and honorary mentions at international festivals, including Transmediale Berlin and Ars Electronica Linz

Screaming at the Void

Reclaim your humanity and scream at the Internet

As the media __m__algorithms bait you into ever more hateful distress and you find yourself sticking to the glutinous sides of your info-bubble regain your analog agency by shouting your frustrations at the Internet. Hear the sound of the global data super highway as your howl reverberates around the World Wide Echo-Chamber.

Visit the on-line therapy installation, turn your mic up to 11 and wail at the web. Your vocalisations will be chopped into packets, pinged through “the pipes” and bounced off servers around the world. Listen to the granulated, fractured, disjointed resounding of the cyberspatial cavern as TCP/IP struggles, and fails, just like all the King’s horses, to put your packets back together again.

The world has heard you and answered in kind.

  • Breathe.

Take a moment to visit the gallery and peruse the anonymized mixed up yelps of those that screamed before you.

You are not alone.

…Don’t forget to hit Like, subscribe, ring my bell and consume, consume, never stop consuming. You’ll be OK.

probably


Assimilation of absence

Assimilation of absence

“When a language stops being spoken or used and is replaced by another, nothing – not even the grammatical texts and dictionaries that may remain of it – can make it reappear.”

Morató 2019

Proposal from Bolivia

Interactive sound installation that brings together archives of extinct Amazonian and Andean languages. The piece works on orality and non-communication. It uses the phonetic richness of these dialects and dead languages ​​that come to life through this installation, but above all it is an encrypted piece because we can only access the sound of the word and not the idea or meaning they contain.
The piece is also a pirate radio that intervenes in a range of 350 meters around and broadcasts the activity of the room, added to a highly sensitive microphone system that serves as a trigger, by capturing sounds from the room, whether voices or movements, the system “responds” with voices that are superimposed, stories and songs of dead languages ​​and according to the intensity of the movement and sound in the room a very saturated and noisy piece is built or on the contrary it is possible to listen each file clearly and calmly. All the behavior of the room is broadcast by FM frequency on dial 88.4, and users can enter the open Access point, which is an open network that connects to a page that allows more information about the piece and the languages.
The piece consists of four speakers and four microphones positioned around the room. Each microphone must go with its corresponding loudspeaker, as indicated in the plan, so as not to generate couplings. In the corner are the sound card, the Raspberry Pi minicomputer and the Radio station, where all the cables are connected. The Raspberry Pi also has its own microphone and this must go behind the speaker to avoid feedback.

Collective creation:
Guely Morató (BO)
Victor Mazón (ES)


Guely Morató Loredo (BO)


Curator, cultural manager and researcher. She has a degree in Social Communication Sciences, specializing in Cultural Studies. She has self-taught skills in the areas of electronics and programming. Since 2014, she
directs SONANDES, an art experimentation and research platform that promotes its international sound art biennial, with this same name. She is the curator of PUERTOS: Creation Residency Program developed in six Bolivian
cities. It is part of the international INFRA project, which investigates the relationship that deaf people establish with sound and vibration. She directs the Gender, Science and Technology Observatory, focused on the development of research and projects related to the gender gap in the field of technology and science. She is currently responsible for
the project Sound Expressions of the Center for the Cultural Revolution (CRC) in La Paz, Bolivia.
Her work explores alternative methodologies for artistic research as well as the relationship between science, technology and politics, with a strong emphasis on the study of perception.
A few key concepts within her work are: Processes of collective creation, limits of perception, sound art, public space, gender and technology.

Macalla

Interactive online artwork using photographs taken during a one-month artist residency at Visual Arts in Rural Communities, partnered with the Kielderhead Wildwood Project, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, UK. The wildwood project are planting 39,000 native trees in an area near Kielder village, close to the Scottish-English border in England

The tubes protecting the trees became a symbol during the residency of the human hand in this planting. while trees need a canopy to grow healthy, this is a small token that is offered to the trees by humans that are trying to do right by them, by way of protection. This wildwood is not forest for future timber, it is being planted to remain for future generations of trees, humans and wildlife.

What will the trees tell their future children and grandchildren? how will they explain what it was like to spend their first ten years inside a tube, never feeling the air, reaching up toward the sky?

‘Macalla’ is the Irish Gaeilge word for an ‘echo’, literally translated as ‘the child of a shout’

This project was supported by VARC, the Kielderhead Wildwood Project and a travel and training grant from the Arts Council of Ireland


it seemed like we were moving closer together

it seemed like we were moving closer together (2021)

Link to short video (01:30) of artwork on Peertube: https://tube.tchncs.de/w/jqC96Yxu3CnAEx6LqT4vTo

An interactive artwork about microchips, critters & touch that critiques contemporary contactless technologies

Media: Raspberry Pi, fence posts, plastic, Arduino, RFID cards & sensors, drawing, Python, several thousand transistors 250x250x250cm

This artwork invited visitors into a gallery to create collages on a monitor from photographs with linked themes about human contact with nonhuman entities. Visitors changed the artwork using RFID cards that were programmed to display different sections of images based on which card was tagged at which device. The artwork encourages people to participate alone or together with other groups, and full images or mythical collages are possible from the images. Designed without audio and with care taken to ensure accessibility and interactivity for those with disability and limited mobility.

The artwork draws influence from speculative ethics, posthumanist philosophy, and time spent with critters.


Concerto for public transport orchestra in four movements

The algorithms regularly receives data about the movement of public transport from a server in Latvia, which provides this data to several transportation services in several cities in Russia and the Baltic States, and interprets (sonificating) this data as a sounds.

The algorithms generates an array of tone frequencies within a equally tempered scale:

  • for the first part: from the small octave note D (146.8324 Hz) upwards in a quarter-tone scale (24 notes per octave);
  • for the second part: from the note A of the contra-octave (55.0000 Hz) upwards in semitone scale (7 notes per octave);
  • for the third part: from the note in A of the contra-octave (55.0000 Hz) upwards in an eighth-tone scale (48 notes per octave);
  • for the fourth part: from the B note of the first octave (493.8832 Hz) upwards in 300-tone scale (300 notes per octave);

In the following, the algorithm will map each of the tones to a velocity in km/h such that the higher the velocity, the higher the tone.

The first two parts calculate the average traffic speed and monitor its change. If the average traffic speed in the city increases, the distance between tones over time decreases (tones are played more often). In case the average traffic speed decreases, the distance between tones increases (tones are played less frequently).

In the third and fourth parts, the distance between tones is fixed.


Max Alyokhin
Born in 1994 in Krasnodar, Russia, living and working in Saint Petersburg.

Have higher technical education. Graduated from Krasnodar College of Electronic Device Engineering and the Academy of Marketing and Social Information Technologies with a specialty in “Computing Machines,
Complexes, Systems and Networks”.

Co-founder and active member of the Kiuss art-group. Main areas of work are street activities (street-art), neosuprematism and web development. Co-founder of the cultural center “The Mansion of Culture” (full name—Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization in the Sphere of Culture, Art and Creativity “Krasnodar Regional Art Research and Education Center “The Mansion of Culture”) and the gallery “The High of Culture”. Author of the
three-part essay “Instructions for Semiotics”. Developer of the web-application for psychogeographic research “Dérive”. Co-organizer of “Dérive” and “The Ark of Culture” festivals. Author of the musique concrète project “Digital fixation of audio processes”. Technical director and designer of the independent book publishing house “Asebeia”.

256 Million colours of Violence

256 Million Colours of Violence is a survey-based interactive archival research project, inviting online and onsite audiences to participate in a survey-based research to actively co-create the website’s archive of colours that represent ‘violence’.

The project addresses issues of privilege and discrimination (such as sexism, ableism, racism), identity and its resulting forms of alienation. By transforming the commonplace ‘survey questionnaire’ into a diverse communication interface, the project subverts the problematic usage of such questionnaires as bureaucratic tools for data collection. Gathered from various bureaucratic and social media signup forms, the 50 questions in this questionnaire reveal ‘direct, structural, and cultural’ violence present in everyday life – particularly gender, sexuality, class, sectarian, and race-based violence.

By filling out the questionnaire, participants will subconsciously learn to identify the presence of violence embedded within questions that surround us daily – whether on social media, work environments or bureaucratic spaces. For example, although Race as a scientific and biological reality has been thoroughly disproven and is no longer an accepted fact, it still exists in socio-political discourse, both as a historical presence as well as within contemporary reality. And so, although Race doesn’t exist, it has transformed into Racism – an acute form of form of discrimintation that is based on a fabricated idea of the world we embody. Throughout the questionnaire, the participants are confronted with these questions of gender, sexual orientation, age, language, race, colour, nationality, religion, class, history, education, occupation, economic status, cultural conditioning, health, temperament, and political affiliation.

The project offers a platform through which participants recognise the inherent and embedded forms of violence in each of the ubiquitous questions posed. By choosing how to answer, and how they position themselves within the stratified spectrums of identity, participants individually cross a spectrum of pertinent issues embedded within ‘routine’ questions, initiating a process of critical introspection.

Once mentally attuned to the multiple dimensions of violence, participants are asked to respond to the last question, “What according to you is a colour of violence?” by selecting a colour from a digital palette containing 256 Million Colours. Although such responses are emotionally unique and personal, they are not ‘instinctive’ but learned through association and cultural conditioning. The project is an effort to map this conditioning, where such participative mapping provides systemic insights into the conditional relationships between the causes and effects of violence.

Through this mapping, participants co-create a ‘Colour of Violence’ archive – the only part of the survey questionnaire that is made public, whether online or through physical exhibitions. Although all participant information except their choice of colour remains confidential, the multiple responses of each participant – as contextualised meanings of lived experience and worldviews – become condensed into a single pixel of colour. This way, colour becomes a complex dataset representing a participant’s nuanced understanding of the world around them. The project is a Living Archive of these complex datasets, portraying a diversity of experience and subjectivities from across the world. Recognising and publicly sharing something as personal as a ‘Colour of Violence’ initiates further questions – a process of enquiry and a sensitive dialogue into another person’s experiences of violence.

Through continued participative sharing the project serves the role of a witness, a therapist, and a mirror – creating a new vocabulary of colour in the context of violence. This participation accumulates data, allowing us to comprehend the relationship between violence and socio-political institutions. By occupying a dual position of being both the giver and receiver of information, it facilitates a unique equal exchange – ‘an encounter of equals.’

This way, the project forms and nurtures its own community through an ongoing inquiry embedded in digital media and contemporary social culture, that not only creates awareness of violence present in everyday life but also provides tools and the necessary discourses required to counter such violence.


Ali Akbar Mehta (b.1983, Mumbai) is a Transmedia artist, curator, and researcher. Through a research-based practice, he creates immersive cyber archives that map narratives of history, memory, and identity through a multifocal lens of violence, conflict, and trauma. Such archival mappings – as drawings, paintings, new media works, net-based projects, poems, essays, and theoretical texts, as well as performances both of bodies and networks – are rooted in datafeminist, posthumanist critical theories of making visible hegemonic power relations and silenced historical materialism. He is a founding member and co-Artistic Director of ‘Museum of Impossible Forms’; a board member of ‘Kiila ry’; and is pursuing his Doctoral Research in the Contemporary Art Department at Aalto University, Helsinki.

Falling

360° video / VR installation.
Synopsis : Falling is the study of a collapse. Consisting of nine “collapsology” scenes created from Internet culture imaginaries, this artwork tries to interrogate a possible dismantling of the human practices of nature subjection and species classification through a search of eco-feminist postures. The project is based on the power of utopian and feminist anticipations, and the idea of short-circuiting collective imaginations from the Internet to develop new utopias and invent sustainable imaginations.


Sandrine Deumier is a pluridisciplinary artist working in the field of performance, poetry, and video art whose work investigates post-futurist themes through the development of aesthetic forms related to digital imaginaries. With her dual philosophical and artistic training, she has constructed a multifaceted poetic style focused on the issue of technological change and the performative place of poetry conceived through new technologies. Using material from the word as image and the image as word vector, she also works at the junction of video and sound poetry, considering them as sensitive devices to express a form of unconscious material itself. The process of writing and the mobile material of the image function as underlying meanings of reflux which refer to her real installations and audiovisual performances in collaboration with composers.

De-fragmented Bergen

Carbon Death will transmit a live cinema experience at the crossing between environmental harsh noise wall music and bleak November landscape during Piksel Festival. A machine will received films and sounds to produce a new forms of live cinema based on landmarks and landscapes of Bergen. Defragmentation stands for the transformation of this material based on the analysis of the level of activities in the images and the sounds recorded. The semi-autonomous AI program will re-compose a new landscape with a cold perception of the evolution of the environment in order to creates a new machine anti-perspective view on our world. Man with a movie camera by Dziga Vertov creates a new vision of the cities in the early days of the 20th century industrialisation, 92 years after Carbon Death proposes a machine to reinvest the subject Defragmenting Bergen using no literature, no theater, no cinema, the machine is its author, editor and producer.


Carbon Death – non-collective experience

Carbon Death is a non-collective of artists that offers artistic and scientific research without territorial limits, potentially opposing artists, curators, scientists and academics, by way of a voluntary impertinence towards places and concepts and by revisiting, redefining and reorganising these domains.

The Live cinema installation will be displayed on the Piksel festival website and multiple streaming platform.