Be a node
Erich Berger

LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial is focusing on art which is able to act, speak, question and reflect on contemporary issues within our society and current times, in art which is actively participating in the process of the constitution and survey of the human condition. For this purpose LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial endorses an extended, open and interdisciplinarity view of visual arts from established practices to new and emerging artistic genders. With this strategy LAB fosters the ability for art to grow, expand and develop, to renew and refine its tools and capabilities for engagement, to be able to work on the contemporary issues of our times.

We have to recognize that technology and science are among the most potent forces transforming life on earth, influencing and shaping our society on every level. The integration of technology and its artefacts in our everyday life has advanced in a way that we perceive its presence as something natural, we live in it and we perceive it as our second nature, a hybrid nature.

Indisputable, the emergence of the electronic communication networks and the accompanying evolvement of a network or information society is one of the most significant recent transformations which happened on a historical timescale within no time. Art and creativity are not excluded from this process. Art always has been omnipresent. As a quintessentially human practice it embraces the world as a whole and is moving and developing with time, permanently producing within a diverse range of practices.

The exhibition banquete_nodos y redes is looking into art which explicitly attends to the importance of the concepts of networks, not only on a technical but also on a socio-cultural level. For art to be an active participant in our life it is necessary to update and develop itself, to find ways to express the contemporary and to be able to start a discourse and to lead a critique—it is a question of language. Media art is a form of art which encompasses manifold practices, but it grew out of the understanding that, to be able to act within an technological informed and electronically mediated environment one has to adapt the languages of technology and media itself.

Interestingly, the theory of communication itself offers us a very good picture on how traditional art and media art might differ. The philosopher Pierre Levy summarized the artistic phenomena in the we stern world in the following manner that since centuries, a person, the artist, signs an object or a special message, the work of art. The others, public, visitors, critics, perceive it, look at it and read it, interpret, evaluate and criticize it. No matter what the function of the work is, or how deeply it can touch somebody, one thing remains the same, the role of sender and receiver -everybody has his/her place, artist sends, others receive-. What we can observe currently in our network society is the development of new art forms in which this distinction between sender and receiver or producer and interpreter is not valid anymore. It allows the audience -which is not an audience anymore- to experiment and play with other modalities of communication and configuration. Instead of sending a message to a receiver who is outside of the creative process and who afterwards gives sense and meaning to this work of art, the media artist now creates an environment and structure for production and communication, which includes the receiver into an event of the collective and transmutes the former interpreter into an actor and which interfaces interpretation and collective acting in a loop.

What we can observe in art also happens on the level of society. Network technologies enable us to participate. These technologies are not one-way media like television, where we still can see the clear distinction between sender and receiver. Everybody now has the possibility of becoming a node, a crossing for receiving, processing and sending information with in the networks.


SEACEXLABoralFundación TelefónicaZKMInstitut Ramon LlullMediaLabMadridINBAsociación BanqueteUnesco
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