Cartographies of Non-site

Espai D’Arts Roca Umbert Fàbrica de les Arts Granollers

Curated by Laura Plana Gracia

16th October 2009 – 28th November 2009

Artists: Miquel Garcia; Daniel Jacoby; Tjasa Kancler; Perla Montelongo; Katarina Matiasek; Robin Rimbaud; Rotorrr; Alba G. Corral; Field; Raul Arroyo; Karen Russo; Txuspo Poyo; Locus Solus .


Miquel Garcia, [This World III: Richness and Happiness Maps (2009)] shows a representational code that turns the language into a poetic science. In an era characterized by derive and mobility, the mixed media becomes essential. The displacement showed in the map is an incomplete attempt to reconstruct the impossibles measures and the irreconcilable realities*. The work contrasts two maps, richness and happiness. Trying to underline why people from happy countries immigrate to rich countries. In a normal map, you can find a geographic situation that is normal. Contrary in these displacements, a disseminated form has been detached from reality. * Estrella de Diego, Contra el mapa, Siruela, 2008


Daniel Jacoby . [ADUVis (beta) (2008)]  The tree structure, thanks to its simplicity, is commonly used to arrange all type of information even when it’s not the most accurate form. ADU (acronym for the Spanish of Universe Data Tree) is an attempt to concentrate all the data in the universe in one single tree with The Universe as a root. The tree can be navigated using a Java application called [ADUVis (beta) (2008)] and it’s open to collaborations. For more information on the project, visit its homepage.

Tjasa Kancler (Maribor, Slovenia 1978). [P-a-r-a-d-i-g-m-a (2008)] raises a specific model of communication and visualization of information to facilitate transversal lectures and counteracting predominant sources of information, in order to alter the habitual experience of news consumption and to generate debate. P-a-r-a-d-i-g-m-a emphasizes the planning of an antimissiles shield in Eastern Europe by the North American Gobernement. It is a system designed for the protection against international ballistic missile, launched by the so-called rogue states, like Iran or North Korea.

Perla R. Montelongo (Mexico 1980). [Space translations (2006-2009)] shows the process of transformation of one space into a photographic image. It translates the space into information. This will finally reconstruct the reality of the place through images printed in ASCII code. The image will reconstruct the place and rebuilt the reality. The work is a site specific and it has been realised in three occasions: Venice 2006 -Centro Mediale Zitelle CZ95-, Prague 2007 -Galería ETC- and Berlin 2008-Super Bien! .


Robin Rimbaud Dj Scanner. [Island Playback (2005)] it is a video installation by Katarina Matiasek with audio by Robin Rimbaud. Island Playback takes us into the line coast of an anonym island in the Mediterranean Sea. Through the photographies from sky, a desired harmony is perceived. It works as an answer for the question about the relation in beetwen man and nature. This is a combinatory digital art consisting in the transformation of images into sounds through a movement. The sound seems to emerge naturally from the landscape. The coast oscillations move in the screen, while the islands seems to be in a perpetual movement.


Rotor [Manuals Rotorrr per Terrae, Aqua i Aire (2009)] has developed different series of projects and actions based in the cartography, games and actions referring to strategies and manners to act in the actual social and through the geographic space. In [Manuals Rotorrr per Terrae, Aqua i Aire (2009)], the experience acquired from sharing experience, social activism, workshops and daily life is translated, organized and visualized. The resulted material is shown into the art space to be experimented, organized and modified by the users.



Video Screenings: 12th November 2009

 Alba Corral. [Lines DVD 4.20 min 2006] Alba G. Corral [Gold Thinkings, DVD, 5.16min, 2009] Gold Thinkings represents the accumulation of thousands of points on a digital canvas. Following at the artist: I might feel a particular sense and do something weightless or heaviest, more little or bigger than the normal way. When I work in my drawings, I project all my being into them. All my pieces are like layers taken from a «continuum» whith a duration that is the whole of my life (from Robert Motherwell text). The technique used is Processing. Registered in real time and subsequently rendered by Camtasia Studio. Music by Nikka.


Field [Interim Camp, Experimental film. 13min, Germany 2008-09].The constant transformation of the landscape is based on generated motion sequences that transform the sturcture of the surface. To create these dynamic topographies, we developed a custom animation tool – an agent-based simulation software written in Scala and Processing. It is a common way in science and used in computer games, to represent terrain as a volumetric space like digital elevation maps. It uses images taken from an airplane or by a satellite. Composer Arran Poole created the soundtrack.


Karen Russo. [The Place Where Remote Futures Meet Remote Pasts DVD 3.45min 2008] Filmed in the tunnel under the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the work features the artist crawling along in a narrow tunnel system, running underneath the full length of the Western Wall, situated in one of the holiest places of Judaism. The opening of the tunnel to the public in 1996 inflamed one of the most violent riots in Israel in years, with Palestinians claiming the tunnel ran beneath the Temple Mount, which is one of the holiest sites in Islam. The bloody events ended up with the death of 70 people. courtesy Karen Russo | Crisp London Los Angeles


Txuspo Poyo [Cruzando Vías DVD 3 min 2003] In Crossing Tracks, Poyo presents New York underground 2003, two years after the city was attacked. Advertisements that announces in English “ if you see something, say something”, warn the population of an imminent danger, contributing at the same time to the creation of a psychologic estate of collective paranoia. In the video, wagons opens, cross faster in a permanent image, a fixed shot, where columns are converted into a structural element dividing the image in fragments and distorting the vision of the station and giving sense of irreality to underground station.


Raul Arroyo. The title suggests a video that describes the urban environment. Every day, the author walks through the neighbourhood of El Raval, part of Barcelona’s old town. He covers this space in a singular manner, guided by a specific and dynamic organisation of signs: a lot of graffities, street signs, posters, stickers, rubbish and others, the texture of the walls and the roads, the geometric designs of the pavement… This is such an imaginary tour! It is unfaithful to reality as a documentary film can be. But its expression through rhythms, forms, colours, signifiers are simultaneos. Music created by Ramón González.




 Locus Sonus Audio Streaming Project Map
At one point, it is necessary to provide the “streamers” (similars to the artists, composers or musicians) with the possibility to have access to the streams themselves, not only to hear their own stream but also those provided by other people. So, we have made this animated map which shows the location of all the streams and indicates those which are currently active. By clicking on a location, one can directly listen to the OGG Vorbis stream in a browser. This is a community of streamers. According to the fact that we are involving other people to set up the microphones, we have found ourselves with a network of people – artists, musicians and researchers, who are inherently interested by networked audio. This has led us to use the streams as an art form, outside the labs itself (SARC in Belfast, Cedric Maridet in Hong-Kong, etc.). Much of our research concerns about the emergence of listening practices based on the permanence (time) and non-spectacular streams. We have found ourselves creating a sort of variation on Cageian (John Cage) listening, taking a remote acoustic environment chosen by the user, into the creation of a renewed that improves the local environment itself. Finally, to think about a form that adopts a permanent or semi permanent situation in the present and its public means and involves a relationship between the local and the remote environment. We’re currently working on the version 2.0 of the SoundMap. …………….. Collaboration Hangar

Curatorial Text

Cartographies of non-site is an exhibition showing Spanish and International artist. The exhibition shows net-art works, installations, drawings, illustrations and video-art. It pursues to be an exhibition about Art and Technology. Its willing is to represent the critical role of New Media Art in the cultural society. The exhibition analyzes the contemporary landscape of the Digital Art. All the works are considered mediascapes. The exhibition tries to develop the concept of space in the most beautiful manner. The exhibition is based on the lecture of Rhizome, by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. It interprets the actual society under the principles of connectivity, flux, non significant rupture and cartography. It is an heterogenic society, built through underground branches, drain lines, trajectories and vectors. In addition, the exhibition contributes to develop the meaning of Internet as an information interchange tool, valid not only for communication.

1/ We must learn to transmit and to whom!
The net must not be a product, but a medium. According this, Internet is a non-place. A virtual non-place. It is a space for communication, consumption and information. Non-places such as airports, highways, hipermonuments are non-symbolic places and remain without signification. These are places which do not contribute to the historic memory. These are definetely spaces designed to be traversed without stop. In conclusion, these are spaces for anonymity, portraying the human condition of the actual society. (In Francesc Abad, Apunts 2001 -02, Digital Journal).

2/ A non-place is the result of the machinic production system. It has a decisive power on society. Petrol stations and supermarkets are brands, signs of the system, that abolish the identity of the place. Non-places are being localized all around the world under the same interpretation code, neutralizing the environment, homogenizing society, erasing local cultures. Heterotopy and non-place are analysed by Foucault in “The Other Spaces” (Des Autres Spaces). According this, the modern construction of Europe ended with the growth of Berlin Wall -1958. The 1950’s crisis was determined by the experience of repression, exodus and exile. Contemporary society has inherited post-modern conditions of displacements, transfers and flux. To overcome the traditional conception of the modern space (carachterized by perspective and colonialism), we must adopt new technologies to redefine our behaviour in the space that is surrounding us. Radar and localization technologies synthesize the experience of perceveing reality in full. According Jameson, cartography is the science that contributes to develop this perception. The basic tools and technologies of representation, such data visualization, are in a certain manner mapping devices. It could be said,  that mapping is an specificity of the new media. Its form and structures: TREE – rhizome – diagram – mapping are used to show the knowledge through digital tools and Internet. This is the structure that contributes to universal archive of knowledge, under its unique shape, form and content.

3/ Exposing New Media Art. According to the contemporary requeriments, it has developed a new exhibition form: the Black Box, ascendant and black coloured. It is associated to the origins of the cinema and is the antithesis of the White Cube (characterized by horizontality, embrionary and territorialised, modern in itself and associated to the idea of transparency). Both, Black Box and White Cube, precede the digital ubiquity. The Black Box suggests the creation as a spiritual-cavern. The Black Box contributes to develop the idea about the regeneration of the architectural surface. There are examples in science – fiction or futurism where creative artists are using softer and transparent materials. The net.arts works exhibited in the Black Box enhance its visual and tactile accessibility. Although is controversial to exhibit works because of its origin (the reform and transformation of the politics and life through the net), there are great examples like Antoni Muntadas (MIT Lab). His artwork displays media monuments. The one entitled “Negotiation Table” depicts how art is an action for the social criticism. In Muntadas, the artwork turns into a political agent that stimulates and generates reality. The New Media exhibitions display video,, websites, online platforms, performances, installations, etc. Its mediation produces a strategy, a social action that represents a point in the complex system of the artistic relations. New Media Art exhibitions function as a mediation agent, visualizing the artworks in relation which science, research and memory. Economically, New Media exhibitions have the strength to operate between micro-politics and capitalism. They presupose an artistic practice that represents the poetic of the historian. But, regarding activists and activisms, it produces works, installations, exhibitions, knowledge with strong political convictions in front of society, where present, past and future must be linked.

4/ Cibermuseology is the concept that Steve Dietz, artist, curator and director of ISEA 2000, uses to define the New Media practices in the context of the museum. John Ippolito, curator of New Media from Museum Guggenheim Bilbao, produces new media museographic practices. He is completely involved in web practices as a support and media to communicate and describe the information society and the artworks that it produces.

5/ Social mediation and/or history. To project and warn is one of the aims of New Media Art. The risk of a strong technological capability creates a new symbology and a new methodology. According this, new structures of thought are created. Walter Benjamin represents the strong media reproductibility risks and its effects in the global population. Adorno and Horkeimer followed him. Actually, Anika Larson or Harun Farucki are working on the same direction. To criticise and denounce the impact and shock of the new media in society is one of the intentions of Electronic Art,, Digital Art or New Media Art.  The discourse is critic against the use and the function of the new technology. But it acts as a Trojan horse in our system. New Media Art must warn against appearance, mirages and untruths. In that sense, is created through networks, in the ubiquity of the media, inside the immaterial womb. New Media Art is an expression of our five senses. According cybernetics, our sense, such as sight, hearing, smell, touch, are implemented thanks to communication tools and new media. Think, feel and express! Flux, network, electronic continuum and weightlessness represent the reality of new media art. In addition, Digital Art is information and the audiences turn into a player like in a digital game. It represents the discourse of post-history, after the modernity. New Media Art is a real-time experience. Narrative is ended. And it concerns about the end of the history, the end of discourse, the post-human civilization, as Lyotard appoints.

6/ Media Ecologies. Because of the leadership of new technologies, we should engage directly and effectively with ecology and environment. Media Art Ecologies help to develope a critical theory and a praxis, establishing patterns of behaviour and dialogue. New technologies develop a processual work implying displacement and re-urbanism. Nowadays the industry is replaced by computer. And at the same time, is being displayed in museums, biennals, galleries, old industrial buildings, universities, warehouses, such as LABoral or ZKM. It is a result of the neoliberalism action into meanstream instituions developing resources and funding in order to produceincome, growth and to conduct ideologies.

7/ Mapping Feminism. The exhibition is a medium to be developed in the spatial plane through the discourse of spacialization. So, the curator is endowed in a specific doctrine based on localization, emplacement, collecting and researching. The curator not only creates a discourse using essays, references or artist. Rather than this, it defines and decides about spaces. Following tendencies, the social praxis of the curator is to distribute the artwork inside the artistic system without fashions and dogmatism. The curator must acts according the creation of public and politic sense and developing responses for the citizenship. According the discourse of spatialization, Diana McCarty wrote “Mapping Feminism” a conference in the occasion of ISEA 2009. She rethinks the role of the women in the evolution and development of New Media Art. She is contrasting the biological-ethical discourse against the militar colonialism produced from the paternalist society until capitalism and neoliberalism. The feminine role in creation is directly linked to poetics of origin, practices of carrying life, discovering the original place or the space of original production. Colonialism and euro-centrism are actually opposed to “terra incognita”, the post-colonial freedom and the social revolution. “Mater naturans” is understood as the origin and definition of creativity, memory and sign on the space, enhancing the sense of the place through the identity, defined as the anthropological meaning of the community. So then, art has developed practices that are capable of bringing back the heterotopy to life, death into life.