05 12/11

machinic bodies

Tags: , , | Categories: art, digital media

A prosthetic body is one filled with artificial parts that complete or fix dysfunctional parts of that body. Prostheses are in the 21st century found commonly as inner replacements or enhancements that augment the body. They are not extensions nor autonomous from the body, though. They rather mingle with the body to the point of fusing indistinguishably from it. The prosthesis has acquired a natural character. A prosthetic body cannot be differentiated from a non-prosthetic one as the prosthesis is not externally designed. As the machine once did, today the prosthesis are lively beings.

Culturally, an artificial part played the role of an unwelcome aid; and it wasn’t considered beautiful, because that part was simply alien. Nowadays, beauty has to be augmented through implants and prosthesis. Beauty is defined by a prosthesis that is usually fully integrated into the body. Just as beauty-prosthesis, the technical media are blending with our skin. Their interfaces, we operate, are as sensible as if they were actual beings. Their hardware, body, is portable and is everywhere. We carry them with us as close as possible. We feel naked or uncompleted when they happen to be absence. These are the final steps to be inside the body, to blend the media with the body, and to take over the body. Soon we’ll be all populated by prosthesis.

06 01/10

Mixed Musics

Tags: , , | Categories: art, digital media


Hi, a new year has started and I want to welcome it with a short reflection about hybridity. This concept is perhaps the most common idea to describe digital media. Hybrids are often the result of either two machinic principles: the assemblage and the remix. A hybrid is an individual resulting from the combination of other individuals. One key characteristic of this process is that it keeps some features of the original beings into the offspring. They usually exhibit these features on its surface. However, once a hybrid is closely observed it also shows that the inner processes belonging to its parents have also been hybridized. In media it means the languages and the techniques of production, surface and subface.

The picture above exhibits for instance, a digital photo taken by me of a guadual mixed in GIMP (an image processor) with a pattern I did in Processing. The process is quite simple: four superimposed layers with different kinds of colour blending.

Music is plenty of examples of hybrids, on September 22th, I enjoyed in Bogotá a concert given by Headphone, a group of music students from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia that fuses music with visual arts and dance. During the concert I got particular interested by the work of Andrés Montero, whose piece ‘Colombia Electrónica II’ combines a Gaita (link in Spanish) with an electronic console. In this piece he made use of one single gaita which sound was been live recorded by the console. The electronic console fixed the sound and then released it while it was recording the following sound made by Montero. After three minutes or so the musician was accompanied by a chorus of Gaitas produced by his inputs on the electronic machine and the feedback of this. The traditional music of the Colombian Caribbean was suddenly mixed with the electronic folklore of loops and feedback. This type of assemblages are called Mixed Musics [1], and happen when different traditions to produce art pieces converge in the same machine to be hybridized.

  1. Bejarano Calvo, Carlos Mauricio. A vuelo de murciélago el sonido, nueva materialidad. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad Nacional de Colombia. 2006.

14 10/08

Starflyer in Freimarkt Bremen

Starflyer a short clip I did with some other fellows is being shown, this time in the Freimarkt Bremen web-site. There, under Freimarkt Videos is the link to Starflyer and to Our youth another clip done last winter term. In the picture you can see where to click.

For more information about starflyer and the youtube version please visit here.

Many thanks for any comment!

P.D. Freimarkt web-site has been updated from now on the videos are available here