For several years now, Margarita Paksa has chosen to immerse herself in the uncharted terrain of numerical images. Even before her video installation Tenis, she used a computer screen saver as a "ready made" for her video El Descanso de Loreta (Loreta's Rest). Paksa became fully involved in working with digital support after a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. The results of her investigation into all these mediums are displayed in her solo exhibition at the Ruth Bencazar Gallery in Buenos Aires. It reveals the extent of her commitment and involvement with analyzing the unknowns that arise from the combination of different symbolic universes within the matrix of electronic representations.
The discursive impact of her work is paralleled only by the videos and performances of Marcello Mercado from Córdoba. With a very savage slant within the limits of visual sadism, Mercado investigates recent history to nourish his critical and uncompromising tone as he questions the contemporary human condition. After his early videos such as El Vacío (The Emptiness) or Restos de Madre (Remains of Mother), Mercado entered the Internet with Sections of Nothing-Nothing, a less than encouraging look at our reality, in which historic and cultural symbols appear as parts of an unsolvable puzzle.
Similarly, Iván Marino, Gabriela Golder, Pablo Rodríguez Jáuregui, and Juan Manuel Seoane have all searched for ways to produce their works beyond the borders of Argentina. The need to find sources for financing and producing projects that utilize new technologies has led them to join the community of migrant artists that are attracting the attention of large international exhibitions, and thus focused attention on the characteristic lack of roots of these artists. In the transition from one production center to a more sophisticated one, their works follow a similar path from video to multimedia by relying increasingly on digital technology.
The works of these artists appear as an alternative to the uncritical appropriation of the eighties, with their constant changes of meaning, their critical perspectives, and even their political implications. At the same time, these works instigate an analysis of the medium itself by articulating ideas of manipulation, originality, reproduction, appropriation, metamorphosis, and assimilation. Starting from specific aesthetic postures, these contemporary artists subvert the utilitarianism and political-economic logic of technological culture by calling attention to its consequences and also to the conceptual expansion that their instruments can engender in human consciousness, without even having been designed by them.
REFERENCES & OTHER WEBSITES FOR ARGENTINE ARTISTS
Marcello Mercado: Sections of Nothing Nothing - http://www.primateweb.com/red/sections/a/a.htm
Horacio Zabala: El Arte o el Mundo por Segunda Vez - http://www.sgg.ch/zabala/index.html
Jaime Davidovich/Alejandro Fogel: Digital Diáspora - http://www.way.com/˜afogel/digital/diaspora.html
Jorge La Ferla: Valdés - http://www.primateweb.com/red/valdez/tiempo.htm
Fin del Mundo - http://www.findelmundo.com.ar
Arteuna - http://www.arteuna.com
Willip: Autito.com - http://www.autito.com
Translated from Spanish by A. McEwen.