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digital event 2009 Presentation

Historically, digital event has been dedicated to show and produce projects created by artists of Latin American descent. This choice has given us the possibility of establishing connections with different countries of this part of the world, and we have been able to show and promote local artists in the international art scene. With the realization of our first two digital events, and other projects and presentations, we feel that we have advanced towards our primary objective.

During 2008 our team decided to reformulate and expand our projects in order to carry out an exploration of the local and national arts scene working with electronic art. Canada has a rich tradition in media arts, and the country possesses a vibrant community of artists working in this field. We decided to do this exploration emphasizing the work of immigrant artists, who, by means of having different and varied worldviews, enrich our perception of media arts within the Canadian perspective.

We in e-fagia are immigrants in a country whose identity is based on multiculturalism. Investigating more about the artist-immigrant was devised as a process that would enable us to better understand issues relating to this concept. It could help us approach the political aspect of multiculturalism. We are asking ourselves, what is the state of other artists like us who are living in a new country? What problematic do they share, if any? Are they following their own rules? Are they in contact with their past world? What is their relation to their languages?

In focusing on artist as immigrant we realized that there was a broader scope we could adopt. It can relate to artists who were born in another country and who now are residents or citizens of Canada. It could relate to Canadian artists living abroad, or simply to people who have two cultural backgrounds. We expanded the question to inquire about artists who are francophone, and to look into their creations in media and new media. Adopting this perspective, we decided that this year’s digital event would be dedicated to present artists of different cultural backgrounds and who work with electronic art.

The next step was to create the curatorial team. It is composed of members of the collective who live in Toronto, and who are artists who work as curators. Hugo Ares, who is a curator dedicated to the study of the visual arts, Julieta Maria, who is an artist and curator dedicated to new media, and Eugenio Salas, who is a media artist and curator, decided to work together to collaborate in the exhibition proposals.

We started discussing the curatorial frame for the event, and tried to bring concrete ideas that would connect the concepts underlying our intentions, namely our interest in electronic art and the presence of more than one cultural background.

We found that the concept of the Binary form was suited to our event, given that the two-digit number system is associated with digital art and communications. Binary also implies a set of two, which could be related to our interest in artists with two different cultural backgrounds, two worldviews, etc. But this discreet and restricted set of two elements could be though of in a different way, where the binary code is a numeric process producing infinite possibilities that help us destroy or dissolve the oppositions found in the binary way of thinking.

We know that a research into media practices locally and nationally couldn’t be presented or developed in one exhibition. With this first series of exhibitions we intend to establish the context for future explorations. For this reason digital event’09 is part of a series of exhibitions that our collective has decided to produce and to present during the next two years.

digital event’09 will be divided in two parts; the first one consists of three electronic art exhibitions, which are taking place between February 13th and March 1st. The second part will consist on a series of video presentations that will be shown during September of this year.

The group has decided to develop and present a series of texts about the exhibitions. These texts won’t each be focused exclusively on the artists presented within one specific gallery. Each curator has the chance to write about any combination of artists and projects featured in any of the exhibitions and who are important for him / her to develop a specific idea.

By Arlan Lordoño
February 09