Klemm Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2002
There are two slide projectors in the exhibition room located in the second lower ground floor of the Fundación Klemm gallery. One of them projects an image on a wall angle with a door, the image shows a colorful wall with two windows. The window glass of each window is divided in two parts, the opening of one of them coincides just with the lateral opening of the real door of the exhibition room which therefore pretends to be the window opening. The other projector is directed towards a niche and projects the image of a hut window made out of cloth just like a curtain. A combination of wind sound and amplification of the projectors' ventilators is set as background music.
Praise low tech
by Rodrigo Alonso, collective exhibition curator / translation by Uschi Groppel
The expression “low tech” is implicitly paradoxical. In modern times, technology is always identified with progress and future, all those major technical developments and advanced knowledge of the society from where it has arisen. “Low” technology does not seem to have the right to be called this way. According to this logic, low tech is practically an archaeological waste, something like nuclear waste which can be only left there to disintegrate. What is it that attracts artists to explore those low tech systems? In this context of hyper-technological performances: don't they consider by chance the risk of disintegration or disarticulation of their reasoning, eventually risking the lack of interest caused by a product which does not enjoy social prestige? Primacy of technology is certainly not an innate condition of society. On the contrary, its development is new and replies to a very specific type of social construction, namely the one where technological and scientific expansion pulses at the rhythm of economic circulation. The third stage of capital as it has been called by Fredric Jameson, capital is no longer bound to means of production, but linked to reproduction. Technical superdimension determines this postmodern technological sublime and the author refers to this by declaring: technology in contemporary societies itself is neither hypnotic nor fascinating, but fascinates because it seems to offer us an easy and quick way to be able to understand and imagine the whole decentralized global net of the third stage of capital.” The adoption of low tech by the artists introduces under these circumstances a necessarily political aspect. Any proposal based on this includes indirectly the tensions between the occidental example shaped by technological expansion and other alternative ways of considering reality. First of all, the use of low tech provokes a critical distance that allows us to take a decentralized look at the world we are destined to live in. It would be wrong to think that one can reflect on social and cultural impact of technology only from a technical position. If one understands the interdependent logic of the circuit, it is easy to see that relations between art and technology are defined both from inside and outside this circuit. On the way towards reforming the technological universe from a decentralized position, definitively the less interesting and unfeasible path, is to assume technological deficiencies as a disadvantage. On the contrary, the real challenge is to maintain a personal point of view in the fields of art and technology, especially from an alternative position and accepting an unavoidable reality, that of a hyper technological universe and technologically dependent on contemporary discourses on art. The conscious choice of low tech is a strong questioning of a political and aesthetic superiority that claims to be based on an alleged technical superiority. By using elementary technology, the lowtech works stress aesthetic reasoning, avoiding the seduction and the expiration dates of hardware which have turned so many works in art and technology into mere aesthetic attempts incapable of facing the course of time. Low tech opens a promising path for contemporary art and particularly for Argentine art. It allows us to work on borderlines, which is always one of the most recurrent characteristics of highly provocative art. On the other hand, it helps to avoid getting tied up in technical conditions when projecting or creating works of art. Finally it offers the chance to put an end to myths regarding devices, mechanisms, support and techniques. It proposes a true dialogue with the work and most of all, a renewed commitment with creation.