Re-Activating Archives and Probing the History of Interactive Art

Prof. Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda
Critical MediaArtStudio

FEBRUARY 17, 2016

About the talk:

[Link to video]

In this talk I will discuss several projects and lines of research currently being pursued at the cMAStudio in collaboration with established and non-established artists, scholars and art collectives based in the Americas. At cMAS we are interested in exploring how old and new technologies have and continue to shape both the historical narratives and practices of media arts from a critical lens that considers how categories of difference, traditional disciplinary boundaries and the legacies of colonialism continue to produce exclusions. One of the projects I will discuss is Remediating Mama Pina’s Cookbook, a three channel video installation that explores the family cookbook as an archival technology through which gender roles, social status, cultural memories and identities are passed on from generation to generation. This project is part of one of the lines of inquiry in cMAS that explores the role of women as agents and producers of the archive and the gendering of archival practices. Another line of inquiry at cMAS interrogates the history of the category “interactive art.” Taking a feminist art historical perspective, this line of research seeks to: (1) map out a genealogy of interactivity in relation to other categories of participatory art practices including: “sociological art”, “participatory art”, “relational aesthetics,” and “art therapy;” and (2) to interrogate the exclusions and possibilities of the category “interactive art” with respect to its exclusive relation to technology and its utopian promise of integrating the Other as co-creator. As part of this line of investigation I will discuss the project “The Real, the Virtual and The We (re-activating Lygia Clark’s The I and the you:  Clothing/Body/Clothing, 1967),” an interactive durational performance produced in collaboration with Alessandra Santos, Sarah Shamash and Steve Di Paola that investigates Lygia Clark’s interests in interactivity and art therapy.

About Speaker:

Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda is an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University where she leads cMAS, an interdisciplinary research studio that seeks to interrogate the histories and practices of media arts from a feminist and de-colonial perspective. She is both an interdisciplinary media artist and a cultural historian. Her research focuses on Latin American feminist media and contemporary art and media arts history and practice. Working at the intersections of video and performance, she uses video and multimedia installations to explore the social, political, and cultural structures that shape our sense of self. Her doctoral research on the role of feminism(s) in the development of Mexico’s mediascapes after 1968 was awarded the 2015 John Bullen Prize from the Canadian Historical Association, which honours an outstanding PhD thesis on a historical topic submitted to a Canadian university. Her articles have been published in Platform: Journal of Media and Communication and Artelogie: Recherches sur les arts, le patrimoine et la littérature de l'Amérique latine. She is member of the Vancouver based AKA collective and sits on the board of VIVO Media Arts since 2014.