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Black Box a training and production laboratory in art and technology:

Between Tradition and Transgression.


The Centre of Arts and New Technology (CANTE) based in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, is a
centre committed to forming, researching, producing and divulgation electronic and digital
art, with an inter and trans disciplinary vision.
This work aims to expose the model for formation-production in art and technology, and
the arguments which support it. Referring to the official educational model of complex
curricula and to the art producing processes which incorporate some of the new
technologies as paradigm in their concepts. Taking as example the model of the scenic
interdisciplinary laboratory (Caja Negra - Black Box) due to its formative and producing
nature of projects inclusive and integrative with the whole structure of CANTE.
Worth mentioning is that the fundamental scheme of the CANTE is sustained in dialogical
relations in diverse levels alerting a position of mediating of arguments and actants, which,
essentially antagonistic, give a meaning to its totality. Thus we understand the between
which has always accompanied the arguments of electronic arts: as a mediation between
traditional arts resorting to conceptual, methodological and instrumental canonical
principles, and to the new technologies which give way to the fields of aesthetic
experience to other possibilities, including the genesis and displacement of significations in
the artistic disciplines. To this day after two decades of the existence of spaces dedicated to
Art and Technology in Mexico, there is still amazement and discomfort towards the
displaced territory the technologies provide. And rather than looking at them as
empowerment to the aesthetic possibilities generated in the field of contemporary art, they
are commonly understood as transgressive to art praxis.
The conceptual structure of CANTE, in its functional, academic, of researching and
producing scheme of its laboratories, in its knowledge and praxis, is understood as a
complex system, in constant expansion and adaptation to diachronic and synchronic
factors. The fields of knowledge and laboratories, become more complex webs with its
growth. The operational structure is a rhizomatic web with variable hierarchies and order,
present in the Centres productions. Its multiple weaving of flow, aims to legitimize the
pragmatic possibilities of formation and creation in which all of its elements are capable of
accessing transverse flow and interdisciplinary flow in recursive and hologrammatic
relations.
The between constitutes a continuum which supports the relation between what is
dialogic, dialectic, of many knowledge, concepts and practices which are underneath all,
giving a meaning to the academic (forming), to the creative (producing) and to the
administrative (organizing) in the CANTE. The same fields, formation-production,
constitute a dichotomy that complements itself.
Likewise, by CANTEs nature, Art and Technology are presented, fundamental factors; we
realize the mediation which manifests between traditions, understood as the concepts,
discourses, methods and techniques which support the traditional art praxis, and
transgression, that which is supported by new technologies, devices which makes us
realize we live another reality, with expanded aesthetic possibilities and dislocations in the
artistic production.
Transgression is revealed as that which in art comes out from canonical patterns, from
theory, methodology and technique.

The term tradition will be explained as the application of fields, classifications and canon
of art praxis legitimated by the history of art. It leads to primarily objectual production.
But transgression, associated to the new technologies, more than constituting a pejorative
term, refers to us multiple processes, parallel, abductive, that in its dislocated relations lead
to the genesis of new discourses, from the theory, method and actual technique. The
binomial art/technology at the CANTE, poses a deviation from the objectual, the extent of
the perceptible fields (Icon/Image: visual, sound, olfactory, haptic, taste), to produce new
possibilities of expression/sensation (by immersion, interaction, virtuality, potentiation of
the perception, collaborative actions). In this same scope and with the use of the previous
devices, we approach to a sort of mediation of the human perception or aesthetics of the
cyborg, due to the usage of this mechanisms developed to be used as orthosis (to aid, not
replace), the technology acquires, ultimately, its nature as transgressor of tradition.
Juan Martn Crdenas Guilln
Intermitencia-Arte y Educacin, A.C. y Centro de Arte y Nuevas Tecnologas
San Luis Potos, MXICO