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Cultural Exchange via Internet - Opportunities and Strategies
Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, 12 October, 1998 - ... open end

Subject:from Argentina. Congratulations
Date:Wed, 09 Dec 1998 15:19
Author:Anahí Cáceres  []

Congratulations to the notice that the forum continues, from Argentine we thanks to this!!

These days justice has been done, in a moment we expected it less - read Pinochet. I've always believed, that human behavior responded to absurd and unfair natural laws of power. But recent events make me think that the third millennium could turn to be a possibility of future. The technology the man has created, can possibly be another form of control, and it is our responsibility to participate in order to avoid this.

In the reality in which Latin American artists are raised, in which they work and to which they contribute, there is still a strange relation to new technologies. For instance in these days the new Instituto Universitario Nacional del Arte in Buenos Aires, the capital, where there has never been a university art school before, was occupied by students. Some of them, as well as some of the professors mistrust these changes and, for instance they are against the Multimedia career, project we have been working on for the last two years, because they think it disqualifies the traditional disciplines of drawing, painting, printmaking or sculpture.

When in 1996 we launched "Arteuna" [] on the net, there weren't any Argentine artist's pages yet. Only a few by museums and galleries, that charged for publishing information, which of course was only selected from a commercial convenience. "Arteuna" on the contrary, invites artists of name and presents a page free of charge. Our project came into being with no antecedents in the country, with the idea to offer not only exposure to a wider audience but also a room for production as in the web-exhibitions for digital art or the interactive workshops. The latter unfortunately not too frequented, since the artists are not very much into these technologies yet. The exhibitions are designed on the base of the artist's ideas and realized by "Arteuna".

In Argentina, novelties generate distrust, and it always occurs that somebody opens a new way for others to walk on it easily. Thus other new pages appeared later, many of them with financial support. We intended to get some assistance, but at this point, we haven't found any. "Arteuna" is produced by my partner Roberto Fabbiani (programmer) and me. Our decision was originated in the necessity of occupying a space that was available for creative people, from which we do not know until when it will remain a "free space".

I think this medium opens an intervention option for the future that we should grab, in order to propose a real change in the human mentality. Globalization is a irreversible and dangerous reality. Human needs are very far from the interest of 20 powerful individuals. Mediocrity grows amid the communication media. Slavery hasn't ended yet, technology is only more sophisticated. But technology is a human product, which should serve for growth and not for domination and manipulation. I think we are in the precise moment in which history changes towards another form of humanity, and even though we won't see even intermediate results, we, as a trans-formative group, are part of those who are going to contribute to a culture and development of the human sense. All this, of course, if we are optimistic.

Anahí Cáceres
Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, on the use of Internet in the cultural exchange with and between Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America.

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