Prácticas divergentes de preservación del arte de los medios. Recordar y olvidar en la cultura digital

Prácticas divergentes de preservación del arte de los medios. Recordar y olvidar en la cultura digital

This February, 2019, Vanina Hofman publishes Prácticas divergentes de preservación del arte de los medios. Recordar y olvidar en la cultura digital (Editorial Prometeo, Buenos Aires), INVESTIGA CULTURA Award from the Ministry of Culture of the Argentine Republic.


In the framework of the debates about memory and materiality in the digital age, this research asks about the possible futures of media art, introducing the ‘ecology of practices’ as a thinking tool through which to recognize and explain a ground of divergences and pluralities. This book suggests an opening in conceptions about the ‘preservation of art’, anchoring them in concrete practices of maintenance, restoration, archiving, transformation and creation. Some of these practices – together with their positions and values ​​- are more easily recognized, others less; however, it is the coexistence in diversity and dispersion that enables the legacy of our cultural productions. This work highlights the multiplicity of knowledge, the soft lines of the forgotten and the forgotten, the tactics of resistance against disappearance, and thinks about permanence, memory and forgetting, from a process perspective and in the present tense.


TV by Mariano Ramis. Digital monocopy (29x50cm) Transfer printing inkjet ink adulterated with soy sauce. Graphic intervention with manual strokes of pastels and pencils.


Modernismo Vernacular y Reflexividad ante Hollywood. Una revisión historiográfica sobre el cine de los años treinta.

Ana Rodríguez-Granell participates with the paper “Modernismo Vernacular y Reflexividad ante Hollywood. Una revisión historiográfica sobre el cine de los años treinta” in L’Atalante. Revista de estudios cinematográficos, sección Puntos de Fuga, nº 27 (english version / versión en castellano)

For some decades the approaches of the New Film History have been concerned with redefining the history of cinema in a non-teleological way. In this way, they have destabilized categories of consecration of certain stylistic models such as the idea of modernity or classicism. In this article we are going to propose a revision of some cinematographies and peripheral films to Hollywood or to the framework of classicism – The great dildo (Velikiy uteshitel, Lev Kulechov, 1933); Pie in the Sky (NYKino, 1935) and The Crime of Mr. Lange (Le crime de M. Lange, Jean Renoir, 1936) – to see how, from practices close to the avant-garde, there are processes of assimilation of certain classical icons to the pair that, precisely for that appropriation, we attend to self-reflexive proposals. These practices of de-location of the classic in some films outside and even within Hollywood during the thirties propose historiographic and conceptual reconsiderations around notions such as modernity that we will explore here.

Subversiones artísticas en regímenes totalitarios (TECSED – Edicions UIB, 2019)

Ana-Rodríguez-Granell participates with the paper “Infraestructuras para la Revolución: tensiones entre arte, materialismo y tradición en la nueva política económica de la Unión Soviética” in the book Subversiones artísticas en regímenes totalitarios, a volume that presents an approach from different cultural, political and social contexts to the critical response articulated by different artists who work in neoliberal, dictatorial or socialist disciplinary systems.



“Lo familiar siniestro. Tecnologías de vigilancia para una intimidad compartida”

Pau Waelder publishes “Lo familiar siniestro. Tecnologías de vigilancia para una intimidad compartida”, at: Pedro Vicente and José Gómez-Isla (eds.), Álbum de familia y prácticas artísticas. Relecturas sobre autobiografía, intimidad y archivo. Osca: Diputación de Huesca – Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP), 2018, p.99-110.

This publication is the continuation of the book Album de familia. (Re) presentation, (re) creation and (in) materiality of the family photographs coedited in 2013 by La Oficina Ediciones and the Diputación de Huesca. Both publications are born from seminars organized by ViSiONA and UIMP between 2012 and 2016 within a theoretical framework in which the importance of family photography as a source of inspiration and reference for artistic and interdisciplinary research has been studied.

The texts included in this book are based on research on contemporary artistic creations that go beyond the formal and conceptual limits of the family album and that, from a critical and poetic point of view, subvert their dominant narratives to build new stories. In the same way, this publication analyzes the new social significance and current uses of the family album as the backbone of our identity -both individual and collective- and as a step from the private to the public.

Album of family and artistic practices. Re-readings on autobiography, intimacy and archiving are divided into three sections. The first deals with the theme of the album, biography and self-representation. In particular, it is analyzed how many of the stories constructed from the family album now become an aesthetic element that some contemporary creators have appropriated, both to represent themselves and to narrate their own version of the world.

In a second block the rereading of the album and the concept of intimacy in our current context is addressed due to the excess of public exposure to which we submit our domestic photographs and our private discourses. These essays reflect on the gradual dissolution of the differences between public and private. The intimacy, displayed without shame in personal photo albums through social networks, has now become pure extimacy.

A final block studies the inevitable parallelism between family album and archive. Erected both in memory repositories, their discursive logics propose construction methodologies that may differ from each other, but that also reflect the way in which we visualize both the social and the personal (as opposed mirrors), thus establishing concordances, connections and points of encounter between both logics.


Paper presentation: “Qualified self: verdad y subjetividad en la visualización del Quantified Self”

Laia Blasco presents “Qualified self: verdad y subjetividad en la visualización del Quantified Self” at Interface politics II, After post-truth. Gredits, Barcelona.

Quantified Self is today a technical reality that structures datasets of all kinds of interfaces that are created to establish, build and transform the relationship with the self, data and society itself. In a “datified” world, data visualization challenges traditional representation systems opening up a vast world of analytical and graphic opportunities. As user interfaces that are, data visualizations are artificial devices that transport cultural messages in a great variety of forms and supports; Furthermore, they are never neutral mechanisms of data transmission, but rather they affect the messages, providing a model of the world of their own, a logical and ideological scheme. The fascination with Big Data and the creation of increasingly sophisticated user interfaces pave the way for the proliferation of diverse mutations in the semiotic production of truth. A truth that springs up on the false transparency of the quantitative representation of the world and of the self. This paper analyzes the implications of the Quantified Self and its visualizations, showing its mechanisms, deceptions and fallacies behind its apparent neutrality, and demonstrating its qualitative quality inscribed in the underlying logics.


Liquid film montage. A critical study of interactive documentary tools

Liquid film montage. A critical study of interactive documentary tools

Quelic Berga participates at the Interface Polítics II congres with the paper: “Liquid film montage. A critical study of interactive documentary tools”. The congres will take place on November 28, 29 and 30, 2018 at the BAU (Barcelona).

In this paper we present a comparative study among the main interactive documentary tools and we reflect upon their adoption by industry, academia and society. The core aim is to show, analyze and compare the creative implications of different metaphors that articulate each of these audiovisual tools. And at the same time, to explore how these different approaches to audiovisual montage result in the preconfiguration and enhancement of different narrative grammars and regimes of truth.

Through this comparative study of tools we focus on this emerging format [Guifreu], also called i-doc or webdoc, to understand and reflect on its impact in the definition and transformation of contemporary audiovisuals.

To approach the subject we first set up a framework that takes in consideration different perspectives of the media related studies; We begin by pointing briefly to some of the most significant theoretical and conceptual contributions that have marked our study, especially from materialist media studies [Fuller], software studies [Manovich] and humanities computing [Murray].

We distinguish and focus specifically on interactive documentaries softwares among other audiovisual tools and artefacts found in the computing environment. Within this type ofsoftwares, we focus on contemporary programs for authorship of interactive documentaries: Korsakow [1] developed in Germany by Florian Thalhofer and Matt Soar, the French tool Klynt [2] by the Honkytonk Films team, Eko [3], developed after Interlude [4], by the Israeli-American team of Yoni Bloch and finally the PlayFilm[5] platform developed in Valencia. The objects of study of this article are the multimedia tools of authorship and their interfaces. It is beyond this study to observe in detail their resulting objects; interactive documentaries.

Apart from analyzing the graphical user interface, we compile other types of data surrounding the artefacts, considering not only the tool itself, but the cultural ecosystem in where it unfolds [Bertelsen & Soren]. The result of the analyzes of those four softwares allows us to develop a comparative table considering several characteristics: we analyze the constructs, models and methods provided, the use of the vocabulary of each program, the distribution and design of the interfaces, the functionalities and features, the technologies used and finally, the most frequent and specific uses of each tool.

We close the article reflecting on the impact that contemporary audiovisual montages that are liquid or mutable, and that might adapt and modify themselves in relation to data and/or the final user might have important consequences on the construction of the notion of reality. We end up opening questions and observations about the authorship, the audiovisual market, the forms of consumption and the forms of preservation of these resulting audiovisual devices if possible.

Keywords: Webdocs, Interactive Documentary, i-doc, constructs, metaphors, UX, interface criticism.



“A Companion to the Gangster Film” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018).


Ana Rodríguez-Granell participates in this book with the chapter When Criticism Meets Gangster Films: The Spiv Cycle as Oppositional Aesthetics in Postwar Britain


This paper focuses on an overlooked period of film history between the brilliant 1930s and the film modernism to come in the late 1950s, a time when critical and militant manifestations in British cinema were co-opted into the institutional narrative of quality film. Following World War II and the rise of Labour’s social democracy, realism became the bedrock of British national cinema as part of the country’s cultural rebuilding. In this context, and given the efforts invested in the war and the institutionalisation of realism exemplified by Millions Like Us (Sidney Gilliat & Frank Launder, 1943), what had been a period of political exaltation gave way to a dismembering of the avant-garde practices and the critical militant documentalism that had represented the working class. Faced with official cinematographic discourses that tried to temper the radical spirit of the pre-war years, calls came for narratives that expressed civil responsibility, civic sense, compassion and rectitude, or ‘hopeful and clear-eyed’ narratives. This paper seeks to examine how gangster and spiv films provide a subaltern representation of the British working class. It will analyse the political economy of post-war British gangster films, popular cinema and certain sectors of the industry as a forum for challenging institutional aesthetics. The influences from the 1930s, oppositional discourse and the sparks of modernity in gangster films such as Waterloo Road (Sidney Gilliat, 1944), They Made Me a Fugitive (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1947), and It Always Rains on Sunday (Robert Hamer, 1947) will be examined. This will be done to determine if this kind of film, which led to sub-genres of social criticism, may be deemed a vehicle for vernacular modernism.

“The artwork is a digital file, yes”

Pau Waelder publishes “The artwork is a digital file, yes” (Daata Editions).

I have been invited by David Gryn, director of Daata Editions, to write a text for the Foreword section on the platform. The text addresses the preconceptions related to collecting digital art and it particular the type of artworks sold by Daata, which are digital files that the buyer can download with a certificate of authenticity. Below is an excerpt:

When considering how to collect digital art, we come across two preconceptions: what an artwork must be and what digital files are worth. First, it is commonly assumed that an artwork is an object with unique attributes, original, and irreplaceable. The object routinely goes from the artist’s studio to the gallery, where it is acquired by a collector. There is no doubt that it is always the same object that trades hands, and it is finally the collector who decides where the artwork is placed and who has access to it. Conceptual and performance art has challenged this notion again and again, but the artwork always finds its way into the market and the collector’s home in the form of a more or less stable object. Thus, if an artwork (a) is not an object, (b) can be copied, (c) can be accessed or experienced beyond the control of its owner(s), and/or (c) requires a computer, software and display to be at all perceivable, some may find it “difficult,” “challenging,” or even not worth collecting. This relates to the second preconception.



Designing a Conversation-Based Educational Tool for Learning to Code

Susanna Tesconi publishes in HCI International 2018 Posters’ Extended Abstracts.

Mor, E., Santanach, F., Tesconi, S., & Casado, C. (2018). CodeLab: Designing a Conversation-Based Educational Tool for Learning to Code. In C. Stephanidis (Ed.), HCI International 2018 Posters’ Extended Abstracts (pp. 94–101). Cham: Springer International Publishing.