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Title: Teresa Burga: a pioneer multimedia and information artist
Authors: Mariategui, Jose-Carlos
Arca, Elisa
Keywords: systems art
media art
conceptual art
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2017
Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the work of Teresa Burga (Iquitos, Peru, 1935), as a multimedia artist whose conceptual pieces from the late 1960s and 1970s position her as a precursor of media art, information-based art, and multimedia installation. After studying painting in Lima, she obtained an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago (1968-1970), returning back to Peru to start exploring connections between art and social research until the early 80’s. Then her work halted completely for nearly three decades but regained international visibility after a retrospective of her seminal multimedia and information-based works were presented in Lima (2010) and Stuttgart (2011) and more recently had resounded in major venues (i.e., 12th Istanbul Biennale, 56th Venice Biennale). The core of Burga's work deals with the organisation of data provided from “social sources” such as her own body, social research or mass media and its “transposition” into films, slide projections, light, sound and interactive installations, drawings and even new artefacts. By dissecting and re-organizing the information available –in what is known as systems art– Burga questioned and redefined accepted social notions of femininity or representation. Paradoxically, not much has been written within the realm of media and information theories about Burga’s multimedia artifacts and her approach to displaying and dissecting abstract and scientific data. This paper seeks to analyze Burga’s pioneering media practices, characterized by the shift between what devices are meant formally to transmit and what the artist actually aims to redefine as an ambiguous object of art.
Description: Biographies: Elisa Arca (Lima, 1987) She holds a Masters degree in Contemporary and New Media Art from Paris 8 University (France) and a degree in Audiovisual Communication from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. She has co-curated a program for the Moving Image Biennale held in Buenos Aires in 2016. She currently works for ATA, Alta Tecnología Andina. José-Carlos Mariátegui (Lima, 1975) Writer, curator and scholar on culture and new media. Studied Biology and received his BSc in Applied Mathematics, holds both Masters and Doctoral degrees in Information Systems and Innovation from the London School of Economics and Political Science - LSE (London). Dr. Mariátegui is the founder of Alta Tecnología Andina – ATA and co-founder of, spaces devoted to creativity, technology and innovation in Latin America. Member of the Advisory Board of the Ministry of Culture (2010/2012-2013). Editorial Board member for Leonardo Books at MIT Press. Lives in London (UK) and Lima (Peru).
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