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Title: Amaru Cholango in How to Poeticize Technology
Authors: Garzon, Sara
Keywords: postcolonial technoscience
contemporary art
latin America
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2017
Abstract: The Quechua artist Amaru Cholango has been experimenting since the early 1990s with the boundaries between art and technology. While his creative inquiries cover an array of subjects, Cholango’s main interest conveys an environmental concern. Cholango’s training in mathematics and geology coalesced in his innate artistic interests allowing him to develop an important body of work that articulates a criticism to technology and scientific knowledge from within. The artist wants to “poeticize technology” and subvert its function to radicalize our understanding of the essence of nature through the reconceptualization of the relationship between man and the environment. A pioneer of digital and New Media art in Ecuador, Amaru Cholango has combined cybernetic installations, video and performance with Quechua beliefs and cosmovision. In this amalgamation of both ancestral and scientific knowledge, Cholango’s robots are not contesting western technology or scientific advancement per se; they are instead challenging science’s claims to universal truth and the belief in modern technology as the preferred mode of knowing. In an effort to understand Cholango’s cybernetic work this essay builds on the notions put forward by post-colonial technoscience, “Mestizo Technologies” and what Economist Pablo Stefanoni termed Pachamamismo. Using these theoretical frameworks I argue that Cholango’s robots do not simply articulate a critique against the complicity of technology with colonialism, but elucidate how indigenous belief systems have come to help create an imaginary for existing on equal grounds with the natural other; an imaginary that can help produce once again the possibility of a future.
Description: Biography: Sara Garzón is a PhD student in Art History at Cornell University. Her research interests are in Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art with a special focus on historical time, coloniality and the politics of the identity in Contemporary Art. Before coming to Cornell, Sara received an M.A in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Sara has developed several independent curatorial projects and was also the Lifchez-Stronach Curatorial Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before that, she was co-founder and Executive Director of the Sacramento Art History Consortium in Sacramento, California. Some of her writings have appeared in Anamesa, Hyperallergic, and the graduate journal Hemisphere: Visual Cultures of the Americas.
Appears in Collections:1. Re:Trace Conference - Keynotes, Papers & Posters

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