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Title: Amaru Cholango on How to Poeticize Technology
Authors: Garzon, Sara
Keywords: Cyberneticis
Contemporary Art
Amaru Cholango
Issue Date: 23-Nov-2017
Abstract: The Kichwa 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 kichwa 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.
Appears in Collections:1. Re:Trace Conference - Keynotes, Papers & Posters

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