About the red(e).ib network
The red(e).ib’s first conclave, which was attended by representatives of the founding nodes, took place in Zaragoza during the 5th Ibero-American Culture Congress based on the theme of ‘Digital culture and networks’.
The participants were Antonio Franco, director of the MEIAC (ES), Tania Aedo, director of the Laboratorio Arte Alameda (MX), Claudia Gianetti, art consultant for the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida (PT), and the project’s curators Nilo Casares and Gustavo Romano, who debated on the following points relating to the functional structure of the red(e).ib
1- The network
The red(e).Ib network is a horizontally-structured platform based on a number of connection points (or nodes) in which the leading Ibero-American centres in the field of art and technology will take part. It has been established with a clear overall aim in mind: to carry out research on, produce and disseminate, jointly, the most innovative Ibero-American artistic creation in this field.
2- Its spaces
The red(e).ib network contains three well-differentiated spaces: Real, TXT, and Virtual:
Real: formed by working meetings (or conclaves), physical exhibitions (through joint production or exchanges between the different centres) and the award of the red (e).ib prizes.
TXT: a space focused on theoretical research, particularly on bringing out a half-yearly publication to be called TXT.ib.
Virtual: the project is equipped with virtual rooms, where works produced by the network’s nodes will be exhibited.
3- The context
Towards the end of last century a new container was added to the known ones. A container of matter that is solely information and that is constantly moving. A flat space, without any uneven terrain that would allow it to be mapped. A territory where we were hitherto all immigrants but where a generation of locals – digital natives – has now emerged.
In a context we might call cyber-geographical (also info-space), a de-territorialised Ibero-America has the chance to re-chart its cultural borders and the flows of feedback information and to generate new relational architectures. An expanded topology from which to make the most of differences and foster exchange and horizontal and point-to-point collaboration (between peers).
A by no means insignificant feature of this project whose function is more than symbolic concerns filing a claim for the .ib domain name with the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers); therefore the domain http://www.red-e-ib.net should be regarded as provisional, until http://www.red-e.ib is successfully activated.
4- Organisation (type of nodes, agents, etc.)
The red(e).ib network has a unique organisation inherited from its own horizontality; this parity allows it to be based on two categories that are apparently dissimilar but, as will very soon be understood from the type of territory on which the red(e).ib network is based, need each other: institutions and agents
Museums, cultural centres, media labs and other established organisations that perform at least one of the following functions: exhibition, production, collecting and restoration, archives, dissemination of art and technological projects. These institutions do not necessarily have to engage exclusively in new technologies because nowadays, as the TXT space shows, the new media have permeated all areas.
Independent individuals or groups that operate in the field of art and technology. Artists, curators, theoreticians and journalists whose salient feature is their high degree of connectivity and influence on the Ibero-American creative scene, and in this respect they are required to be specialists in the new media, as without the involvement of agents the dissemination of and, above all, research into, this new reality would be impossible. The main role of the agents is to spread what is going on in the day-to-day reality of the new media to institutions that are less aware.
It is appropriate to establish the function of each of the elements and have a full idea of the structure of the red(e).ib in order to understand the changes to which it will be subject as an attentive follower of the latest developments.
The nodes are the institutions with a physical headquarters and financial support (public or private) that provide the real underpinning of the red(e).ib network.
The facilitator agents are the Ibero-American artists and theoreticians without whom autochthonous digital art is inconceivable.
The conclaves are the meetings held periodically between the directors of the nodes and the facilitator agents to share novelties in the field of the digital arts and further these advances.
Physical exhibitions take place in the nodes or provisional venues for promoting the red(e).ib. Without the nodes the whole network would be impossible, as it cannot thrive on the contribution of the facilitator agents alone.
This clear but flexible structure is what will enable the red(e).ib to pursue its aim of spreading and growing by incorporating more members. This will take place with the successive meetings and following the conclusions addressed at each one.
The node of experts must further the different aims of the red(e).ib, one of which is to promote, support and extend the scope of Ibero-American digital production.
The red(e).ib network regards itself as a living organism, as an expansive project in progress that is open to the incorporation of new members and adaptable to the dynamic changes that characterise and give impetus to digital creations.
The first conclave was attended by:
Antonio Franco Domínguez, a historian and art critic. In 1995 he was appointed director of the Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo (MEIAC), a post from which he has promoted major initiatives related to Iberian and Latin American artistic creation and artistic production associated with new technological resources.
Claudia Giannetti, a specialist in media art, a theoretician and writer, and a curator of exhibitions and cultural events. She holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Barcelona with a specialisation in Digital Aesthetics. She has been director of the Associació de Cultura Contemporània L'Angelot, Barcelona, the MECAD\Media Centre d’Art i Disseny, Barcelona, and Canariasmediafest, the international digital arts and cultures festival of Gran Canaria. She currently directs the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art in Oldenburg, Germany, and is artistic consultant for the Fundaçao Eugénio de Almeida (Évora, Portugal).
Tania Aedo, director of the Laboratorio Arte Alameda. Located in Mexico City, it is one of the leading international spaces devoted to exhibiting, documenting, producing and carrying out research into artistic practices that use and explore the relationship between art and technology.
Nilo Casares, who writes on a variety of subjects and contributes to the press. He is also an occasional researcher in the field of aesthetics and art theory, an art critic and curator, a promoter of digital art and public art, a coordinator and director of cultural activities, and a lecturer, consultant and advisor on art subjects. He has curated more than a hundred international events. Director of the Konceptkonstmuseum in Valencia, he is also a member of Artificialia in Pescara (Italy). His most recent publications include the books netart_latino database and Del net.art al web-art 2.0.
Gustavo Romano, an artist and curator. In 1995 he founded Fin del Mundo, the first platform for net art in Latin America. He was curator of the Centro Virtual of the Centro Cultural de España in Buenos Aires, where he created and directed its Medialab. In 2006 he published the book Netart.ib, an overview of digital production in Ibero-America. He coordinates the NETescopio project, an archive of digital works of the MEIAC.