Santiago Echeverry: WORLD

 
  • ©2007, Santiago Echeverry

Artist(s):


Title:


    WORLD

Exhibition:


Creation Year:


    2007

Medium:


    Interactive video streaming

Category:



Artist Statement:


    WORLD is an interactive display of video and audio memories captured with a cell-phone camera in very low resolution. These personal souvenirs are fragmented into small portions of a larger chaotic and randomized composition. The clips are loaded dynamically, and more elements are added as time goes by. Being allergic to the chemicals used in photography labs, films, and oil paintings forced me to move into the hypo-allergenic world of video and computers, where I spend hours experimenting with the stroboscopic aspects of a monitor, capturing reality with camcorders, fragmenting information through montage, and creating digital animations, sounds, and scripted videogames. Growing up as a gay man in Bogotá, Colombia, producing art in a dangerous society, with right wing death squads killing drag queens, HIV cursing my relationships, drug lords blowing up parts of my city, and communist guerrillas threatening my life for being too open about my homosexuality. Under these circumstances, it was impossible for me to separate my artistic creations from the events that were surrounding me. I decided to express my own point of view using the languages and formats of institutional media like TV and radio. In 1995, I received a Fulbright Grant and moved to New York to get my Masters Degree in Interactive Telecommunications at New York University. Because of my background in programming and video, the transition into interactive media was a life-changing experience. I discovered that I could use the web to integrate all the other media I had been working in, and it became the perfect space to experiment with interactive video, cyber activism, digital photography, and interactive narration. After living in Colombia for five years, and now living and teaching in Tampa, Florida, I am currently working on a project called Discarded Memories that deals with the nature of memory in a disposable society. The project creates interactive video projects about the fragility of love, friendship, and life; web sites criticizing the effects of digital media on short-term memory; and objects using mummified pieces of my own skin and blood as reminders of the futility of our physical existence.


Technical Information:


    WORLD is an ongoing collection of videos and audio clips
    (maximum 15 seconds) captured with a cell phone and
    presented interactively and randomly on a computer screen.
    Flash allows the use of XML to retrieve and dynamically load
    the files, separating the visual and audio components so that
    the image and the sound can never be viewed at the same time.
    The user needs to roll a cursor over and click on the movies
    to change their content and appearance. The concept of synchronization and the possible mental associations happen in the user’s mind. This de-contextualized group of memory loops becomes a chaotic narration of the artist’s life and experiences in the world, presenting images and sounds from Istanbul, Paris, Boston, Bogotá, and Tampa, among other places. The low resolution of the video and audio is magnified with an aesthetic purpose, exploring the beauty of the pixelated moving images and the hypnotic effect of low-frequency noises.