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Early Digital Art in Argentina: Re-examining the Victoria and Albert Museum

Wednesday 15th February, 18:00-19.30

Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Free, registration required: book here.

The V&A holds over 700 objects from Latin America. Currently on display in the World Ceramics Galleries are 17th century ceramic búcaro vases from Mexico, whilst the recently opened Europe Galleries 1600-1800 includes a display devoted to Latin America. However, less well known is the V&A’s holdings of early digital art made in the late 1960s by Argentine artists associated with the Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAyC). Research on early computer art practices has largely focused on the West, yet beyond this geographical sphere innovative art and technology networks also developed. This talk considers a small but intriguing number of digital artworks in the V&A’s collection in relation to their Latin American cultural context and explores the role of CAyC in facilitating the use of the computer as an experimental and creative design tool.

(For more information on CAyC click here.)

Melanie Lenz holds the dual roles of Curator of Digital Art (Word & Image department) and Digital Programmes Manager (Learning department) at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Her interests include early digital art practices and contemporary visual culture. She has worked on a variety of contemporary art exhibitions and digital commissions. Formerly Curatorial Fellow, Barbican Art Gallery (2006-2008), she holds a MA in Museum Studies. Publ.: Women, Art and Technology, V&A online Issue No. 6 Summer 2014; In Times of Change. An institutional perspective on collecting and conserving born-digital art, ISEA 2011.

This session can be of interest to postgraduate students and scholars as a potential new area of research and as the basis for new doctoral or research collaborative projects between Birkbeck and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

This event is jointly organised by CILAVS, the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies and the Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology at Birkbeck.

(Image credit line: Miguel Ángel Vidal, section from Untitled, Screenprint from a computer-generated drawing, 1969. Museum no: E.193-2008 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/ A. R. Vidal & M. I. Vidal.)

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