‘Life’ signifies many things. To begin with, it is a philosophical abstraction referring to our meaningful existence in the world. Yet ‘life’ also refers to biological processes taking place at environmental, social and cellular levels, and to results of technical experiments conducted within the nexus of wet labs and computer labs. Life as such doesn’t therefore exist: it is always mediated by language, culture, technology and biology.
It is these multiple mediations of life that form the theme of the Festival of New Media Art and Video Transitio_MX 05 BIOMEDIATIONS (Biomediaciones). The term ‘biomediations’ encapsulates life’s own inherent dynamism that unfolds at environmental, social and cellular level. It also captures the creative, dynamic and evolving nature of media. Transitio_MX 05 BIOMEDIATIONS explores this intertwined process, whereby life is always mediated and whereby media themselves are seen as living – i.e. composed of both technological and biological elements, and capable of generating new forms, unprecedented connections and unexpected events.
Focusing on ‘life’ understood philosophically, biologically and technologically, Transitio_MX05 showcases a wide range of living media that capture life: still and moving image, video and sound art, data visualisation and computer art, installation and performance. It also features bioart, a genre where genes, living tissue, blood, viruses and bacteria constitute the artist’s material. Last but not least, Transitio_MX05 critically engages with philosophies of life, with their accompanying notions of creation, duration, emergence, process and flow. The problem of the mediation of life (and hence also death) in Mexican culture is a particularly important aspect of the festival’s enquiry.
Uniquely, though, Transitio_MX05 BIOMEDIATIONS is not just about life: it is itself a mediated living event.
Artistic Director: Dr Joanna Zylinska, Goldsmiths, University of London
Mexico City, September 20 – 29, 2013