RHIZOME_RAW: interview with Daniel Garcia Andujar of TTTPÂ®
Daniel Garcia Andujar an artist from Valencia, Spain. His current project is Technologies To the PeopleÂ®, though he has worked as an artist in other genres such as video, photography, urban intervention and installation.
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RG: Explain Technologies To the PeopleÂ®. Why form an organization?
DGA: I feel like right now there's a real fetishization of the new technologies, but I don't know about the kind of access people really have to them. There's the idea that this is a democratic space and every body comes here onto an equal playing fieldâ€¦ I don't see it. I think that Technologies To the PeopleÂ® problematizes and widens the image of technological access, and questions and rethinks the related problems. It's a metaphor — “all the people are connected” — while also acting as a public provocation. Today, increasingly, to have access to information and resources, it's necessary to have connectivity. Who has real access to the technology? Will a new division be opened between “inforich” and “infopoor” people? How can we avoid this abyss of separation? Are we at the beginning to a new global colonization? How could it affect us in the future? What can we do to include more “classes of people” in the new information global infrastructure? These are issues that TTTPÂ® tries to make obvious: virtuality, authenticity, copyright, sponsoring, media, power.
RG: Your cache project and the art/photo collection of Technologies To the PeopleÂ® is currently on exhibit at the Apex Gallery in New York City.
Can you describe your installation:
DGA: Technologies To The PeopleÂ® works with the media infrastructure of corporate companies; Technologies To The PeopleÂ® sponsors art events highlighting these representation polices. This is one of the ironic aims of TTTPÂ®. I make jokes using publicity sentences like “Sponsoring art is not only a fantastic communications tool. It is much more than that. It is a tool for the seduction of public opinion.” I am speaking here about corporate representation, sponsorship, and relationships between art and corporations, art collections, and copyright.
In the last few months, I have been compiling a selection of the documents that appeared in the cache of my computers. As many people know, when we visit Internet pages, our computers load images, films, sounds, and other resources that facilitate and increase the speed of document reading; browser technology is designed for this. Some of these documents, sent by servers to the cache of our browsers, end up in the TTTPÂ® photographic collection. A bigger part of the TTTPÂ® photographic collection was shown in Spain in a collective photographic show. For the Apex show, I used around 30 photographs, printed from cache files, from the TTTPÂ®'s collection.
RG: You once told me the next war would be started by hackers — am i right? Did I understand you correctly? Talk about information and power:
Data, information, knowledge data becomes information and them knowledge.
Knowledge is what makes mere information valuable.
I meant that information warfare extends beyond the physical world and strikes at one of the most valuable resources today. It is considered a form of war in that a small state, or a small organization can fight against, and defeat, a superpower; in any event, it's possible it won't lose. The more technologically developed an organization is, the more
vulnerable it is.
What should be happen if a ‘bad guy' decides to de-stabilize a country by destroying its information infrastructure? I think that governments' services do not have the real capability to respond. Information war includes the electronics war, the tactical deceit, the deterrent strategies, the propaganda war, the psychological war, the net war, and the structural sabotage. While you're watching me, who is watching your computer network? Who watches who? Who has real control of information?
Imagine an army of robbers or hackers all attacking the same bank, data base, corporation… at the same time.
Paranoid about computer security?
Nice business for computer security companies?
A good alibi for governments to curtail rights?
We need to pay attention to all these phenomena.
Governments should recommend increased government intervention to the explosive success of the Internet and the Information Revolution.
Pay attention to the Communications Decency Act, fight against encryption liberalization, copyright law reforms, and all these ‘necessary regulations' of address privacy, digital cash and electronic payment systems, intellectual property on the Net…
Who preserves the basic freedom of the net, our freedom (in general)?
We hear too much about increasing government intervention, building a model cyberspace, preserving, controlling, developing international guidelines, government access to encrypted communications, censorship and encryption
restrictions, regulation, supervision, centralize, Internet policy…
Being informed does not mean being a criminal!
Access To Technology is a Human Right!. TTTPÂ® says.
RG: You are one of the current net.artists who posts somewhat regularly to American Express, and you are doing shows, exhibitions etc. You are, in other words, increasingly successful and visible. Could you talk a bit about your background, artistic and political. Has working on the net made you more fashionable, more chic? What is appealing about net.art to
you? What sucks about it?
For a long time now, I have been dedicating attention to media, to the relationships between power and the simplifying mechanisms of society.
For the few last years I have been working on projects with photography, video, urban interventions, installations, texts, multimedia, Internet works, and computer graphics. I have tried to keep the contents, the subject, the reasons of the work, so that they connect with the audience using direct language. Society is, now more than ever, accustomed to
very sophisticated techniques of representation — on account of technology and new media.
Evidently these are transforming different ways of living, working, watching, buying, be related, enjoying or even understanding identity. At the same time, they appear as new threats since they substitute reality with illusion — and real conflicts are caused by empty virtual shams of content. I have worked to make my work keep pace with these kinds of realities.
I'm working on the net now, and like many other artists, I worked in video in the early eighties, photography before that… There are a lot of parallels at the moment between video and the net. Discussions among video artists in the eighties covered formats, techniques of representation, distribution, fashion…
I have a classic artistic background, though I never went to university.
I left school went I was 18, and this has meant no academic art studies.
This is atypical in Spain, and this means I have to work against a lot of structures, and that sometimes I feel displaced in official artist contexts (universities, official grants, traditional infrastructures).
RG: Tell us about your European Tourism project http://www.irational.org/daniel/banderas/tourist.html. Was that
influenced by the situation in Spain in which lots of Europeans have moved to coastal towns, impacting the culture? In some cases have being elected officials while not even speaking Spanish? Do you see parallels with multiculturalism on the internet?
DGA: Well i think Spain is a multicultural society, though mostly in the Mediterranean areas which have varied historical influences and mixed cultures. Curiously, we never use the term “Spanish” for the language of Spain, we use “Castillian” to differentiate from other languages of Spain like Catalan (Gallego, Euskera). I think in bilingual areas, people are especially receptive to other languages, and have an historical inclination to assimilate different cultures.
But there is a special situation on the European continent with the English language — sometimes you are with several people (from different European countries) in a private meeting speaking English, though nobody is a native English speaker! Maybe you are speaking very bad English but everybody understands you. Why don't we learn German — they have a very powerful influence in EU with more that 100 million German speakers? Finally this has a perverse effect, for we are subverting the English language — maybe in the future we'll have a special variation of English.
But I don't see really multiculturalism on the internet: the English language dominates. It's not a technological impediment. ‘Globalization' ?
RG: What is going on with art in Valencia?
DGA: Right now is an especially delicate time in Valencia, since in the last few years there has been a lot of political change. Spain and particularly her institutions are very vulnerable to political changes. The conservative policies of the PP (Popular Party) have resulted in impoverishing the already deteriorated artistic and cultural scenes. An example of this is the deterioration of the ivam, Valencian Museum of Modern Art, an institution that enjoyed deserved international prestige, and that was an example to the rest of our national institutions; it is now practically inactive. Several of its principal curators have moved to prestigious European institutions outside of Spain.
Official aid has disappeared, and there are no longer plans or policies that support and promote for young artists (grants, trips…). A few local curators who are working for the government control artists politically. I think there is enough money, but the problem is how this money is spent. Big exhibitions for protected, established artists, expensive free publications, rented commercial spaces to host publicity-generating exhibitions in foreign countries… no money for
RG: How did you get hooked up with irational.org?
DGA: I met Heath Bunting at an exhibition in Hamburg in 1996 (discord.Sabotage of realities/Kunstverein and Kunsthaus Hamburg). A few months later he proposed the idea of collaborating by having irational.org host the Technologies To The PeopleÂ® project.
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Technologies To The PeopleÂ®
Technologies To The People Foundation /irational mirror/