By Claudio Rivera-Seguel
“TransAmericana 2012” is a relational and viral public art project created by Chilean-Canadian artist Claudio Rivera-Seguel. The work aims to establish an Inter-American network for collaborative cultural creation and dissemination in order to encourage public participation and creativity within the physical and virtual public domain.
The starting point of the project consists of two exhibitions presented simultaneously from March through December 2012, at both the Art Gallery of the Universidad de Concepcion (Chile) and InTransitBC’s Canada Line Public Art Program (Vancouver, BC). Each exhibition will showcase eight digital images, which derive from the juxtaposition of appropriated characters from classical paintings (from the XIV to the XIX century) with landscapes and elements from the contemporary globalized culture.
An interactive website -the central element of this project- will allow anyone with an internet connection and a web camera to participate, interact and create their own “Transamericanized” portraits. The Open Source platform (WordPress) will permit the public to integrate the images from their web cams onto the project’s artworks themselves, thus becoming a creative and collaborative participant of the project.
The main idea of this web interface is to encourage the viral propagation of the project’s creative content and the images generated by the users onto the public and/or private domain. The audience may also choose to either integrate a linked banner on their web sites, print and/or exhibit the artistic content of the project, or simply share their resulting creative works through the project’s dissemination channels and/or their own physical and virtual social networks.
This project explores issues concerning cultural identity and the way in which both language and images share a fixed cultural, political and spiritual meaning. The work offers the public the unique opportunity to reflect upon the profound social changes caused by the effects of global technological assimilation within our social realm. The audience will experience first-hand the use of appropriation and decontextualization technics implemented by the artist within the visual components of TransAmericana2012, all of which are recurring concepts and techniques used by the artist throughout his 25-year creative career.