Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.
Deutsch English

Waldemar Cordeiro
«Arteônica: Electronic Art»

Waldemar Cordeiro
Arteônica: Electronic Art


»The crisis of contemporary art is a consequence of two variables: the inadequacy of traditional art media to transmit information, and the inefficiency of the information they carry in regards to language, thought and action.
I understand by ‹communication› the transmission and processing of information, as well as the technical mechanisms employed in transmitting and storing information. [...] The obsolescence of the traditional communication system of art resides in the limited consumption implicit in the very nature of the transmission medium. Due to the limited number of possible viewers, the high costs, the geographic limitations and the technical difficulties, the traditional communication system of art fails to live up to the qualitative and quantitative cultural demands of modern society.
Traditional artworks are physical objects to be displayed in physically determined places, and they assume the physical displacement of the viewers. [...] Artists of traditional training try to address the communications crisis by leaving the gallery space and working in the urban micro-landscape or the regional macro-landscape — wrapping mountains, for example. These artists have not realized that what is obsolete is not the scale, but the nature of the thing.
[...] The artwork, which implicitly defines the physical space in which it is consumed, separates itself from the social environment. It requires a specific zone for its artistic fruition.
The informational crisis of contemporary art results from the continuation of tradition, which perpetuates the alienation that results from the linear development of the artistic process. This is also a form of isolation, not a physical but a semantic one, inasmuch as the consumption of the artwork requires previous knowledge of exclusive repertoires. The communicative/informational isolation conflicts with the open and interdisciplinary character of a planetary culture.
The use of electronic media may lead to a solution to the communicational problems of art, since telecommunications and other electronic resources require, for their informational optimization, certain forms of image processing. In the case of electronic art (arteônica), the transmission of information does not provoke a transformation. [...] The most urgent problem is not a rivalry with traditional art, because such a rivalry would mean accepting a field of action that is definitely condemned to obsolescence. «

Waldemar Cordeiro, 1971

Originally published in Waldemar Cordeiro (ed.), Arteônica, São Paulo, Editora das Américas, 1972, S. 3–4. For the print version of this article, see Leonardo Volume 30, Nº. 1 (February 1997). Translated by Eduardo Kac.

Source: Leonardo online

Original version in Portugese