Tania Aedo Arankowsky is a cultural producer with experience in the development of projects working at the intersections of art, science and technology. She is Coordinator at Cátedra Max Aub, Transdisciplina en Arte y Tecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Arankowsky is the former Director of Laboratorio Arte Alameda and Centro Multimedia at the National Center for the Arts in México. She studied Artistic Education at Escuela Superior de Artes de Yucatán (ESAY), and Visual Arts at the National School of Visual Arts (UNAM) – the latter gave her research recognition with the Award for Artistic Creation. Following these studies, she attended the Museum Management Program organized by the Instituto de Liderazgo en Museos, Mexico City, and the Getty Leadership Institute (Getty Foundation). Arankowsky has been honoured with grants such as the Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. She participated in the Creative Residencies Program at the Banff Center for the Artswith a grant from Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) – an organization which has continued to support a number of her projects. She has been involved as author and/or editor in the publication of books including Techkné 1.0, Interdiscipline School and Art, and ARTECHMEDIA. She has also developed curatorial projects such as Surrounded at the School of Media and Design at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
(Media) art as repository of knowledges—and warnings
Media art, or “the art formerly known as media art”, may be seen as a huge repository of knowledge—and warnings—which are useful resources that may contribute to imagine the new worlds we have to build if we are to produce the cultural mutation needed for this species to survive. It is no exaggeration to say that one of the most interesting places in the world to be before the crisis were the education-mediation departments in museums, especially in contemporary art museumsalthough in many places also the more precarious prevail in terms of labour conditions. Would it be an exaggeration if we say that the term transdisciplinary is one of the most used in contemporary and media art initiatives? And if we say that one of the biggest problems of our present situation has to do precisely with knowledge production? Would it be productive if we displace the category of the contemporary and put contingency in the center? Being at the same time tremendously pessimistic and optimistic about this crisis which is starting and which will continue to worsen as it mixes with the climate, economic ones, and with those that we cannot predict—nor are we interested in listening to their signals, just as was the case with the present one. No doubt we are accelerating entropy through extractive and consuming habits, going through an autocatalytic loop leading to disaster. We need to learn how to navigate this world that, by the way, is not finishing yet. Can museums be the hubs for these incredible creative forces needed to produce or contribute to the production of massive negentropic processes? Which kinds of practices need to be put into play; which kinds of repositories do we need to produce a cultural mutation and learn how to navigate through it? Could this repository, namely, the memory and archives of “the art formerly known as media art”, be used to learn about how to knit relationships among diverse materialities, like, for example, the virtual and the physical worlds—among different species or among the living and the non-living? I am going to talk about how we are thinking and what we are doing about this at Catedra Max Aub, Transdiscipline in Art and Technology at UNAM, Mexico.