Mariano Sardón was born in Bahía Blanca, in 1968. He studied Physics at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) and Art at the Internationale Akademie Für Bildende Kunst Salzburg, in Austria. Initially, he worked as a painter, and also doing installations with simple and modest technologies. Later on he added some electronic mediums and devices, going through video and video-installation.
Since 2000, he has incorporated scientific paradigms to his artistic processes, such as dynamic complex systems, cellular automata and self-organizing algorithms, among others. All this, exploring the aesthetic possibilities of the intersection of both disciplines.
He has done research on interactive sensory environments at the Hypermedia Studio of UCLA’s Theater, Film and TV Department, between 2001-2002.
He has done several individual and collective exhibitions. His installations and interactive works are part of museums and private collections both in Argentina as abroad, where he has also given seminars. He is actually a professor at the Electronic Arts course degree of the UNTREF (Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina) and coordinates the program on Interactive Art at Espacio Fundación Telefónic (Buenos Aires).
Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
Books of sand. are interactive installations that relate the movement of hands in the sand to hypertexts containing Jorge Luis Borges texts taken from the Web. It consists of two 85 cm. side glass buckets full of sand that when touched with the hands, project codes retrieved from the Web arising an interaction with the movement of the hands. The text moves as a fluid and later disappears.
Both buckets constitute two interfaces that involve a tactile game; the sand is the background substance for the unfolding of the hypertexts of which the Web immense dynamical memory is constituted.
This is a dynamic and immense network that connects people everywhere in different parts of the world. Such a network is thought as a text disseminated both in time and space, the biggest ever written, the most complex and umpredictable. Proposals delimit what happens as infinit and untouchable of a text that the hands can grab and capture for just a second to the geometry of a cube. Information, like the text and like the sand, indistinguishable and innumerable, adopt their own shape in relation to the all-encompassing gesture of the hands at that precise moment. The construction of space through light, colours and textures was fundamental in order to define the proposal. The dimly lit room created an atmosphere of unreality, somehow isolated from the world. This characteristic was indeed paradoxical, since it used a global communications network to set up an intimate environment. This installation structures hardware and software architectures that operates with a mathematical abstraction that is typical of digital information, configurating consecutive relation bridges between languages. Since there is no control over the construction of the codes that the viewer unfolds through his movements and gestures, control commonly associated to the idea of interactivity on computers interface passes on to a gestural game of contingent materialization of the text spread on the network.
I started working on the Books of sand during 2003, and it was exhibited at the MAMBA (Buenos Aires) in 2004. The decision of developing an interactive work that functions on the edge of two disciplines, art and technology, was a challenge and a taking-sides on my part. I choose to focuse on exploiting the possibilities of existing resources. The development of the software was fundamental, so were the final decisions taken on the formal aspects of the installation. The work on Borges’ texts devised the conceptual weave between the codes that remain invisible and the written ones, that though alien to oneself, are experienced as of one’s own. For the assembly of the installation and the work itself I used several previous tenchological developments from others works done in together with Laurence Bender.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
3. In reference to your work and your position in the national and international art fields, what tradition do you recognize yourself in? Who are your contemporary referents? What artists of previous generations are of interest to you?
I don’t recognize myself in any particular tradition, though I’m specially interested in the work of many artists from all times. Some of my contemporary reference that I can now name would be: Jim Campbell, George Legrady, Simon Penny, Hans Haacke, Sol Lewitt, Luis Benedit, John Cage, Iannis Xenakins, Greg Lynn, Rem Koolhass, Helio Oiticica, Ligia Clark, Walter de Maria, conceptual artists (Kosuth, Reinhardt, Morris), minimalists, MADI (Kosice), concrete artists (Lozza, Lito), and many others. It seems everyone is a reference.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
I don’t seem to find particularly significant works of art over the past 15 years, at least not that I can remember.