UCR art project part of BIENALSUR international exhibition

Manrique Vindas Segura

Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de América del Sur (BIENALSUR), International Biennial of Contemporary Art of South America, was created in 2017 in Argentina within the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF). [National University of February Third]


The biomimetic electronic arts collaborative project entitled "Invade / Resist" is exhibited at  Centro Cultural de España (CEE). (Foto CCE) (CEE) [Spain Cultural Center]  (Photo by CCE)

This year, in its second edition, it is exhibited in 114 locations in 45 cities in 23 countries around the world.

Within more than 5,000 projects from 82 countries that participated, just over a hundred were chosen, among which one presented by the University of Costa Rica (UCR) was selected.

The collaborative biomimetic electronic art project entitled “Invade / Resist” was presented by researchers at the UCR Institute of Art Research (IIARTE), musicologist Dr. Susan Campos-Fonseca and sculptor Jonathan Torres-Rodríguez, with works by the latter and Dr. Claudia Valente, from UNTREF, Argentina.

Both the Costa Rican sculptor and the Argentine expert in electronic arts, converge on the issue of questioning the relationship between humans and nature.

About that, Dr. Susan Campos explains that "we may wonder what the arts have to do with electronics, engineering, robotics, biology or biomimetics? Well, I'll start with what unites them: design. Bioinspired design projects bring us disruptive proposals such as “mestizo robotics”, the result of the work of the Laboratory of Electronic Art and Artificial Intelligence of UNTREF, which brings together research teams that develop interdisciplinary projects linking arts, sciences, and the technologies."

The project is exhibited in Costa Rica, thanks to the collaboration of the Centro Cultural de España (CEE) [Cultural Center of Spain] and its Experimentation Program. In that Center, the exhibition was inaugurated on October 4 at 7 pm. and will remain open to the public until November 27.

The Pulgateca is located opposite the exhibition stand of the “Invade / Resist” project. As explained by Mr. Torres, "the CEE has developed collective projects related to electronic arts that work with programmed obsolescence, which generates electronic waste, housed in La Pulgateca."

He added that it is a project “developed by a group made up of people whose purpose is to generate discussion about the problems caused by the consumption logic of our societies. Its purpose is to promote these discussions to multiply and eventually give us clues to resist and combat these enormous forces.”

For the inauguration of BIENALSUR in our country, we had the visit of UNTREF’s Rector, Dr. Aníbal Jozami, who is the general director of BIENALSUR and Dr. Diana Wechsler who is the artistic-academic Director

Both met on Friday, October 4 at the Vice Rectory of Research at the UCR with the Vice-Rector Dr. Fernando García-Santamaría and subsequently met at the Rectory with Dr. Henning Jensen-Pennington, Rector of the University of Costa Rica.

BIENALSUR closure in Costa Rica

For the closure of BIENALSUR in our country, the Unit of Management and Transfer of Knowledge for Innovation (PROINNOVA) at the Vice-Rectory of Research, will organize an event called “Agents of Research and Innovation with Sustainable Impact: Experiences of the Costa Rican Ecosystem.”

It will be held on November 26 at the Auditorium of the Plaza de la Autonomía, Research City of the UCR, from 8:30 am. to 12:00 noon.

The event will begin with the international conference “Decolonize Nature from Technological Art,” by Mariela Yeregüi, an Argentine artist who directs the first postgraduate degree in Electronic Arts offered in Latin America, at UNTREF.

After the conference, the discussion on “Accessible and Sustainable High-Tech Research for Society” will take place. Short presentations will then be made on “Innovative initiatives for citizen participation in research and development of innovations,” and finally a capsule on the “Role of Manufacturing Laboratories” will be presented.” (SEE ACTIVITY PROGRAMA )

In the afternoon, from 2:00 pm. to 4:00 pm, a guided tour of the BIENALSUR exhibition in Costa Rica "Invade / Resist" and the electronic waste reuse initiative "Pulgateca" will be organized.

To register for the activity, access the following link:  (SOLICITUD DE INSCRIPCIÓN) [REGISTRATION APPLICATION]

About this activity Ms. Yorleni Campos-Flores, manager of innovation in arts, literature, and social sciences at Proinnova explained that “the goal is to share experiences developed by people we consider a sample of national and international human talent, being active agents within their discipline or line of work.”

“This way we will discuss how one can provide innovative solutions in the Costa Rican ecosystem, making the most out of resources in a sustainable way, in order to allow access to research results with the innovative potential to those who need it.”

The representation in Costa Rica of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of South America was achieved thanks to the support of the Vice-Rector of Community Outreach, the Unit of Management and Transfer of Knowledge for Innovation (PROINNOVA) of the Vice-Rectory of Research, the School of Visual Arts and the Office for International Affairs and External Cooperation (OAICE).

The rector of UNTREF and general director of BIENALSUR, Dr. Aníbal Jozami, and the artistic-academic director of BIENALSUR, Dr. Diana Wechsler met on October 4 with the Vice-Rector Dr. Fernando García-Santamaría at the Vice-Rector’s Office for Research.


Protagonists of BIENALSUR in Costa Rica

Dr. Susan Campos-Fonseca:  Researcher and teacher at UCR. She is a musicologist and composer, specialist in philosophy of culture and technology, decolonial feminist studies of electronic art, and sound creation.

Jonathan Torres: Researcher and teacher at UCR. He has a degree in Visual Arts with Emphasis in Sculpture from the University of Costa Rica and works there as a professor of materials. His work travels the boundaries between life and death, investigating the dynamics that arise between the natural and the artificial, as well as the liminal areas between those boundaries. He constantly plays with the active force that curiosity implies, confronting the viewer with images and objects whose construction structures invite meticulous scrutiny. The use of fragile materials together with complex assemblies in non-traditional spaces makes the viewer co-creator, co-destroyer, causing games where interaction is crucial.

Claudia Valente: Master in Technology and Aesthetics of Electronic Arts, Graduated with honors at the National University of Tres de Febrero (2013).  She has a degree in Visual Arts from the National Art University Institute. She works as a professor and researcher of the Masters Degree Major of Aesthetics and Electronic Arts of UNTREF and in the Visual Arts major of UNA. She made an artistic residence at DXARTS, University of Washington and artistic and teaching exchanges in universities of Brazil and Costa Rica.

The International Biennial of Contemporary Art of South America (BIENALSUR) is presented in Costa Rica with the collaborative biomimetic electronic arts project entitled “Invade / Resist '', which bets on socially responsible art and is exhibited at the Centro Cultural de España (CEE).