Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Reading Response 4: Influences of Non-places in the concept of Latin America

Eduardo Navas’ curatorial essay for Transitio_MX New Media Beinnale, discusses the idea of ‘non-place’ in relation to Marc Augé’s book that examines the anthropology of supermodernity. He concurrently introduces several artists whose works investigate "the relevance of geopolitical differences that shape the use of appropriation and technology in artistic practices" and were presented in the exhibition held in Mexico City in 2009. In regard to the exhibition Navas states:

“I consider the works of art I selected for the biennale’s theme of “Autonomies of Disagreement” to be representative of how art production is affected by the growing dependency on the concept of non- place, as a means to take apart the complex motivations that displace and ask for reconsideration of concepts of nationality and identity; this shift leads to the development of cultures around the world that become more similar than ever before. In this sense the preoccupation with geopolitical differences becomes eroded; therefore, hegemony is still an issue that is relevant in the critical analysis of globalization.”

I too am interested in the section where the essay addresses tourism. Thinking about the notion of Las Vegas being a ‘one stop shop’ for experiencing several popular cities throughout the world I could not help but think of how many, especially in era of “staycationing,” are now virtually traveling to locations throughout the world. With the influx of webcams and online sites such as google earth/streetview, creating autonomous spaces and even virtually visiting other locations is becoming more than accessible to those with internet access. Though Las Vegas is the initial “template of cultural representation” as stated by Navas, engines like google earth are now becoming the new virtual template for these representations.

For individuals who come from small towns and remote locations where access to an airport or even greyhoud bus is not always immediate or possible at all, these tools are becoming imperative to experiencing different places. In accordance with Auge’s concept, because of these tools, cities all over the world are becoming “spaces that need not be visited.”

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