For the second episode of our new series Conversas Diversas we invited Séverin Guelpa (Switzerland) and Fabian Wagmister (Argentina) – a collaborator of «Practicas de Periferia». The artists share their concerns and interests upon ecological issues, bio construction, and mobility. Their encounter touches on issues of sustainability, cartography, nature, and territories as they share project images as well as on-site examples of their work methodology.
Fabian Wagmister is associate professor at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Televisionand is the founding director of the Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance (REMAP). He created and directs the Centro Hipermediático Experimental Latinomericano (cheLA) in Buenos Aires Argentina, an innovative research, experimentation and production project exploring the intersections of culture, community and technology. His work focuses on alternative technological modes for collective interpretive creativity. He collaborates with diverse communities to generate reflexive media systems emphasizing cultural and locative specificity. In this context technology and culture converge into a performative social practice of investigation and expression. Fabian’s recent projects consider mobility as a defining factor of individual and collective identity. Inspired by a situationist and Deleuzian theoretical framework he seeks to defunctionalize movement in a diversity of urban and rural environments and transform it into a tool for creative research and creative expression. He combines extensive derive processes with interpretive cartography tools to generate collective works merging investigation, experimentation, and exhibition into a synchronous experience. Among his related projects are Imageability (2006), a participatory cognitive mapping installation about the history of Los Angeles, Engage Ludicity (2009), a collective urban détournement experience, Memoria Barrial(2012), a navigable media cartography installation in a Buenos Aires subway station and Bicicletas Blancas(2018), a situationist derive performance and installation about motility in the city.
Séverin Guelpa is an artist and curator. He lives and works in Geneva (1974). Séverin Guelpa is interested in the extreme territories from which he draws his inspiration, seeking to reveal the forces, movements and energies that are found there. His work combines building materials, construction techniques, vernacular knowledge and raw materials to translate the different states of a constantly changing environment. He transforms, weighs or moves materials in large immersive installations that often translate the links between human action and nature, questioning the fragile balances in which the world finds itself today.
In a permanent dialectic between the field and his studio, Séverin Guelpa inscribes his work in the experience of the regions he explores around the world and the expeditions he leads with MATZA, in contact with the territory and its inhabitants. By confronting arid climates, regions with limited resources or the living conditions of the communities that live there, he is interested in what nature can teach us but also in our capacity to adapt. The experience of these places becomes a way for him to address today’s ecological, economic or social issues and to reflect on the radical changes that await our society.