Signals from the South: tuning in with Planet Earth
The indeginous tribe of Kogi indians in Colombia believe that their task is to maintain the equilibrium on our planet. The Kogis live high up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and until this day have managed to maintain their traditional lifestyle. Mamos, their spiritual leaders, are regularly visiting sacred sites in the mountains to make a connection with Mother Earth. They describe this experience to Western people as 'receiving radio transmissions from around the world'.
National Geographic has donated a video camera and a computer for Kogis to help them make their own documentaries. The Kogis would like to use these tools to send out a warning message for the 'Little Brothers', informing us that we are about to destroy this planet.
The Kogis don't have a writing system, they live in an oral culture. They are currently exploring various tools for live video performance so that they could use video in their own way, as a dynamically changing narrative rather than a static linear presentation.
The Kogis offer a good example of how people in 'developing countries' and traditional cultures can find their own unique ways to approach new technologies. Intermundos (Colombia) and Pixelache (Finland) have initiated a project to bring more Southern influence to North, trying to distract the monopoly of Western thinking in technological development.
Juha Huuskonen (Finland). Born 1974. A media artist, software designer and curator who is devoting most of his time and energy to developing cultural organisations and events. He is a founding member and chairman of katastro.fi media art collective, which received the Young Art in Finland Award in 1998. Juha is also the initiator and director of PixelACHE festival for electronic art and subcultures, taking place annually at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki and frequently traveling to other cities (so far held in New York, Montreal, Stockholm and Paris). Juha was also involved in setting up USVA (underground electronic music events), Avanto Festival (experimental cinema and music), Nifca New Media AiR artist residency program and Amfibio video performance collective.
Juha received his MSc degree on Interactive Digital Media from Helsinki University of Technology and did his minor subject studies at University of Art and Design in Helsinki. He has worked as a software designer at MTV Networks in London, European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN in Geneva and at several game and new media companies in Finland. His art projects mirror++, The Moment of Long Now and Roosa have been featured in numerous exhibitions in Europe and North America.
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