Oscar Fernández López
With the decline of the warmth of post-modernism and its dealers, devouring images and objects of merchandise, at the end of a period lacking any interest in opening up channels between artistic production and the social domain, an exciting and necessary debate has emerged, arbitrated from the new horizon of social and aesthetic experience, concerning the renegotiation of artistic practices which define recent technological advances in terms of new forms of telecommunication and access to information. Dematerialised and, occasionally, anonymous; transdisciplinary and anti-era, net-art manages to avoid any "spaces of impunity"1 and deferred presences programmed by institutionally integrated media channels.
As with his video pieces from the 90s, the e-works of Tete Álvarez deal with this aim of subverting the fetishised objectuality of the artistic, tending towards Paul Virilio's aesthetic of disappearance as a transcendental driving force for a chrono-political reconsideration of post-capitalist society. This disintegration of the work is revealed as a process of stripping down its geographical anchoring, its reified nature and its temporary territorialisation. As of this moment, the experience of art takes place in real time; its importance is no longer one of representation, testimony or simulation.
In returning "to the real", the artistic production of Tete Álvarez abandons the concept of Platonic "techné phantastiké", according to which "the technique of the artist, namely imitation, does not consist of "copying nature", but of "producing simulacra", not a resemblance of the real, but a difference"2 , guiding it towards a policy of occurrence considered from the same conditions of ubiquity, instantaneousness and immediacy which Paul Virilio describes as epiphanies of that absolute power of communication that has tyrannised informational society3 , yet transforming it into resistant aesthetic mechanisms.
Redefining the artistic in the same media channels of post-capitalist standardisation, questioning their mechanisms of feedback, Tete Álvarez moves on from his previous reflections on the televisual phenomenon as a "telepolitan" sublimation of the neo-imperialism of integrated Debordian spectacle and on the artificialism of feigned landscapes as a categorisation of the simulacrum, towards the explicitation of the new post-Ford economic dictatorships. This logical evolution from a criticism of spectacularised society to a more active strategy of control does not identify, however, with either the inoperativeness of the utopia of technological redemption or the specific practice of artistic intervention/integration in the public sphere, powerfully presented from new platforms of active resistance.
Instead, his discourse accepts the concept of "artistic creation on the net as a discovery of the latent operations that lie behind the exaltation of the intense detail peculiar to advertising and consumption"4 , conjecturing an indexical logical discourse, thrown together by a sense of the ironic and the playful, taking shape in indiscriminate visual/conceptual assemblies built on corporate images of multinationals responsible for the perverse yet vulnerable "global fortress" that has emerged from the darkest flip side of the cross-border utopia of Marshall McLuhan.
(1) Larcade, F.: "Pensar es fácil, actuar es dificil. consonni" en Llano, Pedro de; Gutiérrez, Xose Lois (eds.): En tiempo real. El arte mientras tiene lugar, Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña, 2001, p. 92. (
2) Pardo, J.L.: "Naturaleza y arte a finales del siglo XX. Ensayo sobre la falta de significado", en VV.AA.: rostro @ representación. com. Cuadernos Arteleku nº 13, Donostia, 1998, p. 13.
(3) Virilio, P.: El cibermundo, la política de lo peor, Cátedra, Madrid, 1997, p. 19.
(4) Martín Prada, J.: "El net.art o la definición social de los nuevos medios", en Brea, J. L. (coord.): net.artmadrid.net, Ayto. Madrid, Madrid, 2001, p. 11.