On the Bridge Between Bolivia and Computers


Presentation Title:

  • On the Bridge Between Bolivia and Computers




  • Author was released to create interactive textbooks, but it has great potential for art books. I will discuss the media and interactive features on the iBook that enhance an artist’s ability to tell their story, for example: video; music; voice-over; interactive Keynote presentations, which can have hot spots that link to other slides and individual objects that can move; links to sections of the book, or to web page and the ability to zoom into an image, The iBook can be a compelling, inexpensive format to present artists’ work and catalogs.

    Intro: Telling Personal Stories of Memory, Time, and Space

    On my fifth birthday I heard a voice, “You must tell your story.” I don’t remember if the voice was in Spanish or English. At that moment, I promised I would never forget the pain I felt emigrating from Bolivia to the United States. Though I emigrated when I was only three, it has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. I left an extended family, where I had felt confident and safe. Emigrating to New York made our family feel alien and helpless, living in a country where we didn’t speak the language. On that fifth birthday I swore that someday I would find the way to tell my story. Every year on my birthday I reminded myself of my promise. In 1979 I found the tool I would use to tell my stories, the personal computer, but it would be years before I had the hardware, software, and computer knowledge. Finally in 1987, I was ready to begin.

    Telling Stories using Multimedia
    Telling my stories was a calling. Initially the voice came to me when I was five, but has continued over the years in my dreams and travels to my homeland. It was only when I saw that computer that I knew I had found the medium that could capture the emotional richness of these experiences, combining images, words, and most importantly interactivity. By creating multimedia pieces I made the stories concrete, externalized them and better understood them. Along with different media elements, I incorporated techniques such as branching, layering, and telling the same story from a variety of different perspectives, even in different languages. In some pieces I would include a voice-over in Spanish or English that expressed a more personal thought or feeling. Often the text and voice are counterpoints to each other. This paper is divided into my Altar Sangre Boliviana and installation Khuritos Infinitos. Within these two works are my personal stories about emigrating, as well as my experience as an adult revisiting my homeland, awakening to the social injustice, and my admiration of the indigenous cultures as stewards of the land.

    Altar: Sangre Boliviana (Bolivian Blood) 1992-2002
    Sangre Boliviana is a CD-ROM, which is presented as either just a CD-ROM or in the context of an altar, with a frame around the computer, on a table that looked like it belonged in a church. Sangre Boliviana is a postmodern collage including fragments of my story of being an immigrant, growing up bicultural and discovering Bolivia’s culture and worldview. Each of the six sections has its own style and interaction.

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