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Net Art Latino Database

Netart is not dead. It just smells funny. – Brian Mackern, net artist.

Created by Uruguayan artist Brian Mackern, netart latino database is a hand-coded, text-only website containing hundreds of links to works by Latin American artists as well as related online discussions and criticism. An archive as well as an artwork, it is described in the introduction to an eponymous 2010 book as “springing from one person’s unprecedented decision to create such a compilation without the help of anything other than his computer and perseverance.”

While ASCII art is associated with lo-fi aesthetics among artists in the US and Europe, Mackern has argued that this has a different meaning elsewhere. Low-tech solutions are less of an aesthetic choice than a practical constraint for many artists.

In this case, the text-based ASCII map loads much more quickly than a JPEG or GIF of comparable size. This made the site more readily accessible to visitors who lacked access to broadband connections.

The ASCII map serves as a site map, with each country labeled with its two-letter domain name—.mx for Mexico, .ve for Venezuela—and each domain name linking to lists of works identified with that country. (RT: Cover of book)

The inverted map of Latin America is a creation of the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres García. In it, he proposes a change in cultural geopolitics based on the metaphor of the North (as a guide or goal to achieve) and the geographic location of Latin America.



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