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  • Number, RGB
  • Iván Esquivel

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(top) Number, video, 3 min, 2nd Festival Internacional de Video Arte, Lima, 1998. (bottom) RGB, video, 4 min, Lima, 1998. (All works © Iván Esquivel) The circus has come to town. How much RAM do you have? IDE or SCSI? Accelerator cards or render farms? 3D? 2D? Lightwave, Softimage or Maya? Firewire? Raid? Linear or non-linear? It's hard to say whether we're looking at a video-related exhibition or a power computer technology showcase. "Bigger is better," goes the saying, as the monitors show the workers' skill with their shiny machines. That's what I see, and I'm impressed. But in the same way that a surfing championship or a bikini contest might impress me. Everyone is showing what they have and what they know how to do better. "I can render 90,354 million polygons per second, and you?" Well, I can't, but to see such digital onanism brings other concerns to my mind. A shameless trend towards excess and fireworks, eye candy as religion, and not only in First-World exhibits; I've seen it in small countries' work, too, where, to achieve that "contemporary look," artists tend to make intensive use of an always-handy (and vast) collection of plug-ins, not to mention abandoning their more "conventional" art practices for the same reason: working with video is trendy, you know, and austerity has become a crime. No, my system can't render 90,354 million polygons per second; I know it's a shame, but if my software and hardware work OK, taking me from premise A and B to conclusion C, it will be more than enough for me.

About the other hardware—the computer itself—it has never been a problem. If something happens, fortunately, I know I'll find the best way to sort things out. Contact: Iván Esquivel Naito, Edificio Los Olivos, departamento 612, Ingreso 3, Residencial San Felipe, Jesus Maria, Lima, Perú. E-mail: <osterizer@>. [End Page 363]



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