Production and Research in the MIDECIANT

The MIDECIANT, as its extended name suggests, is not only a museum of electrographic and electronic arts, but also a centre of artistic creation and research into new technologies dependent on UCLM.

Since its creation in May 1990, and for about twenty-five years, the MIDECIANT has become an active international forum of young and innovative artists, designers and creators in general, which focus their activities on the creation, reflection and audio-visual research on digital art, interactive multimedia and dynamic design and network, as well as media communication in general.

Their labs and workshops on electronic and electrographic art hosted uninterruptedly – up to 2012- a constant stream of national and international artists and creators, which were incorporated to different research projects developed annually at their headquarters in the city of Cuenca from their I+D+i Research Agreements with official institutions and multinational companies in the world of audio-visual technologies, design, education and communication in general and between which may include: Canon Spain, Canon Europe, Apple Europe, Epson UK, Perfect Tranfer, Richmond-Group Editorial Santillana, Telefónica Media, the Council of Europe, the International Telecommunication Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, French Ministry of Education Ministry of Cultural and Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha, or the Government of Cantabria.

The result of its innovative results about experimental artistic practices and new forms of communication, the International Museum of Electrography of Cuenca was honoured in 1999 with the National Prize of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando “for its innovations made to Graphic Arts. “.

Main Research Projects Developed in the MIDE 

Lead projects or those in which have participated some of the most relevant MIDECIANT researchers have been numerous, such as:

  • Aleph-arts.org. 1996. Multimedia artist Ricardo Echeverria in that moment fellow of the MIDE (which reached the post of Multimedia Manager in TERRA) developed in their laboratories the first ideas and prototypes of what would become one of the websites in Spanish most powerful of transition between the twentieth and twenty-first century. Aleph-arts.org, which later, and – out of the MIDE- would be developed and solidified, reaching international significance due to the active participation of the critic and professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Cuenca José Luis Brea and the programmer Luis Fernández.
  • Interactive multimedia application for a beta model of a dictionary of Richmond Co. with an On Line orientation. 1998-1999. In 1998 one of the group of multidisciplinary research of the MIDE (led by José Ramón Alcalá, and with specialists in artificial intelligence as the engineer Miguel Ángel Fernández the programmer Gabriel Sebastian, the English philologist of the University of Oxford, Nicholas Rolling and the multimedia designers Fred Adam, David Cano, Veronica Perales, Pablo Garcia and Rafael Martinez), developed the project R&D+i “Design of an interactive multimedia application for a beta model of a dictionary of Richmond Co. with an On Line orientation” for the Richmond Publishing company (Santillana Group Publishing S.A.). They signed a Bilateral Agreement for this research under the Art. 11 of the LRU. The resulting prototype was selected for the sample “100 years of Spanish Design”, exhibited in 2000 at the National Centre of Art Reina Sofia in Madrid. This consisted of a prototype of an interactive multimedia application and its corresponding on-line version of a proposal for the future of language dictionaries, understood as whole experience of language in the global society of the new audio-visual technologies of XXI century. Its revolutionary interface, based on the digital graphic design and representation through a visual metaphor was supported by a “search engine” smart consisting of a powerful software application that was translated graphically and instantaneously by the media application created for this purpose. Supposed, at that time, a breakthrough in the concept of access to the information and was a revolution in the experiences on language and overall experience of language to replace the traditional dictionary based on the technologies of printing or its virtualized concept.
  • CJIS (Cultural Journeys in the Information Society) UE Project. 2000-2001. Through 2000 and 2001, the MIDECIANT participated in a research project R&D+i funded by the European Community (INCO-DC project No. 973324) with other research groups from Universities of the eastern Mediterranean coast (Cairo, Amman, Cyprus and Athens). This project was titled as CJIS (Cultural Journeys in the Information Society) and the researchers of the MIDECIANT worked as responsible for designing the interface to the navigation system of the application of computer prototype created specifically to be incorporated into the Internet and which would house and manage the cultural content of these non-European countries on the southern fringe Mediterranean.
  • Oceans of Know. 2000-2002. During the years 2000-2002, Fred Adam and Veronica Perales, fellows of the MIDECIANT, led a working group which worked with a research group of the Education Division of the multinational Bell Atlantic of US, creating links between their educative project “Ocean of Know”, based on the creation and maintenance of a robotic farmhouse in the outskirts of the city of New York with Hispanic immigrants and a group of schoolchildren in the area of high mountains Cuenca, constructing, this way, a complex and intercultural experience which was pioneer in the field of social application of creative use of new technologies.
  • e.GALAB “Virtual Gallery and Laboratory for Electronic Art” European competitive program CULTURE 2000. 2002-2003. During 2002-2003, a team of researchers from MIDECIANT headed by José Ramón Alcalá, worked on the development of a research project I + D + i financed by the European competitive program CULTURE 2000 and titled: e.GALAB “Virtual Gallery and Laboratory for Electronic Art “. The general coordination of the project was conducted by Pavel Smetana, director of the International Center of Art and New Technology (CIANT) of Prague (Czech Republic) and who also was involved in the research group CYPRES in Marseille (France), coordinated by the pioneer of electronic art and professor Louis Bec. This project developed, theoretically, conceptually and practically, several models of interfaces and navigation systems based on user recognition system using avatars for implementation in potential prototypes of artistic multidimensional workspaces, interactive tele-shared (multiuser) and their corresponding galleries of disclosing online.
  • “Collections of electrographic and digital art of the MIDE. Management, conservation, restoration and dissemination of their funds” regional CLM EU FEDER research project. 2014-2017. Researchers of the MIDE (with its former director, José Ramón Alcalá as Main Researcher) leaded a relevant research project with the aim to consolidate the MIDE and its international important media art collections. It was a project obtained in the call for multi annual projects of scientific research 2014-2017 with European FEDER funds convened by the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha in 2013 and is funded with € 149,057,00.
  •  “Creating and Study of CAAC (Collections and Archives of Contemporary Art) in Cuenca” MINECO Project. 2014-2017. Researchers of the MIDE (with its former director, José Ramón Alcalá as Main Researcher) leaded a relevant research project with the aim to create and study the Collections and Archives of Contemporary Art in Cuenca as a methodological model for an investigation of Excellence in Fine Arts. It was won in the Call for I & D projects of State program of promoting scientific and technical research of Excellence (State Sub-programme of knowledge generation) of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Finance, provided with € 48.400,00 and in which five Spanish universities are participating.
  •  “Creation of the Spanish Archive of Media Art”. 2017-2019. Currently, researchers of the MIDE (with its actual director, Ana Navarrete as Main Researcher) lead this research project, as a part of the National project titled “Vocabularies for a Network of Archives and Collections of Media Art and its effects: metaliteracy and knowledge tourism” (with Professor of the University Carlos III of Madrid, Miguel Ángel Marzal as main Researcher). It was won in the Call for I & D projects of State program of promoting scientific and technical research of Excellence (State Sub-programme of knowledge generation) of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Finance, provided with € 36.600,00 and in which this two Spanish universities are participating.

 

 

Support and Development of Electronic Art Projects by National and International Artists 

Among the dozens of projects of significance and impact related to the fields of electronic arts developed by members of MIDECIANT since 1994 in its laboratories and workshops as technical and conceptual ideas supporting national and international artists, highlights a number of productions around multimedia creation, interactive installations and / or interactive net.art. In them stands out the innovations around the discursive aspects and technical-expressive as nonlinear interactive navigation, digital iconography, hypermedia script, or interface design forms, and whose fundamental research proposals on other issues highlighted technical or commercial, making these pieces into works of art and contemporary design. Among the highlights, we can cite:

  • “Multimedia Narrations”, presented in 1995, was the first interactive multimedia artwork produced at the MIDECIANT Labs and was created by the scholars and artists Ricardo Echeverria, Luz Gil and Fred Adam under the direction of Professor J. R. Alcalá. This gave rise to the following compilation on CD-ROM -published in 2001, held in multimedia format support, covering a whole range of interactive multimedia production developed by various national and international artists in the laboratories of the centre.
  • “Rent a Body”, made in 1996; for the artist and activist performer Paco Cao was the first multimedia request that was done to the MIDE. Cao used this work as a demand-catalogue interactive in his Spanish-New Yorker project “Rent a Body” financed by the Board of Asturias from 1996-2000.
  • “Sotos” is a production, which is part of a serial of personal works of the artist Fred Adam, made in the laboratories of the MIDECIANT in Cuenca. They are pieces of artistic creation in which the discursive imposes its law. In this sense, this multimedia application, created in 1994 in its first version and modified in a second version in 1997, reveals a brilliant proposal designed by the young French artist about the concept of interface and navigation to present the secrets of this tiny village of Cuenca where the viewer can get to know their characters, Sotos´s neighbour. Through their conversations, Fred shows us the daily life of a small, enclosed society, which still survives with ancient beliefs and that has not fully grasped the development of modern Spain. Thought, culture, religion and sex, are unravelling through the three forms of navigation that Fred has proposed, in a digital iconography, which is, delusional and staff.
  • “Biotope” was created byFredAdam(anda youth group of French artists) in 1996for the Ministry of Agriculture of France, through a charge received by the Centred’Art Rur’art, and collaborating with the MIDECIANT of This work consists of the design of an interface to navigate through a representation of the area of the French countryside. This piece is a great advance for education systems of representation of issues of natural sciences on interactive multimedia applications. This work won the 1stPrize Multimedia INAIMAGINA’96 Festival in Milan.
  • The artistic groupSEAC(ConceptArt Euskadi Team) presented in the temporary exhibition room of the MIDE in Cuenca in 1997, an audio-visual installation as a result of fellows works inits “Artists in Residence” program. As catalogue, was edited aCD-ROM containing the interactive multimedia piece “Situaciones Nurse”, created expressly for the MIDECIANT as well as the electronic compilation of its previous works and performances. This production represents are ference model for later editions of multimedia catalogues about
  • “San Pedro Mártir El Real” created between 1994-1998, by Ricardo Echeverria, Luz Gil, Jorge Santamaría, José Perona and Miguel Nuñez, under the direction of José Ramón Alcalá. It is an original production of the MIDECIANT charged by the rector team of the University of Castilla-La Mancha to advertise the documentary material extracted from the archaeological, architectural and historical works of the urban complex “San Pedro Mártir Real” in Toledo, which was donated by the Board of Castilla-La Mancha to this University to become its university headquarters in this historical Spanish city. This application represents a reference model of post multimedia productions around the documentation. San Pedro Mártir proposed a different interface for each discipline, taking into account the characteristics and aspirations of architects, archaeologists, historians and art historians about the sources and the necessary documentary material that is offered to understand the evolution and characteristics of this hidden history of the city of Toledo and all this in a unified navigation system that provides access to the complex and rich documentary tree that will make this production a valuable and irreplaceable consultation document.
  • The first”official institutional web” of the MIDECIANT marked the second of its versions online and was developed by a group of creators of MIDE formed byFredAdam, AlejandroDuque,VeronicaPerales,CarlosSanchez,RoyGuadalupe,MartaFernández-Calvo and computer engineer Joaquín Jara, led by JoséRamónAlcalá. Highly acclaimed at that time by¡ experts, critics and the general public, this web site was a real exercise of reflection on the space of representation of the Internet and its communicational power. Based graphically on a styling exercise, specifically developed for the”web space” through the new software, presents an innovative way of navigation, an avant-garde concept of presence-absence supported on the communicational potential of hypermedia and the
  • The work piece of net-activism “Novus Extinctus” by Transnational Temps group (formed by Andy Deck -New York, Fred Adam -Nantes-, and Veronica Perales -Madrid-), and which received one of the select prizes of the Aid International Life 0 of Telefónica Foundation in 2002.
  • The virtual prototype of the online memory”Vivant-e, 2.0″ by the creator Veronica Perales, carried out in 2004in the laboratories of MIDECIANT and with the collaboration of several national and international centers such as Cypres Marseille.
  • “Laberintos Posibles” was a piece of interactive multimedia on the demolition of the houses of suburban neighbourhood of Palma de Mallorca, devised by the Balearic artist Pepa Llausás, and performed between 2003 and 2004, with the technical collaboration of the researchers residents of the MIDECIANT, Fernando Fuentes and Chilean artist Sara Malinarich.
  • The project “Human: All Rights Reserved”, by the artists Montse Arbelo and Joseba Franco, was a complex interactive installation made in 2004, in 3D and complemented with Motion Capture technology for real-time performances, thanks to the collaboration of Marseille Interactivity Groupled by the French artist Pascal Silondi (who had already collaborated with the MIDECIANT in the GALAB project).It was an installation and a number of performances around a virtual tour inside the human body, virtualized of both artists, and was shown at museums and festivals as prestigious as theMACBA in Barcelona, Valencia Observatory or the La Recova Center of Art, in the CanaryIslands.
  • The interface and digital art work for the play”TheHat” of the British creator Zsuzsanna Ardo, presented at the Edinburgh Festival in 2004, and which was developed in the laboratories and workshops of the MIDECIANT.
  • The collaboration with I+D+i project, ” Interfaces Dinámicas Evolutivas” (INDEVOL) which was financed with funds from the regional Board of Castilla-La Mancha, in which the group’s researchers “CulturalInterfaces”of the UCLM
    and was led by the artist and professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Cuenca, Ana Navarrete and in which the multimedia productions company I+Dean do was involved.
  • The project “Incorrectas”,an audio-visual production of the Spanish artist living in Paris, Ana Developed during 2005-2006, in the laboratories of the MIDECIANT New Media Art, with the collaboration of Fernando Fuentes, Tomeu Pascual, Arantxa Baquero, Javier Gamero, GuillermoGarcia andArturoGarcía.It is based on the recreation of a digital3D environment animated over flows a series of video graphic projections accompanied by the creation of an electronic sounds cape produced by Ivan Solano, from apiece of cloth, which was initially conceived by the artistas theatre and choral piece performed in Paris in 2004, generating lots of-voiced and audio-visual -as memory of those representations. The end result is not one but several pieces, which can be syn the sized by two works/main presentation:
    • “Incorrects”: Short film in digital format, 33 minutes long consisting of multiple multilayer videography sequences, becoming evolutionary skin of different virtual three-dimensional scenes constructed such effect. Formally, it is a complex piece based on the recreation of a digital animated 3D environment on which flows a series of videography projections pre-recorded of the scenography representations of genre text of Ana Solano, accompanied by the creation of an electric sound environment produced by Ivan Solano. Discursively, this is dozens of a sound layer dozens of text merging with the visual layers to the rhythm of new rhythm imposed by volatility and sequentially in a loop of the virtualized environment. Conceptually it is based on a multiplicity of fake images of simulated identities. They are artistic languages, textual masses that melt and break with the sonorous material, or rather, with their results, because several pieces of different claims and duration were mounted (several versions according to the three films adapted from 59’, 13’ y 2,5’).
    • “Trapped by a biological impairment: Sex – Gender”: An audio-visual installation based on the piece of animation “Incorrects” where electroacoustic music shapes a cyberspace where the corporal deconstructions give rise to create simulated identities, new identities where / visitors behave as transforming parts of those identities. “Trapped…” is part of fragmented material. A temporal course of our mutations filled bodies and pollutions. The layout of a body map that dismantles and mutates into different artistic languages. Given its ribbing, this piece creates layers without beginning or end, allowing us to observe the fragility of bodies from the Greeks to the 21st century real challenge of this trilogy that part of a testimonial document. It was presented for the first time at the International Audio-visual Festival of Cadiz, in September 2006.
  • Palmistry is an Interactive Installation by the Andalusian artist Daniel Palacios, who developed it entirely in the laboratories of MIDECIANT in 2006. It was selected for the first time in the Open Art Festival in September 2006 in Zaragoza, and gave rise to a piece of electronic art awarded at the Arts Electronica festival in Linz in 2008 and in the Competition Life of the Telefónica Foundation that year.