Comments by "ICC Biennale '99" judges about Uirapuru
reproduced in the Biennale catalogue

Catalogue information:
Tittle: ICC BIENNALE '99 Interaction
Editors : KOMATSUZAKI Takuo, KAWAI Haruko,
KAMIKANDA Kei, and SHINODA Takatoshi
Publication Date : November 5, 1999
Contains : 96 pages


"In Eduardo Kac's "Uirapuru" an enormous, brightly colored fish floats above an artificial jungle beckoning us into a humorous utopia rather than burdening us with different kinds of control mecahnism of information from the web. Sitting on the bench in the back and watching the fish meander above I was reminded of the various programs played out in Raymond Russel's "Impressions of Africa". The work involves a fairly complicated system, but listening to the birds voices connected to the Internet one feels oneself drawn into a cyber version of "Impressions of the Amazon". Whatever the mechanisms used, whether the Internet or sensors, the casual surface of works like Kac's is hard to come by." (Judge's Review, p. 71)

Keiji Nakamura was a lecturer in the Faculty of Letters at Doshisha University from1966-85, when he became senior curator at the National Museum of Art, Osaka. He took the post of deputy director and chief curator of ICC in 1995. His published works include Contemporary Art/Paradigm Lost and Contemporary Art/Paradigm Lost II.


"Kac's elaborate installation invites one into an environment that we can explore from multiple points of view. The telerobotic fish hovers above the landscape, embodying the artist's personal mythology which is created out of a dialogue with the facts and myths of the Amazonian rainforest. The viewer's interaction with Kac's installation is extended through the web as virtual and real spaces explore an ecology of place and memory." (Judge's Review, p. 61)

After a 20-year career in the Film and Video Department of the Whitney Museum of American Art, John G. Hanhardt has been Senior Curator of Film and Media Arts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum since 1996.


"Eduardo Kac eschews consolidation in favour of a kind of risk-taking hybridisation, irreverently mixing not only communications media but modalities of myth, metaphor and representation. It is a risk that pays off poetically, providing us with a kind of Roussel/Rousseau world, in which pockets of cyberspace punctuate an almost mall-like plastic reality. Here the pingbirds sing the song of the Internet, the telerobotic blimp rises over a forest of fake vegetation, awakening us to the dawn of a new world, a multi-user universe, of VRML, streaming video and telepresence. In this jungle of communications complexity, the duality of being is celebrated with a lighthearted and brilliantly orchestrated joy." (Judge's Review, p. 55)

Artist and theorist, Roy Ascott pioneered cybernetics, interactivity, and telematics in art. Currently, director of The Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts, University of Wales, Newport and the Science Technology and Art Research Centre, University of Plymouth.

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