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By Rhizome

Trained as a mathematician, Barcelona-based Colombian artist Santiago Ortiz brings together his scientific background and exploration of new technologies to develop a poetic yet politically engaged internet-related practice. Interested in computer programming as an extension of literary writing, many of his projects possess a discursive dimension. This is the case in his well-know ongoing project, 'Spheres,' in which a growing community of users produces both a realistic and allegorical narrative--either in English, Spanish, or Portuguese--by pairing, often in an arbitrary way, 122 different words. Other pieces involving language are 'Edgardo’s Brain (The Inventor of Stories),' in which text is generated through a random algorithm, as well as 'Argentinean bacteria,' in which the artist has created a trophic net--a system where organisms feed on each other--by exploring the textual configuration of 'Edgardo’s Brain (The Inventor of Stories),' as the text operates as a genetic code, defining the characteristics of entities and rearranging them each time one entity is eaten by other. Recently, Ortiz has considered another of his interests, the structures of knowledge within the digital realm, by elegantly addressing the popular social bookmarking website del.icio.us in works such as 'NeuroZappingFolks.' According to the artist, 'NeuroZappingFolks' consists of a non-linear zapping through del.icio.us accounts (...) simulating a frantic navigation through the web.' Currently, he is developing an application that allows the visualization of the relations established between tags and bundles in del.icio.us accounts connected to 6pli, thus continuing his examination of the multiple identities of the internet, that evolve on a daily basis through the massive upload of information by individuals and organizations. ‐ Miguel Amado

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