We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Carolina Estarita Guerrero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ana Carolina, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Whenever we hear that a work of art “stands in the intersection of art and technology” or is “multimedia” what we are actually hearing is that a work of art is a product of a collaborative process. There’s a general understanding of a piece of art as the materialization of one artist’s unique vision. However, this doesn’t hold true for interactive art, as it is by its own nature, a product of the cross pollination of multiple disciplines. These multiple disciplines need multiple perspectives. Even in cases where we see a piece where an artist appears as a sole author, there have been hours of consulting and research where the expertise of other people from other disciplines had informed and shaped the decisions taken by the artist. There’s no author in its ivory tower in interactive art.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an Immersive media and experiential designer first and foremost. What that means is that, for me, the work of art exists not in the objects, circuits or programs I create, but in the interaction between the user and thepiece. The artwork doesn’t exist until someone interacts with it. With that in mind, when working on a project I think of it as a set of physical prompts that invite the participants to relate with their surroundings in new and uncharted ways. These prompts can take any shape, but more often than not there’s both a physical and an audio visual component that relies heavily on projection mapping or XR. A lot of times I use circuits or programs to use custom inputs like touch, location, motion, to activate the pieces. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of this work is collaborative. I usually start with a simple idea on my brain of what I want the user to experience when approaching the piece, and from there I reverse engineer a way to achieve that effect using the aforementioned tools of XR, projection mapping, circuits and installation. Depending so much on technology means that as the project progresses it changes as well. Sometimes there are technical limitations, like technologies that are still not robust enough, other times there are budgetary limitation.When these constraints appear, the one thing that allows me to work around them is getting back to that initial prompt of what I want the public to feel when they interact with the piece. It is very easy to get wrapped in the technology and go down the rabbit hole of getting it perfect, but in the end the technology is just a tool for achieving a result. And that means that sometimes, halfway a project a certain technology is discarded for a simpler one that can achieve the same result or even better without that many bells and whistles, because the most important thing of my work is what happens when the public interacts with it not the technological tools behind it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I was born in Colombia in a city known for how rooted in traditional folklore it is. That means that I grew up with a deep sense of my roots and traditions. but it means as well, that I didn’t actually experience many different traditions until I traveled out of it. I think that maybe for that reason my favorite thing of LA is its cultural diversity. I know, so original of me, but I really mean it. Going from one country to another through the neighborhoods and their cuisine is such a wonderful experience..That’s like my number 1 bragging point when talking about LA to all my friends back home. So definitely we’d take a stroll around Little Tokyo, and grab a bite in Sushi Enya, followed by a Honeymee Matcha Honey ice cream. Another thing I think is a must is the Huntington Gardens, and in particular the Chinese garden. And not to be crazy about gardens, but the Getty Center gardens + Museum definitely as well.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As an artist that collaborates all the time, I am very aware of my current and past influences and artists whose works inspire me constantly. Artist like Tonia B, and Anna Luisa Petrisko who have been long time collaborators, mentors like Jeanette Bonds, organizations like GLAS Animation Festival, that make an active effort to showcase other voices, from other backgrounds. Artists whose work I admire greatly like Reed Von Brunschot, Crystal Jow and Brenda Chen, are all one little part of the big net of sources that inspire and motivate my work. In my early beginnings, collectives like the Reclab collective and the Especies de Espacios think tank in Colombia where critical to the creation of the philosphy behind my work. Honestly, if I could, I’d just do a long list of names, because I can do what I do only through the support all my friends, collaborators and institutions like the Torrance Art Museum or the USC International artist fellowship, that had believe in my vision and ideas.
Daniel (Xiaobo) Ma Lisa Mann Sergio Vasquez