7th Havana Biennial -  Home November 2000 - January 2001Home
Abel Barroso - Statement and details
Abel Barroso. Foto: Binder/Haupt Written down by Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt, based on an interview with the artist. All objects are made of wood.

You will find translations and descriptions of the inscriptions with the large versions of the images (click on the photographs).
The work is an intervention in public space. Since there is the sign "Third World Internet Café" at the entrance, it plays with the idea that people enter the restaurant and really are looking for an Internet cafe. However, the wooden computers that greet them represent rather the kind of technology to which I have access, or to which one has access in the Third World. In Cuba, for example, only people from certain institutions or companies have access to the Internet. Besides, we will never have the same technological development as the First World countries to be able to create a technically refined work. At the same time, my work is a criticism of this kind of art, which often exhibits an excess of technology without saying anything.

At first I had suggested a Third World video hall to the organizers of the Biennial, with televisions with wooden mechanics, but this idea continued to develop. At that moment I made the first computer and the result and the possibilities seemed much more interesting to me.

I noticed that I have arrived at a point with these works regarding the inclusion of the audience at which I have never been before. Earlier I had made works for audience participation, but never with this intensity. Because people come to a place where they drink beer and are together with others, an interaction arises with the objects being shown, it is almost a natural and permanent performance. The basic idea is that people do something with the computers and thereby attempt to understand the technology of the Third World. And when they surf "my" Internet, they will find diverse information that I want to be perceived. Very soon I would like to make an "update" by adding other "websites" so that people see new things.

There is a computer that deals with e-mail: I asked a lot of acquaintances to give me the love letters among their e-mails. I would like to show how people's lives and their relationships to each other change when there is a computer in the house. That does have an influence on the friendships, the habits and even the language.

Of course I am aware that my computers here at the Biennial could break down, but that's no problem. I've got spare parts and they are really cheap.

© Photos on this page:
A. Barroso (5), Binder/Haupt (2) - see ALT-texts

Interview, Translation:
Gerhard Haupt & Pat Binder,
Universes in Universe
 + zoom in. Foto: Abel Barroso

 + zoom in. Foto: Binder/Haupt

 + zoom in. Foto: Abel Barroso

 + zoom in. Foto: Abel Barroso

 + zoom in. Foto: Abel Barroso

 + zoom in. Foto: Abel Barroso
Barroso - 1 Tour

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