Young artist-editors gather at Museo de Arte de Ponce

en Plaza las Américas in Puerto Rico

Live Streaming: August 6 @ 6pm

San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 29 2009 –Six artists from Puerto Rico—all of whom are currently working as blog and web page editors—will speak on Thursday, August 6th at 6:00 pm about the importance and role of art blogs in Puerto Rico. The speakers will discuss the expectations and current attitudes toward blogging.

The talk, Encounter with Art Blogs: Puerto Rico and Beyond will take place at Museo de Arte de Ponce at Plaza Las Américas (MAP@PLAZA) and will be transmitted live online. This conference is part of a series of educational programs at Museo de Arte de Ponce (MAP) sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In celebration of MAP’s 50th Anniversary this cultural forum provides the public with encounters with artists, architects, writers, and cultural promoters. The lectures offer a way for MAP to include voices from the community in its process of re-opening in Ponce in the fall of 2010.

In Puerto Rico the phenomenon of art blogs has grown over the last five years, and today there are no less than 25 specifically dedicated to art. The importance of blogs as news media, art criticism and as a record of the contemporary art scene in Puerto Rico is such that “many issues wouldn’t have transcended, or even been heard of before, if it weren’t for the unpaid editorial work done by each one of these artists from their virtual sites,” states Carlos Antonio Otero, editor of El naufragio de las palabras.

Art web pages created in Puerto Rico began appearing on the Internet in 1995, when the artist Maria de Mater O’Neill founded the first online art magazine, El Cuarto del Quenepón, which proposed a greater democratization of art through the new technology.

Art websites and blogs in Puerto Rico currently include: 23+ InterrogantesAutogiroBox ScoreCarnadasCastro SoundCoalición de Artistas de Puerto RicoConbocada*Blog V1Desafío-Diálogo DigitalEl naufragio de las palabras,Fractal WorldFrente SónicoHARTELa JotaLos balcones de San JuanMSAXNoctámbuloOrificioOzsoPost Data,Quantum de la CunetaRepuestoRotund WorldTeknoKultura, and Trance Líquido.

Participants of Encounter with Art Blogs: Puerto Rico and Beyond include Carmen Olmo -Terrasa (moderator) fromDondeVeoArte, Javier Martínez from Autogiro, Carlos Antonio Otero from El naufragio de las palabras, W & N fromRepuesto, Pedro Vélez from BoxScore, and Lilliam Nieves and Arnaldo Román from Trance LíquidoThe last three will be present via online communication: Vélez will web cast from Chicago, and Nieves and Román from Berlin.

The web is an invaluable instrument for keeping up with artists and their activities as well as for providing a virtual forum for discussions. Moderator Carmen Olmo -Terrasa agrees: “People had known for some time now that the Internet would bring changes to society; although a vast number continue to resist, it will only be a matter of time before they realize that resistance will only cause further isolation. Not to mention that a majority of people are unaware that they are living in the Web 2 era—participation and interactive processes such as social-networking sites,video-sharing sitesblogs—and that Web 3—leading new possibilities toward artificial intelligence—is already coming.” Olmo-Terrasa graduated with a B. A. from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas (San Juan, 1992) and a M. A. from Pratt Institute (New York, 1996). She worked on the pioneering online magazine El Cuarto del Quenepón and in 2007

In addition to hearing new voices in Puerto Rico, this panel discussion will allow the museum to collaborate with the Universidad del Este, an important university in Puerto Rico part of the Ana G. Méndez University System. Staff of the Universidad del Este will provide technical equipment and their expertise in the facilitating of the live web cast.

As a preview to Encounter with the Art Blogs, MAP will screen Refresh: Projections of New Media at MAPRefresh will include five short videos: Curator Talk by Teo Freytes (Puerto Rico), Walking in the Victorine’s Shadows by Tricia Sellman (Canada), Red Curtain by Astrid Menz (Germany), Here by Zoran Poposki (Macedonia), and The Source is Thirsty to Taste Itself by Elaine Despins (Canada).

The concept of “refresh” comes from the browser’s refresh button, which allows a static page to update information that has changed. Refreshing is tantamount to restoring strength, animation, and stimulation. MAP is, in addition to renewing its building and reinstalling its collection, “willing to send a new signal: a museum open to new ways of connecting with a young community of artists and the public,” as stated by MAP’s Assistant Curator María Arlette de la Serna and coordinator of this event in collaboration with Carmen Olmo-Terrasa.

The selected videos address the concepts of new and change—as regards identity or politics or a discourse on historical antagonisms,” says guest artist-editor Arnaldo Román from Berlin. In a conversation via Facebook, he recalls that “the vast majority of artists, especially those in Europe, focus on topics that are related to their current historical situation, change, and globalization, and how it has affected the state of things, for better or for worse.” The public can see Refresh at MAP@PLAZA from August 1st (beginning at 3:00 pm) through August 6th, with general admission to the current exhibition Museo de Arte de Ponce: Fifty Years looking to the Future.

About Museo de Arte de Ponce

Museo de Arte de Ponce is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. MAP was created to serve the general public by collecting, preserving, studying, and exhibiting visual arts of the western tradition from the fourteenth century to the present moment. Museo de Arte de Ponce encourages an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of art, artists, and their contexts, and is committed to fostering awareness of Puerto Rico’s cultural heritage so it may continue for present and future generations. Museo de Arte de Ponce is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM).

General admission: adults: $5.00 + IVU; children under age 12, students with ID, and senior citizens: $2.50 + IVU. MAP members, clergy, and disabled persons: are admitted free of charge.

MAP@PLAZA (satellite in San Juan)

Museo de Arte de Ponce en Plaza Las Américas

525 FD Roosevelt Ave.

Third floor, store # 611

Hato Rey, PR 00918

Telephone: (787) 200-7090

Fax: (787) 200-7094

  • Encounter with Art Blogs: Puerto Rico and Beyond is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

  • The talk on August 6th, Encounter with Art Blogs: Puerto Rico and Beyond, is free of charge.