This essay by the sound artist Juan Reyes (b. 1962) provides important insight into the unexplored and incipient history of electronic media in Colombia. Reyes is known in the field for his multi-disciplinary training, which has led him to develop a range of interests that, at first glance, seem to be unrelated. He is essentially concerned with the possible relationships between art and music, listening, perception, and cognitive response, performance, and the electronic arts (see “Estados Alternados” [Altered States], doc. # 1098706).
The field of electronic arts in Colombia is rather limited. As a result, expressions such as video art (see Historia del videoarte [History of Video Art], doc. # 1130869), sound art, and similar art of the period in general have been largely ignored due to a lack of public interest driven by a variety of prejudices linked to a conservative strain of modernism. Essays like this one help to explain Reyes’ position as a media artist and his approach in terms of alternative composition. Based on his work, it could be said that Reyes articulates his ideas like a hacker (see “El Artista como hacker” [The Artist as Hacker], doc. # 1099561,) appropriating them and then creating a blend of “available” local and foreign material in order to subvert it.
Currently, the boundaries between electro-acoustic composition and sound art are blurred. As a result, these disciplines are constantly being reviewed and reinvented at events like the Festival de Música Contemporánea [Contemporary Music Festival] (founded in 1990) and Colón Electrónico [Electronic Columbus] (founded in 2002), both of which are held in Bogotá.