Tania Candiani

Tania Candiani is interested in the complex intersection between language systems, sound, and logics of technology. There is some nostalgia for the obsolete in her work, which seeks to make explicit both the discursive content of artifacts, and projections for the future envisioned in the past. Her translation processes between sound, words, patterns, and machines create discursive associations and reveal logics of thinking.

Some of her early works took advantage of the language of embroidery to challenge stereotypical images of gender (Gordas, 2002), subverting notions of power within the private and public spheres (Kaunas Graffiti, 2009), or to rekindle what seemed to be lifeless or submissive (La Constancia dormida, 2006). Likewise, her work with embroidery proposes a new insight into the architectural representation of space (From Floor Plans to Confection Patterns: Apartment Houses in New York City, 1900–1914, 2010). As such, her work established a relationship with architecture that would have consequences later in her career.

The use of embroidery as a language also intersects with the production of narratives (Tales and Other Nightmares,2009); the thread materializes the existence and the power of the line as containment of meaning, generating shapes and functioning as symbols transformed into text, allowing a multiplicity of meanings to occur between the image and the word. Written language from its minimum particles to literary narrative, as well as its oral tradition (Refranes, 2008; Otros paseos. Otras historias, 2010), has been the starting point for many projects during her career. Candiani started exploring the possibilities of technology enabling her to continue her research on time (Plataforma Sonora,2012), embroidery, sound (Sobre el Tiempo, 2008), and narrative (Leer de corrido, 2010).

In recent years, she has collaborated with interdisciplinary working groups (Five variations on phonic circumstances and a pause, 2012). Her projects are focused on promoting links between the history of science, empirical observation techniques, and technological utopias (Serendipia, 2013 and Atlas, 2015), based on the reinterpretation and recreation of forgotten ideas in order to rethink the moment of invention (Máquina para volar, Besnier 1673, 2015), as well as obsolete artefacts and the restoration of professions to understand the organization of thought as inventive discourse.

Her solo projects include: Five variations on phonic circumstances and a pause, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City (2012) and Kiblix IT Linux Festival, Máribor, Slovenia (2014); Serendipia, Artium, Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2013); La Magdalena y otros estudios de campo, Casa del Lago, Mexico City (2013) and Museo de la Ciudad, Querétaro, México (2014); Tania Candiani: From Floor Plans to Confection Patterns: Apartment Houses in New York City, 1900–1914, Abrons Arts Center, New York, USA (2010).

Her work has also been included in several group exhibitions such as: La gravedad de los asuntos, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City (2015) and Polytechnic Museum, Moscow, Russia (2015); Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video, The Jewish Museum, New York, USA (2015); The Future of Fashion is Now, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2014); Prix Ars Electronica, CyberArts Exhibition, OÖ Kulturquartier, Linz, Austria (2013); XI Bienal de Cuenca, Museo de Arte Moderno, Ecuador (2011); Vivienda social y autoconstrucción, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City (2011); Espectrografías. Memorias e historia, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2010); Textile 07/Textile 09, Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania (2007 and 2009); XI Cairo Biennial,Palace of Arts, Cairo, Egypt (2008); Transactions: Contemporary Latin American and Latino Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, USA (2006); Tijuana Sessions, Sala de Exposiciones, Alcalá 31, ARCO 05, Madrid, Spain (2005); IX Salón Bancomer,Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City (2004).

In 2011, Candiani received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2013, the Award of Distinction by the Prix Ars Electronica, in the category of Hybrid Arts. Since 2012 she has been a member of the National System of Art Creators, Mexico. She has participated in several artist-in-residence programs including in Poland, United Kingdom, Austria, USA, Colombia, Russia, Spain, Argentina, Slovenia, Japan, Egypt, and Lithuania.


Session: Ars Combinatoria: Narratives of Association as a Creative Process

My talk is an exercise in associations. I will weave together my interest in the creative possibilities of the chance encounter with the presentation of a series of projects situated at the intersection of language systems, sound, and logics of technology. Mixing the history of science, empirical observation techniques, and a few technological utopias, I will suggest ways of re-thinking the moment of invention, of understanding the organization of thought as its own discourse of invention.