Florencia S.M. Bruck is an Argentine artist born to a German mother and Italian-Argentinian father, and raised between Milan and Buenos Aires. In 1996, she moved to Washington DC and founded “9th Insight”, a programming company with a marketing and communications division that develops and creates internet projects for major organizations such as Discovery Channel, The World Bank, The International Finance Corporation, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft Xbox, Mediaset, the Smithsonian Institution, Marriot and Alcatel-Lucent, among others.
Florencia examines the relationship between the virtual and natural worlds, the starting point for the artist’s comparative discovery between technology and art, which is based primarily on her past experience as a programmer in the 1990s when there were few female researchers working in this sector and she was one. An Internet pioneer, she co-created one of the first streamed concert (OSOC) on 9/9/1999, the website for the World Bank (IMF), the first virtual environments for the America’s Cup in Valencia and many other projects that were ahead of their time. Part of her artistic expression deals with the concept of time as the duration of perception when conscious together with the theme of death and parallel universes. The “Out-of-Body” installation unveiled in 2020 at the Kunsthalle Faust in Hanover, Germany is a generative artwork where a visual algorithm divides the human form into two spectra to recreate an experience the artist had of autoscopy when she drowned in a swimming pool when she was just 5 years old. This is a fascinating installation in which the figure of the person interacting with the work becomes recognizable and transforms the experience into a spiritual one.
Her thinking stems from research into the behavior of human beings in the age of new media and new social awareness.
”I SEEK TO NAVIGATE THE CONFLUENCE OF ART, AWARENESS AND TECHNOLOGY. TO EXPRESS AND QUESTION THE TENSION THAT EXISTS IN THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE HUMAN, THE ARTIFICIAL AND NATURE”
In 2019, she presented FFH (Far From Home) at the Venice Biennale of Art. The work consists of a polycarbonate portal mapped with graphs generated from a data set reflecting “the migration of the world’s population”. The portal also detects human proximity and modifies the algorithm values to make the viewer aware of their own displacement and learn about the 68.5 million people forced to move away from home. This includes 40 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), 25.4 million refugees and 3.1 million political asylum seekers.
One of her most recent works, conceived during the lockdown period (between 2020 and 2021) is “Feedback Society”, an installation presented at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in the Giudecca Art District. This work stems from a reflection on the time and world in which we live, where interactions have reduced drastically, and a vision of the future is born from the introspection generated by isolation. In a timeless setting rich in architecture, surrounded by a multiverse space, Feedback Society creates an immersive installation projecting the visitor into an infinite space that thrives off the vision of being in the immediate future and the self-perception of living in the past. The installation is a fusion of analogue-digital monochromatic projections that portray a visual perception that transcends the physical limits of gravity, space, size and time; an infinite repetitive recurrence, constantly redefined by analogue optical simulations altered by the presence of the spectator. The visitors observe themselves from behind and flipped upside-down and, gradually, this reflected feedback modifies the audience’s self-awareness, involving them in a continually offered yet repeatedly displaced “now”.
I believe that it’s possible to attain a more profound knowledge of nature than that provided by empirical means, and much of the work I do is inspired by the search for that spiritual knowledge”
By Arianna Grava for ARTE MIA XIII
MARIA GRAZIA MATTEI, VALENTINA PICOZZI, FLORENCIA S.M. BRÜCK AND SERENA TABACCHI