Santiago Tavera is an interdisciplinary Colombian and Canadian artist, based in Montréal. He explores virtual narratives of dislocation and perception through the construction of interactive and immersive multimedia installations. His practice intends to place bodies in spaces of translation between the physical and the virtual. In Tavera’s work, a combination of videos, 3D graphic animations, sound and reflective materials become elements that present the potential of digital media to create experiences of (dis)embodiment (elasticity, alteration, translation). Digital media allows subjects to constantly navigate between perception, memory, physicality and the virtual. Individuals find themselves in a never-ending process of constructing and re-constructing their sense of being, and in turn their sense of belonging. Dislocation, familiar to those who have experienced cultural displacement, has become more apparent as subjects now live as virtual immigrants within the realm of the digital. Within a state of dislocation, as the displacement of the conscious mind, the body experiences a double sense of place with multiple perceptions and memories. There is a simultaneous sense of being physically here and virtually there, while belonging everywhere and nowhere. Tavera’s work investigates the potential of digital media to create virtual architectural environments that alter our thresholds of perception by combining personal and fictional narratives of re-presentation, belonging and displacement. His creative-research aims to examine the interactions of the body with virtual environments, as it investigates how self-representation, social interactions and our understanding of space is affected by the ubiquity of digital media in our everyday.
Tavera’s works have been exhibited at Agence TOPO (Montréal), Montréal’s 3rd International Digital Art Biennial, The 2017 Ottawa International Animation Festival, Chromatic Festival 2016 (Montréal), Art Mûr (Montréal), Interaccess (Toronto), Forest City Gallery (London, ON), La Galeria de Arte e Pesquisa–UFES (Brazil), Solange Guez + Arte Contemporaneo (Argentina), Laboratório de Arte Alameda (México), Centro Cultural Rogelio Salmona (Colombia), The Wrong – A New Digital Biennial (Online), and a screening at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). Tavera’s paper, ‘Translational Spaces: Virtual narratives of being and belonging’, has been recently published in the Journal of Virtual Creativity - Intellect Books Ltd. In 2017, his projects presented at the International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA) in Colombia, the Besides the Screen 2017 Conference in Brazil, and the 3rd International Elastic Spaces Symposium in England, were supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Ministry of Culture of Colombia. Tavera holds an MFA (Intermedia) from Concordia University, and a BA (Honors) Specialization in Visual Arts and a Major in Psychology from Western University.