Contemporary Nomads

To consider “Cross Urban” in the age of global transformation shifts us from spectators of urban space’s spontaneity to participants in a vast community restless to relate with the vicissitudes of our ever-changing geo-location.

What started in 2008 as a weekly work methodology between artists Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo and Klaus Fruchtnis has amplified. Not only are the 260 photographs created from words in an online dictionary, but also in the creation of a habit they’ve developed a progression in which collaboration takes them to infinite multidisciplinary work platforms from the expository and the educational:

The works in “Cross Urban” are triptychs made up of a word with its definition in text as well as image. This image is always composed of the photograph of the same artist on the left and the other on the right. Together they exhibit each one’s expressions while complementing one another, though identifiable and permeable between them. The random words are the conducting thread between the artists, and their meanings give content to the image.

Ultimately, the full composition tips over toward unison in a visual entity. Additionally it takes into account coexisting elements such as typography, translation, grammar, phonetics and the geographical location in which each artist found themselves.

For this second book, the artists continue the compilation with their works from words 56 to 110 since the collaboration started. Their creative process begins with a familiarity with each word, however knowing them does not guarantee a fast encounter within the spontaneity offered by urban space. Perhaps at the outset a word may seem inert, but their eye’s training means that the image goes beyond an interpretation, because it is created to honor the future artistic declaration of their partner.

It is precisely this uncertainty’s management over time and space, which generates a useful train of thought within what we currently call Society 3.0; we are today in a time in which parallel realities occur but not in the same place, where distances are not remote but one needs to go beyond the virtual network simply as an instrument. Thus, when “Cross Urban’s” methodology migrates from a web 2.0 thinking to generate a 3.0 knowledge it affirms that it is not sufficient to teach what to think about, but to teach how to think agilmente.

For example when the artists create one visual entity by converting text into a symbol and carrying it with its own cognitive behavior, what develops are also new techno-pedagogical narratives that promotes the ability to discern between millions of vertiginous images, being responsible in their election in favor of a collective learning. These factors are characteristic of a Society 3.0.

If “Cross Urban”, by nature, offers us an approach via which to take on these ideas, and if we seemingly travel visually with the artists, what would we do if we take on, here and now, the word “Ruritanian”?

Ruritanian \rur-uh-TAY-nee-un\ adjective
of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an imaginary place of high romance

What would be the thread on which to pull to inquire its definition? How would this decision add up towards a common goal?

Just as Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo and Klaus Fruchtnis do, the invitation is to become contemporary nomads in search of these answers.

Jimena Peña Bennett © 2012

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