Santiago Tavera (b. 1988, Bogota) and Laura Acosta (b. 1988, Bogota) are Colombian-Canadian artists based in Montréal. Their collaborative practice forges an intersection between Tavera’s investigation of virtual technologies and interactive environments in relation to the body, with Acosta’s exploration of performance through wearable textiles. Drawing from their experiences of displacement as immigrants, they construct multimedia productions that create a dialogue around the experiences of the other. Their collaboration examines notions of representation and belonging through the creation of interactive and immersive digital environments, nonlinear storytelling, experimental soundscapes, textile sculptures and performance. Through this, they create site specific immersive experiences and expanded performances in which the audience questions their own position within a space and how they accept, reject or adapt to it. Their collaborative projects have been presented at The digital arts biennial The Wrong in 2017, at the International Symposium on Electronic Art - ISEA in June 2017, the 17th International Images Festival of Manizales, Colombia in May 2018, in Montreal at Articule as part of the HTMLles Festival in collaboration with Studio XX, in November 2018, and most recently at MAI- Montréal, arts interculturels in February 2020. In 2021 they will be exhibiting their work at OPTICA, Centre d'art contemporain in Montreal and Sur Gallery in Toronto. Their collaboration has received the support of Canada Council for the Arts and Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Santiago Tavera is interested in constructing immersive and interactive installations that explore virtual narratives of dislocation and perception. In Tavera’s work, a multimedia composition of videos, 3D graphic animations, text, sound and reflective materials evoke experiences of physical, digital and queer notions of identification and representation. Tavera holds a Master of Fine Arts in Intermedia from Concordia University, and a Bachelor of Arts with an Honor Specialization in Visual Arts and a Major in Psychology from Western University. Tavera’s projects have recently been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, and presented nationally and internationally. Tavera is currently a visiting scholar and project manager at the Elastic Spaces Multimedia lab at Concordia University. www.santiagotavera.com
Laura Acosta creates absurdist scenes that integrate improvised movement, textile structures and multimedia elements, as a way to explore themes of identity and representation. Her audio-visual compositions depict objects or individuals in a constant process of identification, translation or adaptation in order to create ephemeral moments of displacement in both public and private settings. Laura has exhibited her performance work, as well as presented performance based workshops, both nationally and internationally. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Fibres and Material studies from Concordia University, an interdisciplinary Bachelor in Fine Art from NSCAD University, and an advanced diploma in Fine Arts from Fanshawe College. Currently, Laura works at Concordia University as the Head of Costumes in the Theatre Department. www.laura-acosta.com
Introduction: Maria B. Velasquez
Studio tests (2013)