About Insulares/Divergentes

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The map of Latin American culture is increasingly drawn by technology. Technological information is increasingly turning into a potent instrument for constructing social objectives that are turning into innovative yet unknown uses of the technology through cultural proposals.

This project is focused on an extensive case-study research on those initiatives involved in Latin American social and cultural development supported by information technologies and new media.  Our initiative arose from the different ways on how information technologies and new media are being articulated in Latin American contexts, and their wide range of possibilities and applications centered on culture and development.

As part of this research, we will be collecting, describing and documenting the diffusion of new cultural practices associated with the emerging practices of new media art and culture in specific contexts: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.

To reach and identify artistic and culturally differentiated initiatives using information technologies and new media that contribute to social and cultural development, we designed an analytical strategy that will allow us to approach our object of study with flexibility.  To make possible this research concentrates on seven key areas of analysis:

Philosophical dimension: concerns the initiative’s basic motivations, its objectives, a value framework that feed their objective, their scope and benefited populations.

Organizational dimension: this area looks for the individuals, organization leaders, networks that support their operations (like sponsors, alliances, partners, and social networks), organizational structure (membership, functions, processes, features, decision making), operating costs and funding mechanisms.

Technological dimension: considers the role of technology within the initiative, its components, resources used, reasons for their usage, the existence of some kind of proposition, particular technologies used (customized, off-the-shelf, open-source, among others) and current technological limitations.

Context dimension: examines the relationship between the initiative and their context, their belonging sense, social participation conditions offered, cultural development vision and its interest and competence to involve their local cultural capital.

Knowledge dimension: this area analyses the experiences, learning and ways in which involve the local community has gained knowledge out of the initiative as well as the technologies by which it was shared among them.

Transmission (diffusion and documentation): investigates the ability to transfer the experience generated through the initiative, including their diffusion mechanisms and the devices used to document it.

Impact and Self-evaluation: this last point refers the initiative’s achievements, its beneficiaries; the mechanisms implemented to monitor and evaluate its achievements and the ability to measure their impact. It also looks at strengths and weaknesses.