Pica (Cosmos n [English]: cosmos nm [Español])
As an attempt to embody a non-native language by repeatedly ingesting words; every day, I sit down in front of my English/Spanish dictionary and, in alphabetical order, I pick up a word; I then cut out the English portion and eat it.
Pica is a performance I began in 2009, a few weeks after arriving to the U.S., which I have chosen to send to the outer space as a symbolic statement to: (1) immortalize the artwork and with it the absurd gesture of swallowing English words, and (2) to communicate to extraterrestrials the complexity of the triad culture/ language/ body innate in humans.
Thus, in the spirit of the Voyager Golden Record to depict the life of humans in Earth, this performance refers to the impenetrability of non-native language and the condition of linguistic and cultural alienation inherent to the exilic condition. Likewise, the work metaphorically portraits how humans are not only what we eat, but so are the words and language(s) we speak, as our emotional and neurological selves are configured by the very language that we utter.
Paula Gaetano Adi (born in San Juan, Argentina) is an artist, educator, and researcher working in sculpture, performance, interactive installations, and robotic agents. With a particular focus in different performative modes of art making, her work is an attempt to promote bodily inter-species \ inter-cultural live encounters, and explore the effects and ‘affects’ of different discourses in technoscience. er work has been presented internationally in venues such as the National Art Museum of China (Beijing), MejanLabs (Stockholm), ARCO Fair (Madrid), FILE Festival (Sao Paulo), BIOS4 (Sevilla), National Museum of Poznan (Ponznan), BrandenburgerTor Foundation (Berlin), Museum of Modern Art (Buenos Aires), Festival Transitio_MX (Mexico City), Espacio Fundación Telefónica (Buenos Aires), Re-New Festival (Copenhagen), among others locates. She was the recipient of different grants and honors, including the First Prize VIDA 9.0 – the international competition on Art & Artificial life; the First Prize ‘LIMBØ’ at the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires; the National Endowment for the Arts, Argentina; the Fergus Memorial Scholarship in 2009 and 2010; and the 2012 “Artistic production Incentive Prize for Ibero-American Artists” awarded by VIDA 14.0. Gaetano Adi received a degree in Audiovisual Communication from Blas Pascal University in Argentina and a MFA with emphasis in Art & Technology, from The Ohio State University. She was visiting scholar at the UCLA REMAP, University of California Los Angeles, and artist-in-residence at Sachaqa Eco Art Center (Perú). She has served as faculty for the Electronics Arts program at the Tres de Febrero National University in Buenos Aires, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and she directed the undergraduate and graduate program in New Media Art at the University of North Texas. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Foundation Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).