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Guest Lecture: Constanza Piña
Guest Lecture: Constanza Piña

KHIPU: Pre-Hispanic Electrotextile Computer

What would have happened if the colonizers had not arrived in the Americas and our ancestral technologies had continued to exist? What would they be like?

Khipu: Pre-Hispanic Electrotextile Computer is an artistic investigation into an ancient computing system used in pre-Columbian Andean cultures. In this system, information was knotted into cords and encoded into numerical values, following a binary and decimal system. Due to its complexity, khipus are now considered pre-Hispanic ecological computers, and their significance lies in their profound cosmic meaning and the preservation of wisdom passed down from our original peoples in South America.

During the presentation, I will discuss the Khipu project, an artistic investigation that began in 2013, which resulted in a textile electromagnetic sound installation, a blog, various laboratories, and an artist’s book. This research brings to the present questions and uncertainties about our past and the possible future technological imaginaries envisioned through South American artistic speculation.

Constanza Piña (Curicó, 1984) Artist, researcher and educator, focused on electronic and sound experimentation, open source technologies, DIY philosophy and techno feminist social practices. Her work explores noise as a phenomenon that encompasses sound, social, cultural, political and spiritual dimensions. Her practice blends contemporary technologies with ancient techniques through speculative narratives. 
She creates analog synthesizers, textile antennas, and experimental EMF amplifiers. From a pseudoscientific perspective, Constanza develops the concept of electronic witchcraft, seeing electronics as a bridge to connect the physical world with intangible energy from multiple spectral fields.
Her work includes installations, performances, concerts, as well as collaborations, workshops, event organization and the creation of archives.
She has held exhibitions, concerts, workshops, and talks throughout Latin America, Europe, the United States, Canada, and Asia.
Since 2013, she has been researching on prehispanic ancestral computing systems, materialized in the piece “Khipu // Pre-Hispanic Electrotextile  Computer,” awarded at Ars Electronica Prix 2020. This research fuses speculation and Andean science fiction to vindicate ancestral knowledge underrated by hegemonic scientific sources.
Active in the underground experimental music scene since 2010 under the  pseudonym Corazón de Robota, using only DIY synthesizers that she creates and builds herself, she explores the field of audible and inaudible frequencies, psycho-physical perceptions of sound and the rhythmic dimensions of noise.
Founder of the Technofeminist meeting Cyborgrrrls (Mexico City 2017-2024), Constanza contributes to the creation of non- institutional spaces based on  mutual care, collective pleasure and technological subversion. She currently works as an independent artist and teaches at her project/school Non Binary Electronic Berlin.