Interview for the newspaper "La Opinión" from Santa Fe, Argentina

The artistic side of my childhood inquiries

"Since I was a child I have always found art interesting and everything with an artistic nature made me somewhat curious. From forming pop bands in fifth grade with my classmates to publishing stories in international forums of the community of players of "The Sims" -video game- illustrating the situations through my virtual characters; constantly performing imaginary scenes with my sister around the house speaking both Spanish and English, performing dance shows for Christmas (we even wrote a script and afterwards gave a copy to our family members...!) I had always been very curious and this led me to approach different types of information, adding to receiving intellectual stimuli that I feel as positive -both from the educational field and at home... but mainly through the internet. Growing up knowing that you will be able to look up and learn about pretty much anything you get interested about is something reassuring. It seems to me an interesting moment to have been born in 1996, since as a child I got to live the “real” world of “analog” interaction and that world is in my memories, but at the same time I understand that our generation lives very fluidly in the present and future in terms of our proximity to technologies and the internet."
Early bird: Agostina Bonanata at six months old with her mom playing with the computer

The interest in graphic design / Approaching the secrets of the image

I was born in 1996. When I was six months old my mother taught me how to play on the computer, a few months before learning to walk. From that moment on, I inhabited the virtual world in many ways:

  • When I was ten, a friend's father was a graphic designer and he taught us how to edit in Photoshop. A year later we were creating websites for our pop idols, designing the banners and the general layout of the site. Since I discovered that, I have created everywhere “sites” hosted on virtual platforms such as Blogger, MSN Groups, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Wix… and a few more that I don't even remember.

  • At fifteen I learned to edit videos and since then I have been documenting my life through video art.

  • At nineteen, we created an independent poetry publishing house with my partner. We carry out all the tasks of the process: we analyze and edit the text together with the person who wrote it, we correct it, we design it virtually, we choose the perfect paper and colors, we print it, we sew and cut it, we sell it at fairs and also for the networks. For our social networks we design our own logo, flyers and flyers, organize the presentation events and even broadcast everything live for the world to see. Since then I have been working as a freelance graphic and multimedia designer.

  • At the age of twenty-two I started working as a Community Manager and multimedia designer, a job that I continue to do today. In the last year I learned to create 3D animated characters and bring them to life mainly thanks to Delia and Gustavo: two virtual animated doctors from the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires (HIBA).

I found that in between what's visual and what's communicational a certain kind of interesting magic linking happens... and I am currently experimenting in this direction.

Memories of Elementary School

I did my elementary studies at Escuela Argentina Modelo. The school is over a hundred years old, so attending such an old school as a child - in time and in its building structure - creates a certain kind of mysticism and fantasy. Having learned English since I was a child in this institution gave me a solid foundation to now relate to English almost indistinctly with Spanish ... even sometimes while I speak I get certain terms in English that are not translatable. This allowed me to surf the web not only learning about the Spanish speaking world but also about the rest of the world. I think this was a pillar in me and it is something I am grateful for, because it gave me the possibility of being able to imagine talking with many different people from all over the world, being able to draw that bridge, getting to know how they do life in different cultures is something that has always particularly interested me.

High School Highlights

I attended my secondary studies at the Carlos Pellegrini Superior School of Commerce (Escuela Superior de Comercio Carlos Pellegrini). It was very interesting and above all a great contrast to my elementary school to find an air of political presence at school. It is a direct effect of having a Student Center, voting every year, that the groups can enter the classes to comment on their proposals for conducting the Center not only for the school but also for representation towards the outside world, in addition to the fact that it tends to be quite mediatic in that sense. Among the people who came into my classroom to tell me about the political reality of that moment is Ofelia Fernández, the current youngest legislator in the history of Latin America, and I am proud to say that I voted her for president and she won. Despite not having been interested in politics at the time of my adolescence, I thank my teachers for what I learned about the world, and also the entire body of students - two thousand students total, between all divisions and shifts - who shared with me the moment and the schoolyard, the walls and the posters, the assemblies and the iconic moments.

A particularly funny moment was when, for a Bussiness Assignment, as a way of advertising a product that we sold at school we stuck the logo on three large bags of candy, we waited for an assembly to take place (everyone was sitting at the schoolyard, listening), and right after the vote -when the largest number of people were gathered in that same place - threw the candies from the windows of the third floor to the schoolyard. We have been applauded, filmed and photographed, and for us it was also a great performative moment of intervention in the space of our daily reality. And yes, the product sold well. LOL!

Looking for... Agostina Bonanata, designer and communicator

She was born in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires in 1996 and studied at the Escuela Argentina Modelo, Escuela Superior de Comercio Carlos Pellegrini and at the National Technological University (Digital Communication for Social Media, 2019).

She is dedicated to multimedia design and digital communication. Always close to technologies, she developed his training also self-taught and started from work in numerous projects and proposals that were positioning themselves in the world of images. Of his experiences on a planet intensely governed by communications, she tells LA PALABRA .

The image: the factor par excellence that inspires Agostina

LP - The choice to enter higher levels of education

AB - What I discovered after studying at the University of Buenos Aires in two thousand fourteen and two thousand fifteen, and at the National University of the Arts in two thousand seventeen is that the face-to-face form of studies is not what most stimulates my learning personal. I find greater power and desire to learn when doing it in a self-taught way - since with the assistance of the great Internet - although I understand that artistic disciplines have this exception to the rule of being able to relate deeply to the subject without specifying so many external theoretical or scientific indications , since for me it resides mainly in sensitivity and our relationship with it and subsequent expression of it.

I consider it as something more alchemical and less "qualifiable": in the world of design your work, your portfolio, your designs is what makes your worth... at least on a practical level. It is that art has that je ne sais quoi, so special and particular to each artist that I do not think it can be "taught" or transmitted, it is stimulated, but personally I found it more stimulating to learn directly from the work experience - assuming constant learning , personal curiosity, discipline and ambition - and test knowledge live and direct, with real feedback.

But that was the path that I was choosing - or was it choosing me? Ha! - and the one that was giving me the best results; from now on I understand that each person is unique and unrepeatable and the tools available are very valuable and I am grateful for having grown up in a city where access to a university of excellence for free is considered necessary to build the society of the future.

In the year two thousand and nineteen I studied remotely at the National Technological University "Digital communication for Social Media". This modality allowed me the flexibility, space, time and dynamics that I find most enjoyable when learning, so it was an interesting experience for me, added to the fact that it was to solidify my career orientation from design to communication and communication. way in which both work together.

In the meantime I also took courses that allowed me to continue discovering various artistic practices: I studied poetry with Cecilia Szperling, Diego Vdovichenko and Cecilia Pavón; I studied theater with Juan, Paula Herrera Nóbile and did a body movement workshop with Celia Argüello Rena.

LP - Your first job and your professional training.

AB - My first formal job was as a Multimedia Design Consultant for Banco Ciudad in 2015.

The following year I joined the Directorate General of Administration of Infractions of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires in the sector of the Board of Misconduct as an administrative officer.

Since then I am working in the Government Control Agency in the Modernization, Processes and Continuous Improvement sector; within the Management Planning Operational Unit.

In 2019 I started working simultaneously with my job at the GCBA as a designer and Community Manager. My first job of this nature was for a cultural center called Quema La Nave. Since July of last year and until today I have the pleasure of being part of “Delia y Gustavo”:a project of the MF Foundation of the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires. During the month of January, I made a substitution of Community Manager for the creative agency Santochango simultaneously with Delia and Gustavo and the Government Control Agency. And while holding three jobs at once was chaotic, it was profoundly formative at the work level.

LP - The creation of Delia and Gustavo.

Delia & Gustavo

AB - One day I received a call from Esteban Rubinstein with a proposal to design the content and manage the social media for a project that they had imagined with Paula Carrete, both doctors from the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires.

We got together, they asked me if I knew how to draw, that they had devised some comics and I suggested some 3D animated plasticine doctors. They loved it! And since then Delia and Gustavo have been coming to life in different circumstances, from memes to fragile and real confessions looking into the camera's eyes. It is very interesting for me to do them on a practical level, since it is mainly a lot of fun! To make them gesture, with a sound and facial recognition program I act like the characters depending on the circumstances. When we see them surprise the characters in an image on our Instagram ( behind the scenes I am acting and making exaggerated faces in front of my computer, which is almost surreal to me !, thus giving life and "human nature" to the characters. We currently have our own website which I designed and manage, our main profile is on Instagram but we also have a presence at Facebook and YouTube.

It is a project that I love because it starts from the idea of ​​sharing reliable and quality medical knowledge, free of charge and "at your fingertips" through the presence on various social networks. A noteworthy fact is that Delia and Gustavo receive consultations via the previously mentioned channels, making it our slogan “Don't google your symptoms, better ask Delia and Gustavo”.

LP - An image of your choice from nature.

AB - The sea, the coast, the beach, waves, and the moment of takeoff on the plane where you see the city getting smaller and smaller, until it gets lost in the clouds. Does that count as nature? LOL!

LP - Why is your work important?

AB - Because we communicate all the time, we design all the time. Dedicating yourself to that is simply paying extra attention to it, but really by setting the table and calling the family to eat, the order of the table was designed, and it was communicated that the food was already there. This as a very clear example.

Being able to understand how the flow of symbols moves and creating language is something that is important to me: I am interested in building bridges, connecting people, simplifying messages, uniting the world. And in that sense, design is a pillar: to unify certain types of parameters throughout humanity, we usually resort to symbols, colors that you can find in almost all countries.

Take for example the color red: it is a color that awakens alert. We find it as a symbol of stopping the traffic light, the STOP signs, in the prohibition signs ... all of that, it is design. This is possible and connects us in that way beyond languages, because the visual while it is being observed can be conceptually symbolized and transmitted through people without requiring so much prior knowledge. In that sense, the meme is a great example as well: when resorting to an image that is massively known with a certain assigned meaning, it is like a “shortcut”, it is as if it were the most synthetic form of language, with an image -which really it does not change if it is of bad or good quality, as long as it refers and is conceptually aligned to the essence of the meme- and a text already creates a meme. And at the communicational level, it is effective as a funnel. By looking at the meme and finding the relationship between the text and the image, the communication resource has already achieved its task: optimizing the arrival of the message, reaching as many people as possible in the shortest possible time and with the greatest effectiveness. I imagine that in a few years - not to say right now - in schools they will teach with memes: its clarity is very good to transmit and also to remember. And also that, as well, is design.

LP - Can a designer improve the world?

AB - I think that currently the world we live in is constantly receiving modifications from the world of design, it is present everywhere: from advertising to the sign that prohibits smoking, passing through the logo of recognized companies that just by looking at the colors you already feel the taste of that product, that synaesthetic relationship between the perceptual senses -see, smell, taste, touch, hear- which mixes signifiers is a great communicational tool. Even our own aesthetics, our choice of T-shirts when we go to buy, the way to show you the applications that your cell phone has, the color of the logo of your favorite social network ... all that is, in a certain way, a type of design. Design is everywhere, it is a consequence of something having a shape.The interesting thing about the future that is coming is to see how far design and new innovative ideas of the virtual world can take us, which will increasingly seep through our daily lives.

by Raúl Vigini •