Martin Etxauri Sainz de Murieta aka Txo!? Artista eta ikertzailea

"An important part of being an artist is to research."

2024/03/07 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria


The artist and researcher Martín Etxauri Sainz de Murieta, in principle, has no drawback in saying that he is outside the stereotypes as a researcher. Soon after he recognizes that all artists are partly researchers, especially in contemporary art. Oh! is dedicated by name to his artistic projects and explains his vision: “I think an important part of being an artist is to research. Investigating is searching. In a given area or theme, first look at what has happened before and after experiencing, try and see what can come out of there or what you find there."

In fact, this definition does not differ much from that of academic research, but Txo! For g there is a difference: “Perhaps the most notable difference is when asking the question. In art, we often do not ask concrete questions, we will explore what we find and the process gives you the objective. In academic research, in general, the questions are more concrete and you do not let the process speak so much. However, research is very different depending on whether it is physical, academic research in fine arts or sociological research."

Another difference is that, in general, academics sign the research by name and surname, while among artists, alias is common. Asked about this, he explains that when artists reach a certain level, they often resort to their name and surnames, associating the nickname more to street or underground art. If applicable, it also arises: "Since I was young I have always been Martintxo and have been called with all the combinations of these three syllables, including Txo. Then, when I started in illustration and graphics, and then in video, I decided that that would be my name. And for giving a graphic character and another tone, I gave him the exclamation sign and the question mark. It's also anonymous."

Although he started in underground art, he decided to go to college. According to him, the contribution of some teachers was very important for him and the relationships between his colleagues. However, something weary came out of college. He dedicated himself professionally to graphic design and illustration, and artistically to video, initially in clubs and nightclubs, but then as an artistic expression. And he went back to college.

Technology and magic

"I entered the passion for learning more and, as I gave courses and days, I also liked it and started thinking about education. So I started doing the master's 15 years after I graduated, and then I could do the thesis. But I was also interested in the master's degree, a master's degree in Contemporary, Technological and Performative Art," says Txo! K

He's now doing his thesis on digital interfaces. He explains that when we talk about interfaces we use metaphors and in his thesis he speculatively proposes that one of them is magic, "not prestidigitation, but superstition." Much of the thesis has been devoted to the study of the relationship between technology and magic. In fact, he recognized that this relationship is much deeper than he thought, and now artificial intelligence has come. "That's caught me. When I started making the thesis, I didn't believe that now, that I'm finishing, that suddenly most technology commercials used the word magic. ".

However, he recalled that since the beginning of the domestic use of personal computers, the concept of magic is also used when Apple introduced its iPad... "It's been reinforced with artificial intelligence, but it's always been," Txo confirms! K For the moment, the focus is on the end of the thesis. And once presented, what? "I'm going to tell you the truth: at the end of the thesis the world opens a little bit."

Martin Etxauri Sainz de Murieta aka Txo! ?
Martin Etxauri Sainz de Murieta aka Txo! ? Born in Pamplona in 1977, he is a researcher of new artists and media. Degree in Fine Arts from UPV/EHU, Master in Technological and Performative Contemporary Art and Doctoral Degree in Research in Contemporary Art from the same university. In permanent self-training, as well as audiovisual artist and video-creator, he has been a web/graphic designer and illustrator.

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