Tucumán Arde [Tucumán Is Burning] is the best-known collective production of the emerging vanguard groups in Buenos Aires and Rosario, and it took place during the political and artistic radicalization of artists in1968. Its design implied a complex process of investigation and counter-information, along with a massive media campaign. As an important part of the investigation, a group of about twenty artists (mostly from Rosario) traveled to Tucumán for a second time in October 1968. In the province, and supported by syndicate members, journalists, and other collaborators, the artists developed an underground account of the social situation of the sugar mills (closed by then), schools, hospitals, and so forth, seeking information that would prove the falsehood of the official campaign regarding the so-called Operativo Tucumán. Multiple media, such as tape recordings, photography, and film, were used.
Among the outreach operations of Tucumán Arde is the campaign that was developed simultaneously with the artists’ second trip to Tucumán in the days prior to the exhibitions. The responsibility for this campaign rested on the group that stayed in Rosario, and was later carried out also by the Buenos Aires and Santa Fe groups. The graphic materials (stickers and posters) produced by the Rosario group were sent to the other two cities, where they were widespread by the artists. However, the campaign in the other two cities did not reach the magnitude it achieved in Rosario.
The campaign’s objectives were to use the words “Tucumán Arde” to generate expectation and, secondly, act as an invitation to the exhibitions through unconventional outreach channels within the artistic circuit. The design of the campaign (in three stages) and its organization combine practices and techniques inspired by political actions, the public-relations field, experimental artistic developments, and basic advertising criteria.