21 Jun 2010

Standstill at Distance Festival in London

The festival DISTANCE took place between Sat 19th and Sun Jun 20th of June at Stoke Newington International Airport. I sent 16 invitations by airmail from Rio de Janeiro to Stoke Newington International Airport in London ...

"Somebody has told me it's summer solstice"
"Yes, I'm investigating whether the sun is really standing still"
"I need you to stand still for just one minute. Film the landscape to frame the sun's position in the sky against the horizon. The card you pick will reveal the hour you are entrusted to observe."
"With a digital camera. Prompt action is called for, you have until midnight to upload your film. I will have 4 hours from UK midnight/ 9 pm BR to edit the films into a sequence to be projected on Monday 21st at 17:17 here in Rio"

The result was 14 x 1" minute films sent on Sunday 20th June by midnight in London and the films are edited together by midnight in Rio on the same night. On Monday 21st June at 17:17 pm (BR) an event takes place in Alto São Conrado, in the community where this trans-atlantic experiement took place. A looking glass was built especially for this performance where the 14 minutes on sun-light of Britain's longest day were transported to Rio and projected into it, in a sequence as twilight commenced in Rio on our shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere.

A very special thanks goes to Lottie Leedham and Neil Callaghan for their support from London.
Maiza Almeida, Moana Mayall, Sirkuu Maenpaa and Tee Cardarci for their assistance in editing, sourcing and building the looking glass to support the performance in Rio and a huge thank you the distance festival public whose films from the UK made this work possible; Laura Bradshaw, Rachel Jacobs, Willian Villalobos Fernandez, Catherine McKenna, Lucy Moore, George Morris, Elisabeth Morris, Ink & Ale, Wason Murray, Greg McLaren and Simone Kenyon.

1 Jun 2010

Living Machines

From a macro to a micro landscape. The plants have a different time comparing to ours and our relation with the nature goes in many different ways.

Ivan Henriques is doing a research in ‘green spaces’ in Holland with a specific interest in artificial landscapes as Botanical Gardens, green houses and plants, within the nature in cultural aspects, their own behavior and how the nature is interfered by man. The botanic systematization, the dissemination of different species all over the world and dialogs between natural and artificial processes are also subjects in my field of research.

This research of the landscape is a continuation with GEMA project that I have been developing in Rio, since 2007. This research involves natural and urban environment, the change of the landscape through the time due to the cities expansions. How we can have a better living with our environment instead of killing it using the technology we have nowadays? The next step for nature is engineering, creating a self controlled environment and recycle the resources. I am researching also about plants and politics into a bio-scientific sphere. The Mata Atlantica forest was destroyed by the uncontrolled growth of the cities and now Amazonia is also in danger. There are several multi-national companies in Amazonia: a cycle of destruction that starts killing the trees of the forest for agronomy, cattle raising, scientific researches, trafficking of plants, and so on. It is estimated that 15% of the Amazon has been deforested.

There is also a discussion about the internationalization of Amazonia forest which is a political aspect. A dispute of territory is going on and how an artistic practice can make a thought about this relevant issue.

This was happening in Brazil since the colonization time, and now? Do Brazil still in a technological colonization concerning the bio-scientific power?

“…better means of preserving, transporting, displaying, and documenting specimens; …” PRATT, Mary Louise, Imperial Eyes – Travel Writing and Transculturalization, p.28/29

The research about resources of the nature started with professor Bert van Duijn, from the Biology University in Leiden for a couple of months in how we can measure the action potential of the plants.

Every plant has its own action potential. The goal of this project is to have different plants and show how we can use their signal to make them move by themselves; a network to create an engineering project. Plants are connected with wires and analog systems; their potential triggers an engine. Is it possible to empower the plants? Is possible to make plants turn on a machine? If the plants and trees from the forest have power to move, would they save themselves from deforestation?

I was invited to realized this project at V2 - Institute for the Unstable Media, in the summer residency 2010, to develop this work with Bert van Duijn, Hortus Botanicus from Leiden and V2 team.