The work is comprised of a theoretical essay where  I propose a new practice of consumption (ingestion, digestion and excretion) involving a technological mediation. It contains a manifesto-poem with a new take on the original Manifesto Antropófago written by the Brazilian modernist author Oswald de Andrade in 1928. His manifesto was an assertion of the unique Brazilian voice in the emerging modern time, away from clichés of colonialism, while unapologetically metabolizing outside references from the First World. My reflexion seeks to update that anthropophagic practice of cultural cannibalism to the digital age, where the virtual world is the new frontier and anyone can be a colonizer.


This work was initiated in May 2009 and completed in July 2010. But in reality, it is morphing according to the interplay with the date and place where it’s presented. The work thus becomes anthropophagy in action during the performance. For example, the work was adapted to the specific date of Transmediale.11: as Feb. 2nd is the day Yemanjá I decided to dedicate my presentation to the Afro-Brazilian Goddess, because this deity is herself a result of a cultural remix of African, Amerindian, and European elements. So I built a boat (symbolic of making offerings to the deity) in which I read my Digital Anthropophagy theory and recited my Anthropophagic Re-Manifesto for the Digital Age. When I finished the reading, I ate a piece of the manifesto and shared it as an ”eucharist” with the audience. Then I invited the audience to deposit offerings in the Anthropophagic Boat to Yemanjá. Following, I called up a spiritual center of the Yorubá religion in Brazil via Skype to ask for their blessing to put the boat in the virtual sea (video screens with video of ocean recorded in Rio de Janeiro). The performance ended with a Q&A session with the audience while the boat “sailed” through the turbulent waters of cultural cannibalism. In the performance at Emergeandsee Media Arts Festival, I built a boat from German newspapers and read Digital Anthropophagy as an “El Requerimiento”. The performance acquired yet additional local flavors at ISEA2011/Istanbul, at the Moscow Biennale, in Norway, as well as in the performances via skype from Berlin to symposia and exhibits in Brazil.

EFEMEROS    An upcoming installation that becomes performance upon public participation


This work showcases the ephemeral nature of organic life cycles and interactions, where I invite 8 people to participate, thus completing the meaning of the art which then acquires a local flavor. The piece involves human movement (dancers, guests and audience volunteers), sound art, film projection mixed with videomicrography, and textile design. An immersive environment offering the possibility of a multisensorial interactive living experience. Thus the installation becomes a performance upon interaction of the public as participants with the artwork.


Efemeros is concurrently an investigation into intimacy in the age of digital culture. In my generation, how people come together and part ways happens in a much shorter cycle, greatly due to the impact of the digital culture revolution: living in an age deeply affected by exuberant access to information and consequently a wide array of choices. We also have incorporated deeply into our beings the connection machinery that supposedly brings us together. Today we walk a fine line between connectivity and isolation and feel naked without our digital gadgets. Alone Together, a term coined by MIT’s Sherry Turkle is perhaps the best way to describe this phenomenon. In Efemeros the question is: What happens when two people are brought face to face, completely stripped of layers of societal apparatus, including clothing? As Oswald de Andrade, the author of the Cannibal Manifesto of 1928, wrote: “What trampled the truth was clothing, an impermeable layer between the inner world and outer world.”

 

scroll down to see an excerpt from the film METAMORFOSE:Berlin

My social experiment proposes art as subjective and organic and that participating audience members become one with the artwork. Accordingly, that interaction completes the artistic meaning, and infuse it with an ephemeral and metamorphic quality, and in this case possessing an Anthropophagic global dimension if the work is presented in various countries. I desire to experience the other, by having local participants in various parts of the world where the piece is presented embody the ritualistic “possibility” I am offering.


The symbolism of this global metamorphosis instigated me to start a ritualistic film experiment called Metamorfose, whereby I ask friends throughout the world to bury rolls of 16mm films bare into the earth for 1 year (4 seasons) following a set of my own chance-operation instructions including bathing and spicing the film in substances of their choice before burial. The results of those operations obtained from the participating volunteers dictate how the film is affected by hand by me in post-production and edited. Gradually, this process turns into a full cycle of renewal: death, decay, fertilization, gestation, and rebirth, generating the visuality of each film frame. The films withstand four seasons under the earth, and yet look extremely well preserved proving the strength and resiliency of a material coming from nature: gelatin, of which film is made. Gelatin, as I was always told as a kid, strengthens the bones and I ate lots of it, and now I feel as though I have anthropophagically acquired its strength. These films will endure extreme temperatures ad natural phenomena ranging from -40 to 40 degrees Celsius. And I myself have been immersed in locales, weather and cultures as extreme as those temperatures and conditions, always undergoing my own global metamorphosis, walking the fine balance of fragility and resilience of those free associations and symbiotic relationships.


*The EFEMEROS installation/multimedia performance is not a work restricted to any agenda except to make it accessible to the viewing public in a way that they are encouraged to participate. Currently, it is being submitted to international art foundations, grant and art residency programs with the intent to engage as much as possible with local communities, given the locality and globality aspects of this piece. But this project can also be funded and produced by private sources in any indoor space as long it can accommodate the technical requirements, i.e., spatial dimensions, video projection, sound art installation, etc. as described in the illustration above. No two iterations of this project will be the same due to the unique aspect in which EFEMEROS interacts with the city where it’s presented: each realization of this project is a singular ethnographic experience and thus requires full funding for each city.


An excerpt from the film METAMORFOSE: Berlin

Somnex in Luminem is a live video-dance-soundscape interaction featuring dancers whose movement and form are abstracted to various degrees to create a projected misc-èn-scene of real-time performance. The core concept is the play between dream and reality realized as a media conversation executed in space and time. This performance was originally conceived as an integral part of We Hide Our Monsters Underneath Our Pillows, an undergraduate thesis project. The story is based on conflict resolution in the realm of lucid dreaming, a safe place to deal with the duality of human nature including all its violent transgressions, thus attempting to attain closure in the space of induced reality. The work is inspired by diverse sources like classics of literature: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf; conversations with neuroscientists on the ethics of transcranial cortex stimulation; and the tensions between the Apollonian and Dionysian philosophic principles.


Somnex in Luminem was initially developed in New York City in 2008 with participation of dancers from New York Metropolitan Opera and Flexicurve Dance Company. 


The technical aspect of Somnex in Luminem revolves around the dancers onstage slowly becoming self-lit, while their LED body lights and body silhouettes are captured by a camera, which in turn feeds the video into the computer software for live manipulation, which is then projected onto the screen behind the dancers. The technology used for the live video manipulation makes possible the abstraction of the real time stage performance into a poetic painting in motion in the background that loosely resembles what’s being seen on stage as if in an Alpha (hypnotic) state of dreaming.


Videos featuring both real-time dance performance and videodance imagery manipulated live during the performances:

 

SOMNEX IN LUMINEM    Live videodance performance

Above: at Emergandsee Media Arts Festival, Berlin. 6.2011

Below: at ISEA2010/RUHR. 8.2010, manifesto eaten and shared with audience members.

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Below: Transmediale.11 with two slides morphing along the 25-minute lecture. The cannibals portrayed by Hans Staden in the 1500’s and the new fine young cannibals at the computer.

Stephen Kovats, Artistic Director of Transmediale.11 introduces the presentation. A Q&A session follows at the end.

Complete documentation of all performances at

http://www.quietrevolution.me/DIGITAL_ANTHROPOPHAGY.html

DIGITAL ANTHROPOPHAGY AND THE ANTHROPOPHAGIC

RE-MANIFESTO FOR THE DIGITAL AGE

Winner of the Vilém Flusser Theory Award Distinction - Transmediale.11


Presented as lecture-performance with publication on event proceedings and catalogues. Premiered at E-Culture Conference section of ISEA2010/RUHR, panel Cyborgs and Transhumans. Further presentations after Transmediale.11: Emergeandsee Media Art Festival, Berlin. 6/2011; ISEA2011/Istanbul; Moscow Biennial 2011; International Congress Image, Imagination, Fantasy: 20 Years without Vilém Flusser, Brazil (via skype from Berlin); Art Exhibit at ABCiber conference 20,000 Leagues, Brazil (via skype from Berlin); Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway 3/2012. ISEA2012/Albuquerque (LatinAmericanForum), International Congress Vom Begriff zum Bild: Medienkultur nach Vilém Flusser, Brazil, 12/2012.

Recorded live webcast from Transmediale.11: http://www.transmediale.de/content/digital-anthropophagy-and-anthropophagic-re-manifesto-digital-age-presentation.

Personal archive videos with English subtitles below:

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