The exhibition features works by artists who have been leaning towards the so-called new medias and its tangents from different perspectives and interests.
The history of art is permeated by transition periods related to the technological advances of each time. David Hockney presents in O conhecimento Secreto ("The Secret Knowledge") a body of skills developed by artists from the evolution of glass handling technology, skills which profoundly altered the painting and representation techniques. The glass, in the form of mirrors and lenses, enabled the emergence of lenses, which in turn enabled the enhancement of devices such as the camera obscura, in which the principles of the photographic camera were formulated as early as the fourteenth century. Leaping ahead in time, the impressionist painting was driven by the development of the oil paint tube, the portable easel stand, and by new types of brushes which, along with others, allowed artists to go out of the studio and try new techniques. Of course, if we think in terms of photography, cinema, radio, television, video, etc, it will be inevitable to find similar disruptive stages which would point to a history of techniques and technologies which, by amplifying the sensory and analytical capacity of the human body, have changed the ways to interpret and to represent our surroundings.
The body of works and processes discussed in Periscope starts from the premise that we are going through one of these transition periods stimulated by digital technologies. It is important to remember that history shows that these intervals rarely manifest as sudden and abrupt breaks, and are usually the result of gradual processes where old and new knowledge come together. In this sense, there is consensus in the study of media archeology on the idea that all new media is formed as a decal of any number of previous medias, and will slowly conquer its technical and discursive autonomy. So one might say broadly that photography renews and expands painting, as film does with photography and so on. It is also worth remembering that new technical and technological repertoires are a fraction of the knowledge that mirrors the spirit of a time, where language, whether it is spoken, written, imagery, etc, is necessarily a fundamental part of the context. We become culturally literate in the course of history, continuously assimilating repertoires that mediate our relationships in the world and that decant with the passage of time. A clear example of this is the great transformation of the form of seeing and representing established by the discovery of the technique of perspective, by Brunelleschi in the fifteenth century. This way of interpreting and representing remained hegemonic for centuries until the emergence of cubism, which in turn was contemporary with the physics discoveries cradling the theory of relativity.
When we talk about "new media and their tangents" we refer to this complex plot where time, space and knowledge intertwine. Not all of the works in the exhibition have a strictly digital matrix, but are built upon or somehow discourse on the perspective of the increasing digitalization of life. From the manipulation of bacteria to a device that allows for the control of a fire flame with thought, and from parametric reconstructions of the Cristo Redentor statue from images found on the internet, to the digital disfiguring of a real body, Periscope brings videos, sculptures, installations and images where ideas like bio art, hacking, robotics, resources and tools such as interactivity, feedback, relationship databases, algorithms, and technologies like 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters and sensors, introduce other vocabularies and nurture new imaginary. New medias modify and expand language in body, semantically and grammatically in all of its dimensions, in analogy to the artifact which lends its name to the exhibit and expands the field of view beyond the obvious, Periscope bets on heterotopias from which we can speculate freely about the past, present and future of art.
Anaisa Franco, Andy Lomas, Andrei Thomaz, Astrovandalistas, Bruno Vianna, Gabriel Menotti, Giselle Beiguelman, Guto Nóbrega, Fábia Karklin, Felipe Julian, Fernando Velázquez, Flora Leite and Maura Grimaldi, Henrique Roscoe, Herbert Baioco, Jaime Lobato, Julio Parente, Leandro Mendes (Vigas), Lucas Bambozzi, Marcio H Mota, Matheus Leston, Mike Pelletier, Nurit Bar-Shai, Ricardo Carioba, Richard Garet, Roberta Carvalho and Simon Fernandes