Comment biography Eduardo de Jesus, 10/2005
feitoamãos/F.A.Q. [handmade/FAQ] is first and foremost a ‘project in progress.’ In tune with contemporary poetics, it changes, incorporates new elements, and becomes more dynamic with respect to artistic output. Comprised of experienced, restless members, feitoamãos/F.A.Q. is always in motion. In the beginning, the group was a means of giving support and creating group work. That was the case with their single-channel debut video 5 (2000), which resulted in the ‘feitoamãos’ project, spelled with no capital letters or the usual spaces. The video featured in the 13th Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival (2001), received the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize – Year Two, awarded by the Ministry of Culture, for the Best Video category in February 2001, and was screened outside of Brazil in festivals and exhibitions. It investigates the senses and their perceptions, and was authored by members Francisco de Paula, André Amparo, Rodrigo Minelli, Claudio Santos, Marcelo Braga, and Marília Rocha.
The five initial core members of the project soon began new efforts, initially aimed at giving support to projects by young artists and producers. Thus was born Os 4 pontos cardeais [The Four Cardinal Points] (2001), produced by Mariana Pinheiro, Bruno, Marcos Catito Menezes, and Osmar, each of whom worked with one cardinal point. Released in Belo Horizonte in 2001, this piece gathered this group of young artists and producers and the feitoamãos project members together in a debate, featuring special guest Professor Júlio Pinto, Ph.D. in Communication and Semiotics.
Their follow-up project had to do with numbers and quantity as well, this time dealing with History; entitled 7 maravilhas [Seven Wonders] (2000) and designed for the Internet, the project was a collection of videos by core members of the collective. Their next project was even bolder, especially regarding the method for selecting the participants who would receive support. Hoping to attract media attention and, at the same time, to pay homage to Emílio Belleti–one of the main promoters and developers of audiovisual production in Belo Horizonte who was murdered by a middle-class youth–the group got together and conceived the ‘Emílio Belleti Prize’ for supporting young artists in the creation of collective video projects. The effort attracted attention to the discussion on Belleti’s death, and yielded a collectively-produced video. For Matéria dos sonhos [Dream Matter] (2001), projects were submitted by young artists and producers, some of whom were chosen to develop a video associating nature’s four elements with everyday feelings.
Soon thereafter, the group started working with live images, doing real-time image and audio manipulation in many different settings. Their first presentation took place during the opening of the Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival, with a piece entitled Dziga Vertov reenquadrado [Dziga Vertov reframed] (2001), featuring scenes from the movie Man with a Movie Camera. Later on, the collective did a series of performances in alternative spaces, electronic music festivals, video exhibitions and festivals in Brazil and abroad.
In 2002, the collective produced Adamantos, based on a workshop they did at the Minas Gerais Federal University Winter Festival in Diamantina. In that same year, they presented the performance Veja as instruções primeiro [See the Instructions First] (2002) at the Red Bull Live Images, São Paulo. Afterwards, they exhibited Monstruário ilustrado [Illustrated Monstruary] at Itaú Cultural, a collection of pieces and collaborations with other artists that composed a contemporary version of middle-age bestiaries using scenic resources, image projections, samplers, and live music.
In the 3rd Eletronika - New Musical Trends Festival (2003), in Belo Horizonte, the group did a presentation dealing with revolution and anarchy.
The diversity in the history of feitoamãos/F.A.Q. is quite interesting, as proven by their object Bicho Brasileiro [Brazilian Creature] (2003), presented at the Imagem não imagem [Image Non-image] exhibition, curated by Christine Mello at Galeria Vermelho in São Paulo, reaffirming experimentation and risk as key features of the group.
According to an article by Francesca Azzi, published in the catalogue of Mostra Made in Brazil (Itaú Cultural, 2003), the collective “uses technical and conceptual experimentation in order to establish logical and ‘linguistic’ parameters for the happening. Their live editing and spatial arrangement play with temporality, improvisation, and content.”
On the one hand, the object disrupted the group’s known patterns, but it also revealed a creative process that favors hybridism, experimentation, and restlessness. In the same year, the group presented É (in)possível estar em 2 lugares ao mesmo tempo [It Is (In)possible to Be in 2 Places at the Same Time] (2003) at the Ruído Digital [Digital Noise] event, promoted by Itaú Cultural in Belo Horizonte. This piece by feitoamãos/F.A.Q. applied geographer Milton Santos’ concepts of space and landscape. The collective created a space containing six projections and two interactive systems that displayed urban settings over time, using live image manipulation, audience interaction, and interference.
Trânsito [Traffic] (2005), the group’s most recent production, was featured at Videoformes, in Clermont Ferrand, France, and at the prog:ME, Rio de Janeiro’s first international new media festival.