Statement 2003

Entrevista concedida pelo artista ao 14º Videobrasil

During the Festival we will discuss issues such as displacement and nomad processes as images and emblematic actions of the contemporary cultural and political situation. How do you reflect this in the electronic art panel? Is it a theme of interest in your work?

The small version of Rote Movie that can be accessed from page 5 of Diary V3.2 documents a moment of displacement and wandering and the emptiness and longing it brought to me. I found a quote by Kurt Schwitters interesting in terms of the state of mind traced in Diary V3.2: “Everything has broken down and new things had to be made out of the fragments. Collage was like an image of the revolution within me-not as it was, but as it might have been” Kurt Schwitters Displacement puts things in new and unexpected juxtapositions. I think of collage as the language of displacement, the language of the nomad, brought to a new intensity within the electronic media.

The relation between art and politics is at the same time rich and conflictive. How do you perceive this relation in the specific case of your work?

When I started on a creative journey I wanted to make art that could be produced by anyone with limited money and limited tools: like scratching on film with a nail. To be involved in a language that everyone can relate to, that everyone can speak and create. I have not lost this feeling but I find, that by repeating these gestures over and over, over many years I have created a body of work that sets me apart. In some ways it has become specialist and displaced from its point of departure, its core feeling.

Image and information technologies participate in control and surveillance strategies, subtle (or not) and generalized. In the face of this reality, in your view what would be the role of art in media contexts?

I want to be involved in an arts practice that offers us the power to speak for ourselves. I think of the self as the post-modern battlefield. As before, in any previous period: the casualties are great and relentless. It is important for all to be able to critically read and write in new media. Most can read but not write. This a big problem worth addressing in our art.

In the contemporary socio-political and cultural context, local identities gain new configurations under stress with the global flows. Inserted into this process, electronic art participates as an open field to the experimentation and expression of new forms of subjectivity. How are these matters manifested in your work?

Diary V3.2 is an attempt to salvage little intimate visual gestures out of the global flow which I often experience as a torrent of displacement and alienation.

Today local cultures face the challenge to reinvent personal and collective memories, without letting them become empty before the global communication flows. In your view, how does this challenge translates into art media experiences?

I think that somehow we have to create art that gives a voice to this “emptiness”, to bear witness to what is happening to us in all our special little corners of living day to day. The best place for me to start is within my self and to develop a personal language for those little easily forgotten things that have no value.

In the context of the approach of electronic-digital means, are you interested in body issues? How does the body appear in your work?

The body appears in my work as shadow and trace and within such works as Traum A Dream (a version of which can be accessed from page 6 of Diary V3.2) as texture scratch and vibration. This piece is centred in the body in the residue of a half forgotten, half denied traumatic memory from childhood. The body is written as a witness to abuse. I try to work with and unearth a language that can work as a resistance to the colonising of the self that is and has taken place through a mainstream commercial media. But it also concerns me that, more and more seemingly innocent or inconsequential moments in daily life are becoming open to being colonised and manipulated by the use of new media. It concerns me that the kind of personal language I am interested in may also be appropriated in order to control us in even our most intimate moments.

Associação Cultural Videobrasil

Bibliography 05/2004

Bruyn, Dirk de. "An Evening on Baldwin‚s Mountain: An Interview with Craig Baldwin", in Senses of Cinema Issue No. 13, Apr 2001 at

____________. "Graphic Cinema as Stunned Mouthpiece", Mesh 15 EMA November 2002.

____________. "Shooting at a Receding Target: Review of Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Exhibition" Realtime October 2002. Also at

____________. "Chasing Rabbits out of the Hat and into the SHEDding of Childhood on Jan Svankmajer's film 'Alice'", Senses of Cinema Issue 21 July-August 2002. At 

____________. "Coming in from the Culled: A Review of A Postmodern Cinema: The Voice of the Other in Canadian Film by Mary Alemany-Galway", Senses of Cinema Issue 27 July-Aug 2003. At

____________. "Landscape of Denial: Arthur Lipsett's", in N-Zone Senses of Cinema Issue 28 Sept-Oct 2003. At

____________. "Decay of Fiction" Senses of Cinema Issue 30 Jan-March 2004. At

Associação Cultural Videobrasil