13th Videobrasil takes place at a moment when fusions, hybrids and experimentation seem to be going through a unique moment. With the dissemination of new technologies, possibilities multiply, different media influence each other, and it becomes increasingly difficult to delimit the borders between platforms such as video, internet and CD-ROM.

In this edition, the selecting committee has analysed 644 works (488 videos, 98 CD-ROMs and 58 web art pieces), a record number representing an increase of 61% in comparison with the last edition. The amount and variety of authors and works allow the sketching of a vast panorama of what has been recently researched and carried out in electronic art.

The Festival was divided in two categories – video and new media. For the competitive screenings, 99 videos from 13 countries were chosen (a total of 98 hours), besides 18 works in CD and 17 made for the Internet, coming from 15 countries. In the new set up, the video competition was opened to developing and Portuguese-speaking countries, while the new media category had no restrictions.

Video artist Eduardo de Jesus, co-ordinator of the Integrated Communication course at PUC-MG, and curator Solange Farkas have selected the videos for the competition. The choice of works in CD-ROM and web art was carried out by Rafael Lain, Angela Detanico – both have been part of the group Burritos do Brasil, and presently run the design studio Fêmur – and multimedia artist Gilbertto Prado.

The selected works will be judged by a group of curators and artists who are propelling electronic art forward: José-Carlos Mariátegui, of the Alta Tecnología Andina group in Peru, Priamo Lozada, curator at the Laboratorio Arte Alameda in Mexico, and Gilbertto Prado.

Selected artists

Selected works


Jury members

Trophy design

This year, Videobrasil’s trophy was created by Carmela Gross, one of the most important artists of a generation that emerged in the 70’s in Brazil. Carmela Gross’ work is characterised by a continuing investigation of and experimentation with supports and materials, which makes her coherent with the moment of encounters and fusions characterising 13th Videobrasil.

Carmela Gross’ works can be made of stones, use door hinges as compositional elements or have cloth as its support. Born in São Paulo in 1946, of a generation who played a crucial artistic and political role from the 60’s, active in the struggle for freedom of expression during the years of military dictatorship in Brazil, she is also a tireless researcher of materials and of creation processes. Experimental, serial – she moves with ease within a universe that includes the repetition of the gesture, which results in works of impressive visual impact –, Carmela is the artist invited to create Videobrasil Trophy. A natural meeting in an edition in which the word rupture seem to be the key-word. After al, Carmela Gross, who has incorporated holes in tarmac in one of her installations, is also the author of interactive works, such as the case of "Hélice" [Helix], in the early 90’s, in which the participation of the visitor transformed the work. In them, the very construction of the work – mobile, sometimes folding – seems to invite touch, thus sparking the artistic experience.

Jury statement

In the city of Sao Paulo on the 23rd of September, 2001, the Jury of the Competitive Screening of 13th Festival Internacional de Arte Electrónica Videobrasil integrated by PRIAMO LOZADA (México), curator of Laboratorio Arte Alameda; JOSE-CARLOS MARIATEGUI (Perú), president of Alta Tecnología Andina and GILBERTTO PRADO(Brasil), multimedia artist and professor at the University of Sao Paulo, has decided to award six prizes and six honorary mentions, thus selecting 12 works from the total of 135 works submitted. The jury has selected works according to the following criteria: originality, innovative use of the medium, conceptual proposal and cultural diversity. The collaborative nature of most of the selection has been an outstanding characteristic that defines a new model for collective work. In the Competitive Video Screening, a vast panorama of works produced in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Oceania, as well as Portuguese-speaking countries were presented. The diversity and richness of these proposals points to the vitality of video in contexts where there are scarce resources for production or incentives for creation. In this respect, Videobrasil is an important forum for the exchange of ideas, as well as a platform for the presentation of this diversity. In the Competitive New Media Show, which was open to artists from all over the world, the selection generated an open discussion about the role of new media technologies in artistic practice. For this reason, the selection has been orientated towards works that create unique and individual experiences for viewers, as well as new forms of non-linear storytelling and the innovative use of interfaces that formulate hybrid and experimental concepts. Priamo Lozada José-Carlos Mariátegui Gilbertto Prado

Selection commitee text 2001

A time of doubts and new frontiers

Certainties are carried away by the wind, Only doubts are left standing. Paulo Leminski In the last few years audio-visual production has been going through some deep and intense modifications that have lead us to think of an image: the map of a constantly moving territory. Each one of the lines that constitute this map is, in fact, overlapping another thousand lines leading in numerous other directions. As if the paper or surface had depth and allowed the lines to develop multiple perspectives. Far from sketching a single horizon and a single perspective, the selection of works for the competitive screening featured this characteristic: doubt. Our task is to draw a map, over uncontrollable movement and time, to try, even if poorly, to define a territory. We know that technological changes in the form of audio-visual production in the last few years have thrown us into an abyss of creative possibilities arising from theses fusions, hybridisms and exchanges between the video environment and interactive media. The democratisation of the computer, the introduction of faster and less complex softwares and the access to information has constituted a free landscape, confused and fluid, waiting to be occupied by new languages still to be defined. Editing and capture platforms for the digital image have changed the way videos are produced and have brought together the characteristics of each product, so now we have CD-ROMs that use structures typical of video and on the other hand we have videos that seem to incorporate the countless possibilities generated by alternative technologies.

The frontiers have become so tenuous that pieces of work have become unclassifiable. The written text, for instance, has always had a place in audio-visual production, and still is there to be found, but now also in the form of web pages, e-mails and interactive interfaces of the internet. More than a mere production tool, new media have really produced a change in the way we perceive images and have generated new forms of display. However, these changes transcend forecasts and very intensely generate repositionings and movements - and thus very restless works.

With this diversity arising from the fusions of new media plus the restlessness that has always characterised contemporary audio-visual production, it may well be risky trying to sketch a map and define a territory. We know that it is among the images, among the supports and the technical and subjective possibilities that these works are developed. There is no stability that can resist to the speed with which artists appropriate and subvert the use of media in audio-visual production.

The web cam - of little precision and nearly rudimentary recording becomes an instrument that reveals the restlessness of artists in search of new possibilities and imagetic solutions. The body, celebrated as the site and support of experimentation since Nam Jum Paik and Morman, for instance, connects with technology and open endless other possibilities. Memory is re-articulated in the filmic registers reclaimed by the electronic environment, the nearly lapidated images seek an updating of the past.

The fusions and hybridisation arising from countless overlapping of supports and techniques place the electronic image and interactive productions in an open, conflicting and dynamic field, as it reveals the restlessness of a generation of artists before contemporary problems. Raymound Bellour reminds us that it is among the images that we can notice these processes: « It is among the images that, increasingly, the contaminations take place, those of beings and of regimes: sometimes very sharp, sometimes difficult to be circumscribed, and, above all, of being named. But if they do pass, thus, among the images, so many new and indecisive things, it is because we pass too, increasingly, before the images, and because they pass equally in us [...] ».

Now, if we are among images it is natural that they should reveal something about what we experience: changes in social life, the issues raised by the mastery of the biotechnological in relation to a « new body », the memory as a factor of construction of identity and the speed of interactions and symbolic exchanges typical of our days. All this is revealed, somehow, in the intense movement of contemporary audio-visual production.

This great doubt, this little precise map that we have tried to draw with the competitive screening has posed some fundamental questions. There are no privileged frontiers or formats: CD-ROM and the internet, as well as video, have fused in such as way that it is not justified anymore, at least after having seen all pieces of work, to create separations, what makes us think about the very organisational structure of our festival for its next edition. What is there is an audio-visual production that helps itself to all media and processes of image production to reveal the complexity of today's world. Production is vigorous and diversified, besides being restless and subverting with much strength the more well defined paths, thrusting itself into quicksand territories that seem more apt to show the complexity of this new century. The experimentation with the image and with the more central issues of interactive media, as interactivity itself, the convergence of media and the exploration of dissolute frontiers reveal that Videobrasil has always pointed to the right direction, as it privileged works centred around daring and the subversion of the more mundane possibilities of the media to reach more contemporary and experimental results in the use of technical means for artistic production. Little it matters if it is VHS or digital, if it is an interactive CD-ROM or DVD, what maters is how to articulate a voice, authorship in the construction of such works.

The selection of works for the 13th edition of Videobrasil has tried to point at, somehow, to what there is of more restless and hybrid in contemporary production. The formats mix up, techniques recycle new configurations and what was typical of an experience is renewed on changing course. Thus we see artists who seem to reclaim the precursors of the electronic image by producing abstract works completely removed from objective reality, artists who emphasise the more aesthetic issues linked to the processing and to the elaboration of images. Other artists articulate ideas around personal issues, turning to the construction of identity, the exteriorisation of feelings and with this they generate strong works with intense poetic appeal. Social and political themes show up with vigour in works that present issues related to sexual discrimination, access to medicine by HIV-positive individuals and political-sexual militancy. Documentaries establish new connections with other audio-visual genders and re-elaborate the image, cutting and even remaking, in effects and juxtapositions before common to video art works, new creative possibilities. The same takes place with other genders that seem to let themselves be contaminated and thus replace the limits and frontiers of production.

Some works hardly use any post-production technical resources at all, the image appears as a nearly direct recording, and are no less intense because of that. Animations have gained new breath with internet softwares, revealing young and promising animation artists, with fun as well as serious and engagé works. So, we are going through one of those rich periods of re-articulation and rearrangements, and this is certainly not entirely due to technology. There are many other factors interfering in this redirecting that involve new exhibition circuits, countless publications, shows and festivals in Brazil and around the world, among many others. We are going through a period in which, more than defining precise paths, it is necessary to establish connections, be open to fusions. We cannot keep to a single direction, it is important to dive into this moving architecture that is contemporary audio-visual production. The selection committee has pursued this idea and the competitive screening is a fruit of the intense discussion and the search for the most significant works of our time.

Angela Detanico, Eduardo de Jesus, Gilbertto Prado, Rafael Lain, Solange Farkas

ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL VIDEOBRASIL, " 13º Festival Internacional de Arte Eletrônica Videobrasil" [13th Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival]:19 to 23 September 2001, pp.22 and 23, São Paulo, SP, 2001.