For the first time, the shows and performances which compose Panoramas represent with exclusivity the southern circuit production. The selection allows us to concentrate our efforts to find emergent productions and review solid histories in the field of electronic art in vital regions of this aesthetic geopolitics — what Panoramas do with a great richness. Undertaken in the light of 20 years of the Festival and a crystalline understanding of the specificities in the circuit, they also want to create a imaginary map that allow us to compare disparate products and correlate achievements, examine similarities and dissimilarities, and stimulate artists and curators from different cultures to the formal and informal debate on our practices, articulations and possible interactions.

The material gathered in the five single-channel shows is revealing. A response to the free hand given by the Festival to some of the main curators-articulators from the southern circuit, chosen due to the potential or strategic importance of the regions they represent, this material presents new political voices and a world of aesthetic intentions, sometimes emerged in sceneries of technological exclusion and other times due to the facilitated access (in an unprecedented way) to digital resources of image capture and edition. With curatorship by Shulin Zhao, the shows of China are an example of this new moment, bringing recent works made by teachers, students, poets, workers, policemen, doctors, journalists and designers who, thanks to the extremely cheap DV technology, were converted to video art, fiction and documentary. “That is a generation of dream makers”, says Zhao.

From Hungary, curator and professor Miklós Peternák brings the product of a generation of creators who developed their work around the Intermedia Department of the Hungarian Fine Arts Academy, which he helped to create in the 1990’s. Also young are the representatives of the newborn digital production in Singapore, selected by independent curator Yuni Hadi for Videobrasil. “It is a generation that deals with the material demands of society and struggles to maintain the real self of everyone”, affirms Hadi.

The political face of the southern circuit appears in the compilations made by Angolan artist and curator Miguel Petchkovsky who maps the production from Africa, a continent marked by devastating civil wars and where the practice of video art “engages more and more in a specific sociopolitical critique”. “Audiences are not traditionally passive as they tend to be when confronting cinema”, says Petchkovsky. “They are developing a critical attitude which engages the art work as a deconstruction of the cultural text.” Charlotte Elias and Christopher Cozier, from Trinidad and Tobago, show Caribbean works that deal with the invisibility of women in Cuban politics regarding surveillance systems that “protect” the islands. More than a political discourse, the artists have in common the conditions in which they operate. “Their responses do not have much to do with representation, but with their articulation with the available technology. A critical perspective is coming of their investigations”, says Cozier.

A powerful testimony of the contemporaneousness of the new production from the southern circuit, the four works that compose a block in Panoramas devoted to performances come from Mexico, Egypt and Brazil. Selected by Priamo Lozada (Colectivo Nortec) and Solange Farkas, curator of Videobrasil (Duncan Lindsay and Quito Ribeiro, Dobra, the D+8 by Domenico Lancellotti, and Egyptian Hassan Khan), they share a vocation for the hybridism, the concept of collective, the recovery of traditional elements by means of electronic art procedures, and the transference, to the image field, of the idea of rhythmic manipulation which has produced the sounds in the last decade. Urban scenes and of the “policy on shared co-habitation” in cities such as Tijuana, Cairo and Rio de Janeiro recur in the work by Egyptian Hassan Khan, by Mexicans of Colectivo Nortec and the D+8 by artists from Rio de Janeiro, live modified in a vibrant activity which turns video into another music.

Videos and performances give the Festival a richness of very particular visions of every artist and every culture represented. The curators, with their crucial role in the discovery, stimulation, organization and diffusion of the southern circuit, bring their experience in the creation of mechanisms that keep up this potential circuit. In Panels, people who think about and work with electronic art in several places of the southern circuit gather to debate our current artistic production, its articulations and the role of images today. The image as a recovery of the recent cultural legacy in the context of traditional cultures and the role of new media in the social construction of reality and in the formulation of the contemporary subject are the themes under debate. The point of departure in Panels is the diversity of visions and the multifaceted global reality. The objective is to outline possible routes among the perspectives of displacement, according to coordinator Eduardo de Jesus, of the Associação Cultural Videobrasil Council.

Selected artists

Selected works


Jury members

Trophy design

Pieces of landscapes from different places which displace one towards the other, meet and mingle at the points of contact without losing their identities. A wooden and acrylic scale model of this moving topography, the trophy created by Raquel Garbelotti for the 14th International Electronic Art Festival shares the concept which was adopted as an axis to the curatorships and the Southern Competitive Show. “I had the idea of the trophy reflecting about the loss and conquest of a territory which can be understood as the place we occupy. The scale model seemed appropriate since it implicated relations of control and perceptions of scale,” says Raquel, who previously worked with photography, video and objects. “In general the idea of a work leads me to the form of resolution, but I would say that I am always designing spaces.”

Jury statement

Every time the jury faces the challenging task of selecting a few works from a wide spectrum of productions coming from various countries. This year, the jury comprised of Christine Tohme, Katia Canton, Frederic Papon and Rodrigo Alonso, after viewing all the works in the selection of the 14th International Electronic Art Festival Videobrasil, would like to voice some general considerations.

It was a learning experience to confront all these works coming from different cultural backgrounds, aesthetic searches and approaches to electronic media. It was very hard to decide on only a few of these works to give the predetermined prizes and at the same time to be fair with all this diversity of gazes. So we, as the jury, decided to expand the awards' platform and include three special mentions to contemplate this situation.

The final decision, of course, is the jury's personal regard on the quality of the works and, as we know, every personal point of view may be partial and problematic. So, the prizes of the 14th International Electronic Art Festival Videobrasil are: Three Special Mentions with no hierarchical order to: Personal? ID? Card, by Miodrag Krkobabic from Serbia; Underneath, by Liu Wei from Pekin, China; Unknown Zone, by Katarzyna Paczesniowska-Renner from Poland. Prize of Audiovisual Creation Le Fresnoy to: Ficção Científica, by Wagner Morales from São Paulo, Brasil. And the three trophies with no hierarchical order to: Cows, by Gabriela Golder from Argentina; Face A Face B, by Rabih Mroué from Lebanon; The Apocalyptic Man, by Sebastián Díaz Morales from Argentina.

September 28, 2003


Selection commitee text 2003

The Images that Affects

What is the purpose of or whom are designated our images to? In spite of the difficulties and contradictions involved in this question, contemporary artists cannot abstain from trying to answer it constantly and persistently. In other words, our present does not allow us to produce images in an imprudent or negligent way. On the one hand, they can legitimate hegemonies, consolidate injustices, stimulate inexhaustible desires of consumption. On the other hand, the image is, in its potentiality, what allow us possible translations and displacements: it has the capacity to dislocate meanings, (dis)articulate views on the world and, sometimes, help us to intervene in it. Against the image which cannot produce anything but the mere stagnation or the pure indifference, our gaze addressed to conterminous, non-stabilizing, instigating images, which guide the gaze on the contemporaneousness in a critical way: those images that affect us. They are at the frontiers of language and produce, by means of their pungency or subtleness, displacements of thought. Displacements of identity. Therefore displacements which are explicitly or implicitly political. We have confirmed a convergence: from 765 works sent by 40 nations to the Southern Competitive Show, it was possible to gather an expressive group of 97 works which share this notion of displacements, already anticipated by the curatorial axis of the 14th Videobrasil Festival. They are works produced in the field of electronic art which signal unfoldings on the contemporary existence, which dilute separations between the individual and the collective, the private and the public, the particular and the universal, and any of them can only be identified through the direct interference of another one. They reflect and dialogue with great sociopolitical and cultural processes: in this sense, many of them are in-tense works, since they originate from the tension between the global media and economic systems and the resistances arisen from diverse territories. As immaterial, impermanent, transient works, they form sorts of “deterritories” in the field of language. What we have mainly verified is that this tension occurs in the universe of the discourse. In other words, it is a matter of intervening processes carried out in the scheming and discursive device, therefore forming an intrinsic politics not exterior to the audiovisual language. The pungency of a large part of the works in the Competitive lies in this chemistry which does not allow us to separate the aesthetic experimentation from the critical experimentation in them. That is why they are works inseparable from the experience of the present time, where we verify the confluence between the analytical and synthetical reasoning, between the sensitive and cognitive investigation, between art and thought. Nomadic Images In these images one can perceive passageways among worlds in conflict, moving, unstable worlds. We also verify the peculiar trend of the electronic image to articulate among the most different artistic languages and fields. Between the visual and performing arts, between the videographic and the photographic, between the digital means and the telematic networks, among the verbal, the sound and the visual, between the appropriations of media and the culture of data banks, between the aesthetical and political discourse. The experiences are more and more interdisciplinary and less “classifiable”. They promote a constant transit through domains once stable. They keep on offering us images in flow or, as Raymond Bellour says, “passages among images”. Going further, these images are no longer necessarily tied to the surface of the screen; they often coexist from a net of relations, situations and actions generated around them. Perhaps a new fact is the perception that the image, in order to be in flow and promote displacements, loses its link with the fixed situations without disconnecting from the territory and whatever it demand us: an irreducible criticism to the global nomadic processes of exclusion and to the discourses of intolerance. On the contrary, what opposes force to the displacement conducted by these images is exactly the ballast of politics, identity and memory they convey. In this sense it's worth observing the significant number of works which use as raw material the images that the media itself offer us. Reappropriated and recombined, they connect us to the reality in a different way, more personal, critical, less totalitarian and spectacular than the media hegemonic discourse. In a time when the digital universe proves itself, when there is the prospect of managing to control the image in its numerical processing units, it is also emblematic to observe the dialogue (in new forms) of the video image in continuous flow with the fixed image of the photography. Or the growing interest in the documentary in the form of essay, as anticipates Arlindo Machado. Or still the return (also in new forms) of the representation of the body or of the singular personal or collective memories. These are strategies which open the image so that the realities insinuate in its interstices. As if the contemporary creator gives himself the permission to tear it and let it be traversed by the indications of a singular experience, the vestiges of a torn identity, or the traces of a memory on the verge of disappearance. Possible topographies We have elaborated a manner of displacing among the works of the Competitive Show as in a topologic space: the entrances are various, as well as the possible readings are diverse. Every work produces a different intensity, some are more incisive, others more subtle and delicate, all of them under the form of multiple connections. The programs in the Competitive Show articulate thematical ways but do not name them. Thus, we give room so that other potential combinations can be done. Every program has a key which is modulated by its own intensity. But this circumstantial stability will be certainly affected by the gaze of every participant in the Festival. We would like the Show could be seen as a map which updates the contemporary production in the southern circuit. But an unstable map which, in spite of not being exempt of choices and of having arisen from the cutouts we propose, changes in the face of every particular interpretation. In this topography, some entrances are possible: as already mentioned, politics is one of them. Intense works in terms of language and critical view of reality translate the typical tension of our present context, marked by economic, ethnic and religious conflicts that are translated into undesired wars whose solution we don't figure out easily. Also political are the criticism and recombination that several works make involving messages which circulate in massive communication vehicles, such as those originated from the circuit of the broadcast TVs and the Internet. If the media and the new telematic technologies have been the main support of globalization, a discourse of resistance arises from their tactical and subversive use. Many works denounce the new forms of control, more subtle and oblique, which insinuate in communication networks or by means of surveillance cameras, satellites and the omnipresent gaze of reality shows. Another topology through which one can enter into this Competitive Show is the one that dialogues with the theme of the nomadism or of a “new nomadism”, as suggested by Félix Guattari. The theme permeates several works and gets different meanings at every approach: travelers, refugees, exiles; the tourism, the navigation in cyberspace, the impossibility of returning to the original territory, the wandering or the exile in their own territory. This new nomadism does not leave intact identities and also intervenes in our body. Diverse works show us this aspect in a profitable dialogue with the origins of video art: now it is a matter of a recombined body, added with prostheses and projections. And, rather than simply representing the body, some images really intend to affect it and elect it as a target of synesthesic experiences, provoking not only auditive and visual sensations, but also tactile and gustative ones. Other trends In this edition of the Festival, we have also opted for a displacement in relation to the style of exhibition of some works. Their plastic and installing nature, as well as the non-linear articulation of language they propose, have led us to risk another manner to present them to the public. That is the case of “How Things Work” (Roberto Bellini, Brazil), “Collection” (Orlando Maneschy, Brazil), “Stereo-Escape (Video) 2” (Daniel Trench, Brazil), “ BMX” (Alexandre da Cunha, Brazil/United Kingdom) and “Untitled” (Ricardo Müller Carioba, Brazil), which are separately exhibited in looping, in individual projections and in dialogue with the environment where they are presented. Another novelty in this edition was the creation of the “Contemporary Investigations” show, based on the observation of the works in competition which had a special distinction along the discussions engaged in the selecting period. In parallel to the Competitive, it shall point out emergent researches and attract attention to important trends in the artistic field. These works transit in different contexts from those of the curatorial axis of the Festival, and allow a careful examination of instigating vestiges of what points out lines of ongoing researches, as well as the future production. The idea follows the Associação Videobrasil's philosophy of moving around the understanding of the designs of audiovisual production. These are works which had prominence due to the quality of research and have relation to the study of art in their processes of language development, as well as to the manner they articulate and innovate approach contents. Besides “Contemporary Investigations”, from the next edition on of the Festival a second show, “New Vectors”, will become official having as an objective to include the production of new nuclei of work of the most varied regions in Brazil, as well as from nations with an emergent production. These minimum displacements we have anticipated point out changes in the format of the next editions of the Festival: on one side, the Competitive will be open for a diversity of experiences beyond the single-channel and will indicate actions of ephemeral, installing and performing nature. On the other side, the prospect to create parallel shows and cutouts which come to potentialize the quality and the richness of the works in competition. If the electronic art expands to other formats and experiences, Videobrasil has the duty to accompany that expansion, and even to permit that the Competitive Show is less oriented to awards and intensifies its character of exchange and dialogue with new dynamics which promote the confluence of the experience of art and thought. Therefore we must encourage the reflection and the creation of images that affect us and, as claims Gilles Deleuze, that make us believe again in this world.

André Brasil, Christine Mello, Solange Farkas
Selecting and Programming Committee

ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL VIDEOBRASIL, "Displacements - 14th International Eletronic Art Festival": 22nd September to 19th October 2003, pp. 234-235, São Paulo, Brazil, 2003.

Text by host institution Laure Bacqué, 2003

Le Fresnoy Audiovisual Creation Award

For the tenth consecutive year, and always with the objective of cooperation, development and cultural exchange between France and Brazil regarding electronic art, the Consulate General of France in São Paulo and the French Embassy in Brazil are glad to collaborate with another edition of Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival. Since 1992, with the Futuris Alliance Française Award, French institutions have been giving the Festival a constant support. In order to illustrate this collaboration and celebrate 20 years of the Festival, French services of AFAA (French Association of Artistic Action) in Brazil and the Alliance Française in São Paulo joined the Studio Le Fresnoy in France to launch the Le Fresnoy Audiovisual Creation Award. The prize offers a Brazilian artist a grant at the Le Fresnoy, one of the best training centers in the research and audiovisual production fields in the world. Le Fresnoy — Studio National Des Arts Contemporains is a center of production, research and postgraduation in audiovisual art which enables young artists to produce works with professional equipment, under the direction of renowned artists. Conceived and run by Alain Fleischer, it was opened in 1997 in Tourcoing, Northern France. The emphasis of the works is on the rupture of barriers among traditional and electronic media and audiovisual languages, including photo, cinema and video, coming to digital technology and its unfoldings. The prize-winner will have a preparatory French course during six months at the Alliance Française in Brazil, the trip to France, a grant for his/her sojourn, and a two month-residence at the Le Fresnoy, with all the technical means for the production and postproduction of a project which could be integrated to Panorama, an annual exhibition of the Le Fresnoy at its studio. This 20th edition of the International Electronic Art Festival will also have the presence of the director of the Studio Le Fresnoy, Alain Fleischer, as a member of the official jury. Gabriel Soucheyre, artistic director of the Videoformes Festival, which takes place in Clermond-Ferrand, France, will be present to recollect and stress the participation of French artists in Videobrasil, in a video show which covers works from the period of creation of the Festival to the latest productions of the new generation of videomakers in France. Laure Bacqué – Audiovisual Adviser Consulate General of France in São Paulo

ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL VIDEOBRASIL, "Displacements - 14th International Eletronic Art Festival": 22nd September to 19th October 2003, pp. 236 e 237, São Paulo, Brazil, 2003.