A RADICAL INTERVENTION: BRAZILIAN ELECTRONIC ART
The Brazilian Art and Technology Experience: A Chronological List
of Artistic Experiments with Technosciences in Brazil
Compiled February 1986.
Hercules Florence invents the photograph and the verb "to photograph."
Typographer and journalist Machado de Assis publishes Posthumous
Memories of Bras Cubas, saturating the literary code of Realism to the benefit of
the material reality of typographic technology.
Literary critic Araripe Junior publishes "Aesthetics and Electricity" in the
September 24 issue of Novidades (Novelties) magazine, discussing the
possible dialogue between art and science and foreseeing a "future
Photographer Valerio Vieira creates The Thirty Valerios, a photograph
that pioneers a technique that would later be used by avant-garde
Roberto Landell de Moura performs the world's first public long-distance
transmission of the spoken word without wires.
1902 Landell de Moura is recognized as the inventor of the wireless
telephone in a full-page story published in the New York Herald.
1904 In New York, Landell obtains the patent for the wave transmitter
(radiophone), the wireless telegraph and telephone. He conceives of
transmission by means of light, thus foreseeing the principle of fiber
1906 Landell discovers the human radioactive aura and
photographs it, 30 years before Kirlian.
1922 Mendes Fradique publishes the History of Brazil by the
Confusing Method, dealing with the book as an industrial object and
structurally using blank spaces.
1923 Mendes Fradique publishes Open-Air Market, in which he
presents a typographical poem and uses cliche technology in innovative ways.
1924 In an interview for the Rio Grande do Sul newspaper D'Altima
Hora, published November 13, Landell claims to have invented a device which
captured sounds from space "which I called astral music because of the way
in which they manifested themselves."
In his Manifesto Pau-Brasil, Oswald de Andrade proposes "a new
scale. Advertisements producing letters larger than towers. And new types
of industry. The equivalent of physical surprise in art."
1928 Mendes Fradique publishes Portuguese Grammar by the
Confusing Method, using typographical technology in a radical way. He
creates a blank chapter and a typographical poem in which he reduces the
letter "x" to a graphic sign.
1931 Juo Bananere uses phonographic technology in a creative
manner to produce two recordings (distributed by Columbia Records) in
interprets his own writings with all the resources of the recorded word. Example:
"Non fui ista a inrevoluso que io sugne."
Mario Peixoto exhibits his film Limite for the first time, revealing the expressive
possibilities of new cinematographic technology. Eisenstein wrote this about
him: "This fellow educated himself with a camera-brain. Twenty years from now,
Limite will pulsate as new as now, just as I have seen it."
Abraham Palatnik begins research with light and movement.
1951 Palatnik presents his kinetic art work, Cinechromatic,
First Biennial of Sao Paulo.
Mario Pedrosa wrote this about him: "For the artist
the old pictorial metier (the brush and chemically produced pigments)
does not suffice. In
order to control, to direct, to shape light, the artist needs new instruments and
familiarization with the advances of modern optics, from the issues of
colorimetry to the virtualities of artificial light."
Augusto de Campos publishes the book Poetamenos (Lesspoet),
manifesting his desire to create poetry with "luminous signs, or
1960 Albertus Marques creates the Electric Poem.
"The printed word is of no use to me. Only light can make things appear and
disappear, and, therefore, transmit the real idea and the desired poetic
1967 Augusto de Campos publishes "The Artist and Technological
Society," in which he states:
"Technology revolutionizes the universe of our senses and as a consequence,
the universe of our mind. We can no longer go back to the values of the past, nor
to any way of seeing or judging things by traditional criteria. The destruction of
tradition in all spheres, as a
result of the impact of technology, means that a new aesthetic
principle must be invented."
1968 Waldemar Cordeiro begins his research with "computer art."
1969 Claudio Tozzi creates artworks with a photocopier for an
exhibition of etchings.
1971 Paulo Bruscky begins systematic research with electrographic
Anna Bella Geiger and Lucia Shaimberg create kinetic
apparatuses with polarized light.
Waldemar Cordeiro organizes Arteonica, an international
exhibition of works of art created with a
computer. In the catalogue of the same
name he writes this note, foreseeing telematic
"Communication through traditional art has
because of the limitations implicit in
this art to
the consumer. The limited number of people who
type of art, the high costs, the target area, and
of communicating through traditional art are
quantitative and qualitative cultural demand of
society. . . . The use of electronic devices may provide a
solution to the
communicative problems of art
through the use of
electronic resources, which also require image processing."
Aldir Mendes creates Suicide---Brazilian Style,
film produced with an X-ray generator.
Antonio Dias and other artists create video artworks.
1972 Poet Erthos Albino de Souza begins computerized poetic
research, creating and publishing the poem
"Le Tombeau de
Mallarme," based on "a problem of physics that deals with
distribution of temperature in pipes within other pipes."
1974 First exhibition of video art in Brazil, organized by
Zanini and presented at the Museum of Contemporary
1978 Hudinilson Jr. works with his body on a photocopy machine. He writes,
"Leaning over and lying on the glass plate, thus composing
1979 Antonio Dias participates, from Milan, in European collaborative
with black-and-white slow-scan
video modems. On the occasion, Brazilian art critic
Canongia wrote: "Antonio Dias tried to relate his message
the silent visual language of the slow-scan video modem.
continuous sequence of expressive gestures, he tried
himself to this fragmentation and to the absence of sound.
tried to communicate effectively despite the limitations of the
1980 Otavio Donasci founds "Videotheater," a language that
"sews" together video and theater, giving scenic
expression to video and bringing all the resources of videotape to the actor.
The actor's head is replaced by a video monitor.
Ivan Negro Isola organizes the first exhibition of holography
in Brazil. Only images created by North American and
European holographers are shown.
1981 Nelson das Neves, working at Telesp
(Telephone Company of Sao Paulo) performs the
first artistic experiments with videotext
in the country.
1982 Fernando Catta-Preta founds his holography laboratory, Holografica,
and has the first individual exhibition
of holograms in the country, also presenting pieces from his
collection made by international holographers.
Rose Zangirolani, Gino Zaniboni and Rodolfo Cittadino
begin doing research with videotext art.
Regina Silveira organizes the exhibition Arte-Micro at the Museum of Image and
Sound, displaying works through
Augusto de Campos and Julio Plaza show two works on the
Julio Plaza organizes the Art by Telephone exhibition, displaying
videotext art works.
1983 Kac and Catta-Preta found "Holopoetry," creating
the first long-term holographic artistic project in the country.
In June, the Nobel Bookshop inaugurates "Arte On-
Line," the first "private gallery" of telematic art in the
taking electronic works of art to users' homes through the
videotext system. Artists featured include Eduardo
Flavio Ferraz, and Rose Zangirolami.
Mario Ramiro and Jose W. Garcia present Clones, a
network made up of simultaneous radio, television and
Moises Baumstein sets up his laboratory and begins
doing holographic work.
The 17th Biennial of Sao Paulo shows an exhibition
of videotext art curated by Julio Plaza and with the
participation of various artists, including Nelson das
1984 Kac and Candido Jose Mendes de Almeida
inaugurate the "Electropoetry" project at the Candido Mendes
Center, integrating electronic signboards, radio and video
Mario Ramiro and Jose W. Garcia organize Level 5, an
exhibition of works by various artists created with
Flavio Ferraz creates new works with videotext.
The 7th National Salon of Visual Arts at the Museum
Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, exhibits a "Holography
curated by Eduardo Kac.
Wilson Sukorski and Jose W. Garcia present Ptyx,
connecting two galleries through systems of data
Lino H. Ribolla creates works of art with microcomputers.
Moises Baumstein shows his holograms at the Museum
of Image and Sound of Sao Paulo.
1985 Kac and Catta-Preta hold the world's first
exhibition of holopoems at the Museum of Image and Sound of Sao
at the School of Visual Arts in Lage Park, Rio de
Cristovao Baptista da Silva finishes his robot,
Blump, begun in 1975.
Flavio Ferraz creates the country's first works of art
made with a "light pen."
Hans Donner sets up his Videographics exhibition
galleries, showing computer graphics that are seen daily
by nearly 70 million Brazilians on the Globo Television
The holopoem Abracadabra, by Kac and
added to the permanent collection of the National Museum
Arts in Rio de Janeiro.
Joao Coelho uses a microcomputer to create animated
Catta-Preta and Marcelo Cunha make holograms for
of "Amapola," a play staged in a Sao Paulo theater.
The Armando Caro Penteado Foundation presents
New Media/Multimedia, a show curated by Daisy
As a parallel event to the Congress on Semiotics,
the Museum of Contemporary Art of Sao Paulo exhibits Art
Technology, a show curated by Julio Plaza.
Kac and Catta-Preta exhibit holopoetry in the School of the Art
Institute of Chicago's
Holography at the School of the Art Institute
1986 Eduardo Kac sets up Holotech, the first holography lab in
Rio de Janeiro.
The Rio Entrepreneurial Center, in Rio de Janeiro,
Brasil High Tech, a group show curated by Eduardo Kac
Flavio Ferraz. This exhibition was a survey of Brazilian
artists working with new technologies.
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Updated 4 November 1997.