In this issue of DATJournal - Design Art and Technology, we travel between the processes, attributes, and intensities of the body/object/space relationship, both in the theoretical contributions and in the artistic propositions that participate in the gallery of images that we include in the third part of this issue. We intend to make evident the hybrid condition of languages that extend the boundaries of the corporeal organism to technology, design, performance, cinema, fashion, and art.
We start from the assumption that the body is a complex organism, of which brain and mind are partakers of different and inapprehensible mechanisms of symbiosis and that it is structurally coupled to its environment - filled by distinct spaces - in a conjuncture of mutual and continuous construction.
The body, endowed with different forms of collaboration and transduction between similar organisms, transforms, adapts and abducts, but also purges old coupling strategies, making the evolutionary process infinite.
All relational mechanisms occur through the sensitive, unconscious, subjective, and conscious aspects of the interacting minds. Aspects that are undoubtedly individual. Individuality extracts the ability to find an objective and measurable definition or distinction of the nature of the body.
This issue deals with the body, where the human condition resides, and the environment contaminated by different technologies even though our focus is not them. We highlight the machinic processes that enhance the perception of the body, modifying the articulation with the outside world. We explore the plurality of natural and technological interfaces that impact on the materialization of an infinity of data and images that interfere with the senses.
We live in an age where our ability to access organic processes is increasingly viewable. While neuroscience strives to give apprehensible results of brain states within the body, more doubts arise about the true nature of the mind.
Mind, this entity, inapprehensible by the available technologies, continues a mystery that we slightly touch when we approach the perception, the poetics of the works, the individual’s interaction with artistic propositions and the artist own production. Interactor who is body; artist who is body.
The scope of this edition has provided the necessary opening to talk about aspects both non-circumscribed and not allocated by strict classifications. We wanted to find a link between diverse contributions on the approaches related to the body/object/space theme.
Thus, we seek artists who complexify this theme, precisely because of diversity, both in theoretical and poetic productions.
We decided to organize this edition in three sections. The first, entitled “Perceptions”, “, brings a theoretical focus where perception of approximation and disconnection between authors. The second, entitled “transductions” presents the conceptual discourse on artistic productions, where the body is allocated in spaces with different physicalities and concepts, covering performance, film, video, photography, poetry, design and the architecture. The third section includes a selection of images, called “Corpus Poeticus: a visit to the poetics of images”, which brings intersemiotic translations, impressions, looks, research and experiments of artists that are working in the body/space transductions and express their thoughts in poetry, photography, performance, design and digital painting.
The reader will find in “Perceptions” a part of the research on neurocinema, developed by Finnish filmmaker Pia Tikka, applied on a case study, together with another Finnish musicologist and expert in Cognitive Sciences, Mauri Kaipainen. It is the analysis of one of Maya Deren´s films (At land) that defends the thesis that this film is a precursory example of what they understand as “enactive cinema”. Besides this analysis, it will interest the reader some details of Maya Deren’s career which there is not too much written about in the Portuguese bibliography.
Then, discussing the concepts of affordance and enaction, thus connecting directly with the previous text, Cleomar Rocha and Pablo de Regino draw a clear approach on these themes, focusing on interactive installations with support in phenomenology. To illustrate the nature of these concepts, they analyze the interactive installation “Scare the crows of Van Gogh”, produced by the Media Lab / UFG team in 2011, a laboratory of which Cleomar is the director.
Bringing controversial considerations about mind and consciousness, Fernando Fogliano discusses the possibility of the existence of a kind of machinic unconscious, like a consequence of the extra somatization of our brains in the environment, that could generate efficient machines to promote what he calls “a play of sincere lies in art.” The argument revolves around Mimo Stein, a conversation robot created by Fábio Fom.
The Portuguese artist, Maria Manuela Lopes, starts from the tattoo of symbolic rituals promising a scenario of science fiction in art, when it speaks of advanced biocompatible and “tattooable” technologies for medical purposes, but whose potential the artist can perceive and, from this perception, is capable of proposing art. Demonstrating this, the author presents her project Emerging Self, which works on the concept of dynamic tattooing.
Following, we present the video and cinema language starting with Fernanda Duarte. She advances in the study of stage performance technologies, developing criticism, as demonstrated by scientific and technological possibilities, both regarding the difficulties and the use of electronic and computational stage devices, as an effort to emphasize the poetic potentialities that these technologies could compose a unique language, mixing the performer, audience and scene elements.
Then, Júlio Mendonça presents a text based on the concepts of intersemiosis and holosignia. It brings the discussion of the hybridization of the languages of poetry and experimental cinema also presents the changes of the film narrative from the dialogue with the technology, pointing out how the variety of solutions reverberates in signs and establishes a multimedia result that interferes in the perception of the interactor.
Next, Carolina Peres, aiming at a study on the relation of body, camera, and the sensible space in between, show us the photograph from a point of view of a person who recognizes her body as part of the photographic work, beyond the visual. She understands photography as a relational process, between direct experience with the technological object, to the complying of the image in its final attributes.
The body, transformed by the plastic surgeries, has a subjective transfiguration in the hands of Raquel Fonseca. Her discourse and photographic gaze on the subject, lead the perceiver to a path that does not end in the corporeal aesthetic - the result of the surgery - but in the wonder of the artist, we say in the Peircean sense, about the time retained in the hands of the surgeon. Placing a narrow zone between the purpose of the person who undergoes this type of bodily reconstruction and the one who prefers the state of estrangement in the modifying process.
The second section, “Transductions,” bridges art, architecture, design, and computational engineering. We start with Tania Fraga, who develops a reflection on her last 30 years of career, which shows an anticipatory vision of extended applications that, for her, computer technologies are, with which a person can experience whole body simulation experiments that are integral, including biocomputation mediating.
In the sequence, Hugo Fortes talk about the observations concerning to the objects that surround him and, in this reflection, presents the interweaving of art and everyday life. He discusses individual works and projects that are the result of the partnership with Sissi Fonseca, his companion in both artistic production and life. He presents the meaning and processes of his performative creations, revealing fragments of the artists’ intimate stories and the confrontation of the surrounding world.
Suzete Venturelli, in collaboration with several students and researchers from Media Lab / UNB including Cleomar Rocha, and Media Lab / UNIFESSPA, with the participation of Teófilo Augusto and Cláudio Coutinho, discuss recent productions of the laboratories, held in partnership, where the poiesis of the body presents itself in harmony and dialogue with the technified praxis, promoting autopoietic works. It is interesting to observe the diversity of propositions that this cooperation brings using open technology and low cost. Sometimes the experiments still not have a final defined form, but the potential of artistic production is there. Themes such as eroticism, interactive wearable objects, and poetic appropriations of the landscape are examples of the lively diversity of approaches.
The meeting between Agda Carvalho, Clayton Policarpo, Edilson Ferri, Daniel Malva, Miguel Alonso, and Sergio Venâncio resulted in a collaborative and multidisciplinary process named “Ex-votos” project. The text brings the proposition Miracle Room that address an expanded body and articulated with the ritual present in the popular Brazilian culture of ex-votos. A body that is beyond its physiological condition, but which alters the world and, at the same time, is influenced by it. The text elaborates a reflection of the continuous proliferation of daily images, that are shared in the network, bringing, thus, the virtualization of the process of recognition of the image as representative of the natural world.
In finding the third section, “Corpus Poeticus”, we prefer that the reader/experiencer discover, by itself, our intention with this selection of images.
We also hope that the reader/experiencer of this edition shares with us the impression that, from the various possible approximations and transductions between body, object and space, what we have proposed here shows the unequivocal and permanent engendering of the human being (and, in our case, of the artist) with the continuous and impermanent forms of structural coupling between the being, the doing, and the objects of the world, that is, the extra somatization of all knowledge acquired far or recently.
We would like to thank the authors, artists researchers, poets, photographers, performers, musicians, and film-makers investigating and contribute to unraveling the paradoxical question of body/object/space in our field. Likewise, we’re grateful to all our contributors that, in different ways, made this publication possible.
Our gratitude extends to the Master and Doctoral Post-Graduate Program in Design of the Anhembi Morumbi University, whose commitment to the qualification of the DATJournal gave us the opportunity to develop this work.
São Paulo, May, 2018