Eduardo Kac

					Leonardo Editorial Advisor

					New Media Department
					University of Kentucky
					207 Fine Arts Building
					Lexington, KY 40506-0022


					The Brazilian artists presented in
					this gallery share an interest in the
	exploration of contemporary issues in art through the use of new
	technologies---digital photographs, CD-ROMS, experimental 
	telecommunications events and interactive installations. These works
	range from personal journeys to reflections on larger social issues
	and the impact of new media in our lives.

	In spite of their shared cultural background, they belong to a large 
	tribe of electronic nomads. Some of them developed their work while 
	living in the United States or in Europe and still today continue to 
	travel or live abroad. Others have often traveled vicariously, either 
	during worldwide telecommunications events or via identity 
	voyages, such as the dramatic change of persona during Carnival. 
	Their innovative works often displace common expectations of what 
	Brazilian art should look like.

	Irene Faiguenboim and Flávio Ferraz digitally manipulate 
	photographic images to create very personal tableaux. Faiguenboim's 
	images reconstruct her process of motherhood, developing a visual 
	narrative that speaks of the emotional fluctuations she went 
	through along the way. The tone is at times anxious, at times 
	humorous. Ferraz, on the other hand, transforms humor into a 
	critical weapon. His light boxes often show images of himself 
	dressed as the queen of Carnival, surrounded by other images that 
	strike the viewer as allegories of the political and economic 
	difficulties of the country. His satirical design for a new Brazilian 
	currency exposes at once the instability of the economy and the 
	emotional instability that one derives from it.

	Rodrigo Toledo and Diana Domingues work with three-dimensional 
	environments. While Toledo develops what he calls "artist's virtual 
	reality," compact and portable, Domingues modulates the physical
	gallery space with a large installation divided in four sectors.
	Toledo's CD-ROM, entitled Uneaten Future, blends a sophisticated
	non-linear immaterial architecture with highly personalized mythology.
	In the world created by the artist, cultural references are mixed; 
	political, religious and economic forces are entangled. During 
	navigation, the viewer reaches new levels. These can be seen as new 
	spiritual levels or new steps in the corporate ladder. The 
	commodification of life is exposed through interconnected spaces in 
	which there is no redemption. Domingues addresses the 
	transformations undergone by the human body in the domain of new 
	medical technologies. Her installation creates metaphors of birth 
	and death, mixing in the same environment blood and video images 
	triggered by the viewer. In one case, the viewer passes through a
	tunnel made of ultrasound scans of a womb with a 6-month fetus. At 
	the end of the tunnel, the visitor's image appears on a video monitor. 
	Domingues is suggesting a process of re-birth, while encircling the 
	viewer with electronically processed images.

	Gilbertto Prado and the late Paulo Laurentiz have created unique 
	artworks with low-end telecommunications media. While living in 
	France, Prado worked with other members of the telematic art group 
	Art-Reseaux at the same time that he developed his own projects in 
	telematic art. His telescanfax is a good example of how he 
	hybridized multiple media to create new communicative images and 
	situations. In this work, he appropriated images from French 
	television with a hand scanner and re-transmitted them live as 
	digital fax to other artists and museums around the world. The 
	result is at once a deconstruction of the visual banalization 
	promoted by commercial television and the creation of enigmatic 
	images of mysterious force. Laurentiz was a pioneer of
	telecommunications art. As homage to his talent, 
	tireless energy and generosity, he is represented here with a piece 
	created with slow-scan television. In this piece, through sequences 
	of frames, he used progressive geometric forms to evoke natural 

	Laurentiz was a very important figure in the context of Brazilian 
	electronic art. In one instance, during the Carnival of 1990, he 
	"invaded" the Louvre in Paris by faxing the French museum 
	images of works in its collection that he had altered and 
	manipulated. Laurentiz was inspired to create this event by André
	Malraux's "Imaginary Museum." The choice of time period 
	for the "invasion" was crucial: Laurentiz wanted to 
	criticize the commodified images of Brazilian "exoticism" 
	that proliferate on European television during that time of the year 
	(Carnival). With Laurentiz's sudden and tragic death, we have lost a 
	gifted artist and original thinker.

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