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The Brazilian Art and Technology Experience: A Chronological List of Artistic Experiments with Technosciences in Brazil

Eduardo Kac

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 aesthetic."


Photographer Valerio Vieira creates The Thirty Valerios, a photograph that pioneers a technique that would later be used by avant-garde movements: photomontage.

Roberto Landell de Moura performs the world's first public long-distance transmission of the spoken word without wires.


Landell de Moura is recognized as the inventor of the wireless telephone in a full-page story published in the New York Herald.


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 optics.


Landell discovers the human radioactive aura and photographs it, 30 years before Kirlian.


Mendes Fradique publishes the History of Brazil by the Confusing Method, dealing with the book as an industrial object and structurally using blank spaces.


Mendes Fradique publishes Open-Air Market, in which he presents a typographical poem and uses cliche technology in innovative ways.


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."


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.


Juo Bananere uses phonographic technology in a creative manner to produce two recordings (distributed by Columbia Records) in which he 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.


Palatnik presents his kinetic art work, Cinechromatic, in the 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 filmletters."


Albertus Marques creates the Electric Poem. He wrote: "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 charge."


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."


Waldemar Cordeiro begins his research with "computer art."


Claudio Tozzi creates artworks with a photocopier for an exhibition of etchings.


Paulo Bruscky begins systematic research with electrographic art.

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 art: "Communication through traditional art has become obsolete because of the limitations implicit in transmitting this art to the consumer. The limited number of people who can enjoy this type of art, the high costs, the target area, and the difficulties of communicating through traditional art are beyond the quantitative and qualitative cultural demand of modern society. . . . The use of electronic devices may provide a solution to the communicative problems of art through the use of telecommunications and electronic resources, which also require image processing."

Aldir Mendes creates Suicide---Brazilian Style, a radiographic film produced with an X-ray generator.

Antonio Dias and other artists create video artworks.


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 the distribution of temperature in pipes within other pipes."


First exhibition of video art in Brazil, organized by Walter Zanini and presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Sao Paulo.


Hudinilson Jr. works with his body on a photocopy machine. He writes, "Leaning over and lying on the glass plate, thus composing forms/textures."


Antonio Dias participates, from Milan, in European collaborative experiments with black-and-white slow-scan video modems. On the occasion, Brazilian art critic Ligia Canongia wrote: "Antonio Dias tried to relate his message to the silent visual language of the slow-scan video modem. In a continuous sequence of expressive gestures, he tried to adapt himself to this fragmentation and to the absence of sound. He tried to communicate effectively despite the limitations of the medium."


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.


Nelson das Neves, working at Telesp (Telephone Company of Sao Paulo) performs the first artistic experiments with videotext in the country.


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 microfiche.

Augusto de Campos and Julio Plaza show two works on the Publicolor System electronic panel.

Julio Plaza organizes the Art by Telephone exhibition, displaying videotext art works.


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 country, taking electronic works of art to users' homes through the videotext system. Artists featured include Eduardo Kac, Flavio Ferraz, and Rose Zangirolami.

Mario Ramiro and Jose W. Garcia present Clones, a network made up of simultaneous radio, television and videotext transmissions.

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 Neves.


Kac and Candido Jose Mendes de Almeida inaugurate the "Electropoetry" project at the Candido Mendes Cultural Center, integrating electronic signboards, radio and video monitors.

Mario Ramiro and Jose W. Garcia organize Level 5, an exhibition of works by various artists created with CAD/CAM software.

Flavio Ferraz creates new works with videotext.

The 7th National Salon of Visual Arts at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, exhibits a "Holography Room" curated by Eduardo Kac.

Wilson Sukorski and Jose W. Garcia present Ptyx, connecting two galleries through systems of data transmission.

Lino H. Ribolla creates works of art with microcomputers.

Moises Baumstein shows his holograms at the Museum of Image and Sound of Sao Paulo.


Kac and Catta-Preta hold the world's first exhibition of holopoems at the Museum of Image and Sound of Sao Paulo and at the School of Visual Arts in Lage Park, Rio de Janeiro.

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 in galleries, showing computer graphics that are seen daily by nearly 70 million Brazilians on the Globo Television Network.

The holopoem Abracadabra, by Kac and Catta-Preta, is added to the permanent collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro.

Joao Coelho uses a microcomputer to create animated poems.

Catta-Preta and Marcelo Cunha make holograms for the set of "Amapola," a play staged in a Sao Paulo theater.

The Armando Caro Penteado Foundation presents New Media/Multimedia, a show curated by Daisy Peccinini.

As a parallel event to the Congress on Semiotics, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Sao Paulo exhibits Art and Technology, a show curated by Julio Plaza.

Kac and Catta-Preta exhibit holopoetry in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Exhibition of Holography at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois.


Eduardo Kac sets up Holotech, the first holography lab in Rio de Janeiro.

The Rio Entrepreneurial Center, in Rio de Janeiro, hosts Brasil High Tech, a group show curated by Eduardo Kac and Flavio Ferraz. This exhibition was a survey of Brazilian artists working with new technologies.

Please email comments to ekac@artic.edu

Updated 4 November 1997.


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