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Brazilian Technological Art in Leonardo
and on the Web

Eduardo Kac

It is with great pleasure that I announce the beginning of a three-year-long Leonardo project that will document the history and the significance of Brazilian technological art. Entitled "A Radical Intervention: The Brazilian Contribution to the International Electronic Art Movement" , this project consists of publishing a wealth of information scarcely documented even in Brazilian art history books.

Some of this material will be published both in on the electronic Leonardo WWW Site and in the print journal Leonardo, but some of the material will be available only in one location. Subscribers to Leonardo or to Leonardo Electronic Almanac, and readers interested in becoming subscribers, are invited to point their web browsers to Leonardo On-Line. There; readers will find "Special Projects," where the documentation on Brazilian electronic art is located. Currently, Leonardo On-Line includes articles, a chronology, a bibliography and visual documentation of Brazilian technological art only available on-line.

The project starts by documenting the work of Abraham Palatnik, an international pioneer of kinetic art who started his experiments in 1949 and shocked the international jury of the first São Paulo Biennial in 1951, when he displayed his first light-art machine. The documentation included here is comprised of early reviews written by Mario Pedrosa (1951) and Walter Zanini, two important Brazilian art critics, and an interview I conducted with Palatnik in 1986, when he held his latest, and perhaps last, kinetic art show. Palatnik, who still lives in Rio de Janeiro, has not yet received the international critical recognition awarded to other equally illustrious artists of his generation, such as Takis or Tinguely. The material published in this issue is a first attempt at repairing this critical gap.

In subsequent issues of Leonardo, readers will find documentation of the work of other Brazilian artists as well as unpublished essays by Brazilian art critics and art historians. Artists to be showcased include Waldemar Cordeiro, Mario Ramiro, Carlos Fadon, Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica, Analivia Cordeiro, Irene Feiguenboim, Paulo Bruscky, Rodrigo Toledo and Otavio Donasci. An essay by Arlindo Machado on the development of Brazilian video art will also be published. More titles can be accessed at the project table of contents on the Leonardo WWW Site. For more information on this project I invite readers to get in touch with me at ekac@artic.edu.

Originally uploaded November 1997.

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