Jim Andrews on Tue, 17 Feb 2004 20:58:45 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Alexandre Venera (Brazil) on empyre in March

Alexandre Venera has some fine work at http://www.eale.hpg.ig.com.br , his
site. The sound in MANTRASH
http://www.eale.hpg.ig.com.br/2002/mantrash/sw_mantrash.htm is important, as
it is in much of his work. This is an international piece. Venera is from
Brazil and worked with Clemente Padin on PAN PAZ imagine at
http://www.eale.hpg.ig.com.br/swf/sw_0abre.htm . This is another
international piece in which the sound and interface is important. This one
is far more interactive. And the piece reachable from
http://www.eale.hpg.ig.com.br called 8/80 PIXELS is interesting also.
Alexandre apparently made this one after his computer crashed; it is
something of a data or art reclamation project, though you wouldn't
necessarily know that to look at it. Highly interactive and enjoyably so.
There are other interesting works more oriented to written poetry on his
site that you may also enjoy (via clicking the aLe signature characters from
the http://www.eale.hpg.ig.com.br homepage). In fact all the urls of his
i've sited are thereby reachable, except 8/80 PIXELS, perhaps, which also is
reachable from the home page.

Keep an eye out for the literary dimensions. Concrete, in the late fifties,
became one of the first international forms of poetry in part  from South
America to achieve widespread influence in English and other languages. And
its influence in Brazilian letters has been strong. This is, for the most
part, a benificent influence, though it is of course up to the artists to
move beyond it in their own ways. Venera, I feel, has done this beautifully
without renouncing concrete, but by moving in some ways parallel with its
aims and, in other ways, his work bears little resemblence to concrete. The
work has a multiplicity and complexity rarely seen in concrete. Yet the
sense of language, and the joy in playing with the material of language in
various media is fully present. Also, concrete went for a kind of simplicity
that is sometimes unremarkable (simple mimesis between the meaning and look
of the words/letters), but the underlying goals ranged from international
comprehension to political statement that all could understand and find a
range of emotions and positions in. Venera's work is explicable
internationally and it has both a strong political and poetical content to
it. Related but different is the spiritual aspect of aLe's work, which is
humourously presented in MANTRASH but is resoundingly real.

If you know concrete, you see this work has as much (perhaps more) in common
with contemporary digital art from around the world as with concrete. 8/80
PIXELS, for instance, has more relation with the rectilinearities of data
art than with concrete. But, of course, the rectilinearities of data art
share with concrete a focus on the constituents and materials of the art, or
the ability to zoom in and out of the micro and macro. I admire the sort of
culture in Brazil where visual poetry is strong in the weave. It is part of
where aLe comes from, but he has worked through it into his own work

And, again, these are international pieces, for the most part, so the
language must be simple but rich and explicable among different tongues.

aLe is one of four featured guests on empyre in March. The others are Regina
CÚlia Pinto, Ana Maria Uribe, and Jorge Luiz Antonio. More about each of
them as February proceeds. The title of March on empyre is The
Phenomenological and Fantastic in South American New Media. It should be a
lot of fun. I hope you'll join us for discussion of the work of these four
exciting artists/critics.


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