Digital Art

I am part of a generation that experienced the emergence of video games (arcade) as a child, that experimented with both the analog camera and the popularization of the digital camera, that went from tiping datylography to computer typing, that learned how to operate a computer with MS-DOS and later learned Windows, that did the final paper of the graduation course, in 1998, on Cyberlaw etc.

In this path, of cyber life, I started to make my first artistic works using an IBM PC in 1996, but it was in the early 2000s that I produced my first exhibitions mixing technology and artistic ancestry. I made some installations with objects and people on the scanner and the scans unfolded into prints, projections, etc. I used the first versions of Adobe Photoshop software, especially version 4.0, to do the treatment and small interferences on the images. These versions of Photoshop contained plug-ins or artistic filters that allowed me to put in some works floating drops, textures and braids. In this way, the Adobe program was a coauthor in the final production of some images, because the software inserted, according to its programming logic, the drops that, approved by me, remained in the work.

Since the beginning I have studied both traditional techniques such as drawing and painting as well as the new digital technologies, but in certain periods of my life I dedicated myself more to one than the other and vice versa.

There were times of great dedication to digital art as in 2001, when I did workshops with Prof. Nikoleta Keriska, professor of art and image technology at the Federal University of Uberlândia, etc, and other times that I did immersions in drawing and painting as in 2009 and 2010 in Chapada dos Guimarães, MT. After this time in Chapada I returned to research digital art in Brasilia, in 2011. The migration from Chapada to Brasilia, supporting my wife in her doctoral studies, made the physical work space much smaller, from a house with a backyard to a small apartment. Internally, I could no longer make big physical paintings, as I did in Chapada, also many painting tools were left behind, I ended up dedicating myself, in this period (2011 and 2012), primarily, to digital art.


Brasília is an ecumenical city, and as the time/space was of changes of various orders, I named a set of images I produced in Brasília InVersões (2012). For Ludmila Brandão, curator of the Young Art Award in Cuiabá (2012), what impacts us in InVersions is this transtemporal meeting of the most distant past with the cybernetic present, which is evident in the combination of stylized digital images projected onto various materials such as wood, leaves, stones, etc. - contemporary rock inscriptions. For Ludmila "the affections of materials and images reorganize the space-time of our lives, in such a way that they seem to put us in immediate contact (I couldn't say to what degree), with those who did the hard work of the invention of the species, perhaps allowing us an ancestral becoming never experienced before."

InVersions, 2011, Brasília, DF (2)

InVersions. 2023
108.000 X 216.000 pixels
9 X 18 metros

Over time, the creation processes of InVersões diversified, starting with capturing images with a digital camera on different walks through Brasília's superblocks; then came the accompaniments and manipulations of the photos on the computer; then projections; photographs of the projections; impressions; and in Portugal and Ceará, projections with dance and music performances, etc.


Pixel, 2020, Fortaleza, CE (3)

When showing these works in exhibitions and also in my social networks, "virtual friends" returned (reacted with) some references, and then the art critic Aline Figueiredo also did, analyzing the works of the period in Brasilia. In the work Tic-tac-toe (2011), for example, which was made with the use of digital photographs of colored led lamps, the reference that emerges is Vladimir Bonacic's (1938 - 1999), especially the work DIN from 1969, this also happens with the work Tube (2011). Already in InVersions (2012) and Pixel (2011) the references are the "light paintings" of Karl Holzhauser (1944) and Gottfriend Jager (1937), with the unfoldings in photos and paintings by Gerhard Richter (1932). I also mention as important international references John Whitney (1917 - 1995), Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987) and Nam June Paik (1932 - 2006) among others.

Tic-tac-toi (Jogo da Velha), 2020, Fortaleza, CE (4)

In both Pixel and TV Tube, digital macro photographs of image tubes from connected TVs are worked and unfolded on the computer. In both cases, Pixel and TV Tube, there is an expansion of artistic field when the images are projected onto a black background with dance performance and music from the video Off Air (2020).

Tube TV and Off Air, Fortaleza, CE, 2020 (5)

In Brazil, digital art was introduced through artists such as Valdemar Cordeiro (1925-1973), in shows like "Arteônica", held in São Paulo in 1972. In Cuiabá, I personally met Wlademir Dias-Pino (1927 - 2018) and I interviewed him when he lived in Rio de Janeiro, conceptual exchanges with this artist can be perceived in works from the show Assimetria dos Lados.

As the images can be projected, displayed on monitors or printed, when we refer to this last possibility, that of inkjet printing on paper or canvas, we can affirm my incursions into the field of digigraphy, a printing technique based on the new information technologies. Shows with these printed works have already been held in Cuiabá, Brasília, Chapada dos Guimarães, and Ceará. In fact, I can say that I was the first to use such printing technologies (digigraphs) in Mato Grosso, in the 1990s and 2000s.

The series InVersions (2011), mixes elements of nature as the aisthesis caused by the light and colors of the sky of Brasilia combined with the geometry, mirroring and details captured in radical reversal of focus, which produces impressions and vertigo caused by city lights, scaffolding, colored iron wefts of public toys in parks and squares, columns and coatings of the pilotis of the various buildings of the city, among other materialities and sociabilities subtly captured and share in the works these same intensities and unique sensations of the location. Link Brasília Way.

On this transit route between drawing and digital art, in 2020 I experimented with the use of drawings for projection and began studies for video mapping. The works Kzulo and Off Air are the first studies in this direction. These studies were interrupted by the Covid-19 epidemic and continue as a project today.

Kzulo, 2020, Fortaleza, CE (6)
Presentation at Encontro Brasileiro de Pesquisa Artística - EPA , Cuiabá, MT, 2023.

Currently, along with research on aisthesis of pareidolia, I have been experimenting with creating with the support of artificial intelligence programs, either mixing original images with a style generator or transferring style from one photo to another with these same programming logics.

Salobra Dance. Dan Pelegrin and Emyle Daltro. 2021
Two digitally manipulated and mixed photographs. Fortaleza, CE 45 X 61 cm
Photograph published in ARJ Magazine – Art Research Journal - UFRN (2022)

The neural style transfer, or the neural filters, have different effects than the overlays or merges of images that I have done in other times using Adobe Photoshop, which in the current version also has neural filters.

Some of the images that I co-produced with the artificial intelligence programs needed to be cut, retouched, repainted or modified and others were discarded, showing some limitations of these programs, in several cases the images generated were of low intensity. With a little time and dedication we began to understand the intelligence of computer vision, how it thinks and processes images, and with some adjustments, the low intensity tests were replaced by good results.

Monalisa at Cumbuco beach, 2021, Cumbuco, CE (7)

Meisje met de parel op het strand van Mãebá (Girl with a Pearl Earring on Mãebá beach)
2024. Mãebá, ES

Generative Venus on Pico Alto. 2024
Guaramiranga, CE

Dance in Quixadá. 2024.
Quixadá, CE

________Featured works________

1) The series Found Object (2001) was published in the catalogs of the exhibition ArteFato that took place in Cuiabá, MT, at the Museum of Art and Popular Culture of the UFMT (MACP), in 2001. Three of these works were acquired by collector Gilberto Chateaubriand to be part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM/RJ).

2) The InVersões (2023) series is a photographic panel made up of 162 images, 108 of which are photographic images of urban landscapes in Brasilia (2012) and 54 photographic images of urban landscapes in Olhos D'Água and Fortaleza, CE (2015). The choice of multiples of 3, 9 and 12 adds a multiplicity of spiritual, religious, scientific, mathematical and physical knowledge to the set of images. 
These images have undergone various manipulation processes (blurring, inversion to negative, digital treatment, etc.) and were first projected in a loop onto granite blocks in their raw state, supported by a glass column, then onto wood, trees, etc. The first exhibitions were held at the Palácio da Instrução Art Gallery in Cuiabá, MT (2012), the Athos Bulcão Gallery in Brasília, DF and the Vicente Leite Gallery in Fortaleza. This 2023 version of the work, still unpublished, has been remastered and modified, enlarged in size, reworked with digital painting, polar coordinates, transformed into NFT, etc.

3) Pixel (2011 - 2020). Brasilia, DF. These are digital macro-photographs of connected TV tube images. The photos were worked, reworked and unfolded on the computer, finally projected on the performer and re-photographed with the special participation of the performer Emyle Daltro. This work I consider special because it brings an ancestral range of references. My father and uncles executed of the mosaics, stained glass windows, and artistic details of the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, in the city where I was born, Marialva. This was done under the guidance of a priest/cultural producer/esculptor artist named Pe. Theo Hermann. But perhaps this influence does not come only from such close ancestors or relatives. In my master's degree I had contact with texts coming from the Aymara culture, the Whipala is a flag of originated from the Aymara people, it presents patterns of colored cubes in a with beautiful arrangements with multiple meanings
I have written before about the associations they made with my work in Brasilia, and when the themes were colored cubes the figure of the artist Gerhard Richter always came up, due to the notoriety of the work 4900 Colors from 2007, among others, and also the abstract stained glass windows created for Tholey Abbey and Cologne, etc., based on earlier works by the artist himself. Creating unique patterns of colored cubes is a way to remember and honor many people.

4) Tic-tac-toi (2011 - 2020). The work Tic-tac-toi (Jogo da Velha - 2011) was made from macro-photographs of LED bulbs in red, green and blue, forming lines that recall the possibilities of this game. They are night shots of the small LED bulbs in chargers, stabilizers, household appliances, etc. that remain on even after the appliances in the house or at work have been switched off. The macro-photographs were taken by Pelegrin in 2011 with a Sony H50 camera, then manipulated and treated on the computer to result in the work of art that will be projected onto the dancers/performers Emyle Daltro, Tieta Macau and Yara Castrillon. This action will be filmed and edited in the video format required by this call for proposals. The work marks, along with various changes, a moment of technological transition, in which small light bulbs are now widely used in various household appliances, machines, gadgets, etc. The movement of the performers will be slow and will create moments of pause, and this short "stopped" time will be linked to sculptural aspects or the creation of poses for photographs.

5) Off Air and Tube TV (2011 - 2020). The work Off Air (2020) was created from digital macro photographs (2011) of images of connected tube TVs. The photos were worked on, reworked and unfolded on the computer, finally projected onto dance artist Emyle Daltro. The work deals with the obsolescence of the tube TV, which is heavy, spacious and contains a large amount of lead (a heavy and toxic metal) in its tube, making it difficult to recycle, reuse and transport. The glass tube has a phosphorescent screen, which emits light when hit by electrons. The firing of the electron gun produces multicolored rectangles on the glass of the tube that form the TV images.  In this work, the dancer doesn't move; she sits on a bench and moves only from the waist up. The work gains amplitude and shrinks into unusual shapes with the movements of her arms, hands and the fabric of her skirt. The movement evokes the element of air and the historical moment in which the work was produced, the Covid 19 pandemic, which affected the pulmonary health of a significant part of the world's population, causing thousands of deaths.

6) In the work Kzulo (Fortaleza, CE, 2020), drawings by Dan Pelegrin were photographed and digitally processed, their colors inverted and projected onto the performers Tieta Macau, Emyle Daltro and Yara Castrillon. The passage from one state to another as a possibility of (re)existence constituted the drawings that make up the work Kzulo (2020). The drawings were born in a subjective process of mutual constitution of what we conventionally call "inside" and "outside". These three drawings (2015) emerge from the indecision, regression and anxiety experienced at a time of severe depression. In the process of overcoming the crisis, more layers of paint were added to the images, reinforcing traces that became the expression of the decision to revive the work which, by progressing continuously, gave rise to the calm needed to expand this work, while remaining alive (the work and the author). The video, an offshoot of the meeting with different artists, is the materialization of another way in which this work came to be, imbricating visuality, dance and music with the three drawings now projected with white strokes on a black background. The dancing bodies give volumes, colors and movements to the drawings and these give them lines and shapes, enabling the metamorphosis of these bodies that dance with them, establishing unforeseen spatialities. The images swallow up the bodies that become images that become bodies, to the electroacoustic sound of the soundtrack that gives continuities and discontinuities to the action, which unfolds in a non-linear temporality. This is the shared territory that Kzulo weaves, pushing us to build our cocoons and urgently weave connections between them, so that they resemble alveoli that, connected to each other, make up an enormous surface that will facilitate the much-needed exchanges that we need to make now and maintain continuously in order to live, let and see the world metamorphose. In this work, the movement of the bodies is inspired by the process of creating the drawings, in other words, the free gesture, guided by the unconscious, also calls for improvisation in dance. Spiral, circular, organic movements, curves and shapes found in nature are mobilized to paint with the bodies, in a game where bodies appear in the drawings and drawings appear in the bodies.

7) Monalisa at Cumbuco beach (2021). Three different versions of this work, printed on canvas, are part of the project New Looks at Monalisa, by collector Veridiana Brasileiro. The work has already been exhibited at Casa José de Alencar in 2022 and at the Caixa Econômica Federal Cultural Center in 2023.


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