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 large backyard to a small 50 m2 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."

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.


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.


In both Pixel and Tube, digital macro photographs of image tubes from connected TVs are worked and unfolded on the computer. In both cases, Pixel and 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).

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 was able to interview him 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.

According to critic Aline Figueiredo, my digigraphs InVersions transit "through constructive forms, somewhat kaleidoscopic, with the tension of half-closed eyelids. [...] The geometric rigidity is 'broken', or rather sensitized by the informal or sensitive blurring of the line."

It is worth remembering that in InVersions the geometric captured in radical inversion of focus hides scaffolding, colored iron wefts of public toys in the parks and squares of Brasília, columns and coatings of the pilotis of the city's various buildings, among other materialities and socialities of a place that became a symbol for its characteristics linked to modern architecture.

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.
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.

________Featured works________

1) The work Justice was exhibited at the inauguration of the new OAB headquarters in Cuiabá, MT in 2000.

2) 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).

3) The series InVersions (2012), is a work composed of a set of 108 photographic images of urban landscapes of Brasília, which have undergone various manipulation processes (blurring, inversion to negative, digital treatment, etc.) and that, at first, were projected in looping in granite blocks in raw state, supported by a glass column, then in wood, trees, etc. The first exhibitions were held at the Palácio da Instrução Art Gallery in Cuiabá, MT (2012), and at the Athos Bulcão Gallery in Brasília, DF (2015).

4) Pixel (2011). 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.

5) Tic-tac-toi (2011). Special participation by performers Emyle Daltro, Tieta Macau e Daniela Yara Cantillo Castrillon.

6) Tube (2011). Brasilia, DF. Work that originated from macro digital photographs of a TV tube image on. The photos were worked, reworked and unfolded in the computer, finally projected in performer and becoming the video Off Air (2020). Special participation by performer Emyle Daltro.

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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