Saúde com Arte no desafio da Pandemia

Amanhã (Sexta) às 18h sou um dos oradores convidados no ciclo virtual “Saúde com Arte no desafio da Pandemia”.

É muito raro falar em público sobre a minha produção e os meus processos criativos; a veia costuma ir-me mais para a desconstrução semiótica do que nos rodeia e se nos entranha… Mas amanhã o tom será mais testemunhal: vou discorrer sobre a minha produção criativa do último ano, incluindo os bestiários que tenho apresentado aqui quase diariamente.

Obrigado à Susana de Noronha e à Raquel Siqueira pela oportunidade, e parabéns pela organização!

30 years later

Next month it will be 30 years since my move to the U.S… Philadelphia, then Chicago. A very, very different world from the one we live in now. Earlier today I was watching some documentary videos of life in NYC in the 1970s, and it dawned on me that my own U.S. years were so much closer to those faded narratives than they are to the current ones.

This was my home in Chicago… just the sight brings back sounds, smells, memories. An era when all seemed possible, or was it just the naiveté of youth? Either way, these were years packed with joy, adventure, possibility… a 23 year old kid crossing the Atlantic pre-internet without knowing a single soul on the other side, how’s that for reinvention?

I’m thankful for this time and all and everything that enabled it… it became the foundation of who I came to be.

(Cheers google)

 

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Micro-emails and upcoming skypes

I received this tiny little icon as an email reply from a friend (top left is the actual size as received). This was the only content of his email.

While I appreciate the effort in devising better communication tools, I struggled with this one… I thought “is it my eyesight?”… So I enlarged it.

Still no freakin’ idea what he meant… Good thing we’re skyping this evening.

Unless this icon means “need to cancel our skype”?..

Nope, not Ready.

Lembro-me que de há uns anos para cá o slogan da vondafone era “O Futuro é Incrivel. Ready?”
 
Pois, afinal o futuro não era grande coisa. Incrível, sem dúvida, mas não muito desejável.
 
Portanto, agora ficou só o “Ready”.
 
Ready for what?
 
For the economic crisis? For growing social unrest? For extreme boredom? For the loss of human touch? For years of covid neurosis?
 
Seguramente que haverá coisas boas no horizonte, e todos esperamos boas epifanias e novas formas de solidariedade. Mas seguramente que não virão de uma narrativa que, em jeito de se manter à tona, perpetua a alucinação pré-covid em modo fofura indoors. Pelo menos o “Ready” anterior reportava-se claramente à utopia tecnológica, mesmo que na sua versão turbo-desvairada; pelo contrário, um “Ready” no contexto actual trai-se a si próprio no vácuo que cria – ou mais, pergunta tacitamente se estamos prontos para o pior.
 
Pass.

Creative Solidarity?

New concept just in via email – “Solidary Creativity”.

Can we just for this particular once have… Solidarity?

Or are we having “Solidary Innovation” next?

Whatever. Off to get some actual work done.

Not “creative innovation”: Work.

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Experience Another Future

For the past few years, some of my research interests have focused on the lexical implications of contemporary socio-cultural and technological shifts.

A keyword I have always placed at the center of the debate has been the word “Future”: I have essentially argued it has been a term employed to tacitly reinforce the dogma of “endless growth”. Even when in face of looming catastrophe, the term “Future” would work like a magic spell, erasing warnings from collective consciousness and restoring a certain “order of things”, namely an euphoric, quasi-narcotic hybrid of techno-determinism and endorphin-driven entertainment.

I find it a bit early to dissect what has happened to the employment of this particular vision of a “Future”. But I argue that it is no longer viable: the term as a territory of delirious projection has now met a sobering reality, from which it can only emerge as a sober construction itself.

The same will likely happen with a lot of the other words that we’ve fantasised about — entrepreneurship, transformation, innovation, smart, creativity… etc. etc. etc. — their supposedly unquestionable “good” is having to return to the world of the tangible, after a long trip through agenda-driven abstractions.

I shall report in due time.

 

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L’ Apocalyse des Humains

A short, soft vignette by a young Vangelis, at a time when his center of gravity was in France. His early work is actually quite interesting, merging Greek harmonics, psychedelia, jazz, and the nascent possibilities of analogue synths… He even got involved in the May’68 riots in Paris, and released an album of field recordings of said riots.
This one was originally recorded for a French wildlife documentary. For me it still conveys echoes of a certain post-WW2 naiveté that resonated through the generation that lived its aftermath… as attested in multiple outputs of popular culture at the time, where a utopian world was systematically envisioned, between new explorations in self-expression, a naive fascination with “progress”, and a simpler, more impressionistic sense of well-being.
I have a hunch that a lot of the aesthetics that will surface in the aftermath of the current catastrophe will want to revisit these more soothing territories. I guess a lot of us will need them, enough with the cultural artefacts that amplify the energy of conflict and ugliness that already play themselves out there as it is.
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Relief

My new sound piece, “Relief”, is now streaming on the Art In Quarantine virtual exhibit. With thanks to Wreading Digits for the initiative. Click the link below and then click again on Northern Portugal/East Galicia… dot nº 2365

https://wreading-digits.com/art-in-quarantine/

My sound work has always been a slow process, often taking years until it finds the right form or context; in the case of this piece, the editing started in 2017, over source materials going back decades. The original premise was to create a slowly unfolding abyss, an experience whereby the listener would feel themselves falling continuously and perpetually. Yet somehow it all felt a bit… not quite there. So the edits have patiently remained on the shelf.

Fast forward to March, 2020, and the same exact sounds now speak of a different reality. It is no longer the abyss, it is about bringing down the statistics, the exponential curve, the intensity of it all. Looking back, the piece was already complete, give or take a few minor edits: it just had to wait for its resonance – and it resonates now, albeit for the worst reasons.

The tailend of the sound piece, and corresponding acoustic shift, signal the upcoming aftermath of the pandemic, in whichever form it might end up taking. The sounds are purposefully soothing, ominous and open-ended, evoking the gigantic, desolate sigh of relief that awaits us all at some point. Or so we hope.

With Best Wishes of Good Health to all,
HA