Introduction to computational media

How does computation apply to my body?

I am the last generation of those who still have memories without the internet. I remember when the internet came to me, at the beginning of the 21st century, while I was still living with my family, in a very small city where I was born and raised. Simultaneously, public space was becoming dangerous – narratives of violence, robbery, and other crimes became commonplace in Brazil. Therefore, the children could not play on the streets as free as before.

frame of a self-portrait video I made 5 years ago using glitch techniques

My child’s body became more at home in the company of machines. At the same time, I began to discover myself as a homosexual and did not find territory around me that resonated with my existence. It was when part of me started to hide – and find myself in a virtual environment. The computer then became an important extension of my existence as a cyborg-body, creating relationships, affections, and shaping my subjectivity.
This is just the starting point of a long way of interacting with computers, but not being purposive due to a lack of knowledge in the field. If the computation is a language, the first step, before being able to think about it, criticize it and design new ways of interacting with it, is learning it.
I’m interested in the way computational affects relations no just between humans, but also between humans and other species. And going deeper, I’d love to investigate how hardware is produced, mapping the paths of the natural resources used to fabricate it, since its extractivist context in the South Global. This could be a base for artistic and educational projects to think about new technology.

Projects I imagine doing this term

For this term, I’m not sure about the projects I want to develop, but I have some guidelines in my mind. In the past year and a half, I was working inside an office for an art institution. This everyday intense interaction with computers, after working as a dancer, made me realize that I don’t want to design experiences to be watched in a standard squared screen, because usually nowadays people have enough interaction with it.
So I’m more interested in designing performances, or collective performances to be tried in real space, interacting with nomadic digital systems and wearables, for instance, augmented reality, sensors, sensible sounds. Although I’m not sure about how computational media is going to apply to that, I know it’s going to be an important part of this desired development.

Projects I love ❤

I don’t know if I love a project specifically using computational media, I don’t even know if it’s possible to make love with machines – actually, this as a question really interests me.
But I remembered two projects I really enjoyed watching. The first one is Visual Sounds of the Amazon, by the Australian artist Andy Thomas. He traveled to the Amazon rainforest to collect the sights and sounds of the jungle and transformed it into visual experiences, with the hope of spreading awareness about its plight.

The other one is a virtual reality experience that I had here in New York last week at the opening of an individual exhibition by the artist Jess Johnson aka Flesh Dozer at Jack Hanley Gallery. She is a drawer who started creating virtual reality experiences in partnership with the 3D artist Dimon Ward. The works invite us to enter portals to impossible architectures and geometries, allowing us to encounter creatures that don’t exist in this world. Really mind-blowing!

“Grand Geometricon” by Jess Johnson, 2019

Previous experiments with pcomp

Instrument for planting invisible seeds

In 2018 I created an interactive object called Instrument for planting invisible seeds. It is akind of Theremin DIY, adapted for a nomadic object, which I created the design and 3D-printed. The invisible seeds are abstract machines populated by the forces we see with closed eyes and whose configuration vary according to the context where they are planted.

This experiment still in process and and I feel I still need to design the body that activates the object while performing it, and somehow connect the work to concepts related to diversity and new forms of agriculture, such as agro-forestry, in opposition to monoculture. 

In order to build it, I used an Arduino Nano, an Adafruit Neopixel led-ring set with a rainbow effect, an Ultrasonic Sensor HC-SR04 and a 3D-printed structure which I designed using Tinkercad. I can’t code by myself, so I found this tutorial to create it and made few changes to set the code and include the led code to it.

Glove part of the series of devices to touch the invisible

In 2017, during a workshop called Introducing Electronic for artists, I started this first try with a wearable, using the Theremino code. I consider this project a simplified prototype for future ideas.

To begin…

I’d like to share part of the application that I submitted to come to ITP. I might pass through a lot of transformations during these two years, so it might be a good idea to remember sometimes what my first intentions and wishes were, who I was and what I did before I came here.

Find here the portfolio and here my personal statement requested as part of the application process.

1 min Introductory video part of the application