This is a look at an everyday utopian artistic research space avant la lettre. Although the term artistic research had been in use much before the foundation of the space examined here, the practices that took place there connected art and scientific exploration in a spontaneous way, outside the framework of academic or gubernatorial institutions. These practices, as we’ll see, involved the development of artistic and technological research that proposed imaginative exits for current ecological and creative dilemmas, through a choice of values that included self-sufficiency, encounters, inventiveness, open knowledge, a fair amount of hedonism and an ultimate goal of autonomy.
Nuvem - self described as “rural station for art and technology” - was started in 2011 in a 4-bedroom house located 200km from Rio de Janeiro, in the touristic mountain village of Visconde de Mauá by Cinthia Mendonça, Luciana Fleischmann and myself. Here, a disclaimer is mandatory: although most of the article is based on the vast documentation found in Nuvem’s own wiki1, some information will necessarily derive from my own subjective participation in all processes of the laboratory until its closure in 2016. Pictures were obtained from Nuvem’s open Flickr. Many references are also taken from the extensive ethnographic work on Nuvem written by Camila Montagner2.
To understand the potential of this initiative from the perspective of utopian thinking, political imagination and social action, we will lean on the resistance tactics suggested by the French collective Tiqqun in the text The Cybernetic Hypothesis. These ideas include zones of opacity, noise, interference, silence, slowness, fog, all converging into an ideal of autonomy.
Artistic Residence, Resistance, Artistic Research, Interference, Noise, Ecology, Autonomy, Self-sufficiency, Citizen Science
ART - TERRITORY
Bruno Caldas Vianna is living in Barcelona-Finland. He is doing a doctorate in visual arts and machine learning at Uniarts Helsinki. He graduated in film in Rio de Janeiro, and has a master's degree from NYU / ITP. He made short films, interactive feature films, mobile applications and installations.