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The American influence in the development of Brazilian technological art

Grant number: 19/00626-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 20, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Principal Investigator:Sergio Miceli Pessoa de Barros
Grantee:German Alfonso Nunez Canabal Junior
Supervisor: Frederick C Turner Jr
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Stanford University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/13635-5 - From concretism to the amusement park? The course of technological art in the Brazilian artistic field, BP.PD


Here we propose a research that attempts to explain the reach and impact of American institutions and actors into the development of technological/digital art in Brazil. Divided in two distinct periods, during and after Brazil's repressive dictatorial regime, this proposal follows the initial findings of our original FAPESP postdoctoral project. Firstly, it questions the artistic autonomy of pioneering Brazilian forays into this peculiar artistic practice when, in its early days, it was conducted by a bizarre relation between Brazilian artists usually positioned in the far left of the political spectrum, the American government and its cultural and public diplomacy, and Brazilian artistic institutions during the country´s military rule. Exemplified by its very first exhibition, held at the headquarters of the United States Information Agency in São Paulo, the unusual relationship between these different characters, at the most repressive stage of the military junta, is a detail that has been unexplored by both the sociological or art historical literature. Secondly, here we also attempt to make sense of the enormous impact that later American technological art and its institutions had in Brazil. Mirroring both its discourses and intentions, Brazilian technological art from the 1980's onwards seemed almost too eager to follow its foreign peers. In order to comprehend this change, we propose a comparative analysis that must be preceded by a study into the course of Brazilians would-be models. In other words, this project attempts to retrace the origins and development of contemporary American technological art in order to understand the peculiarities of our Brazilian case. As such, here we briefly sketch the possible elements that resonated with Brazilians artists: the technophilic rhetoric developed in the San Francisco Bay area that was eventually propagated by corporations and artists alike.

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