junk bag, motorized arm, laser pointer
This is version 1 of Gustavo, made for Espaço 1999, Museu Nacional de História Natural, Lisbon
A junk bag is appently carving a drawing on a wall with a red laser beam.
Gustavo is a yellow junk bag out of which cames a motorized arm with a laser pointer that apparently is
carving a near-circular drawing on the wall through a near-circular continuous movement.
Of course, I previously have carved the drawing on the wall, according to the line described by the laser.
Gustavo stands for the name of the hypothetical disposed robot.
“Do androids dream of electric sheep?” * Would robot-artists carve drawings on a wall?”
* (title of the Philip K. Dick book on which the movie Blade Runner was based)
During my design graduation I learned that in Portugal it used to be not worthy to cast steel moulds
in order to produce plastic objects, since there was no market for all the objects you had to sell,
to pay for the mould. Perspectives of exportation were weak as well.
Suddenly in 1998, the 3 portuguese mobile phone companies start competing with each other through
expensive, designer-like, plastic containers for their cell phones:
TMN – Mimo, Telecel – Vitamina and the Optimus – Boomrang.
People were throwing away tens of thousands of these objects every day.
For Design Inserts, at the ExperimentaDesign99 I recycled those colourful plastic containers as lamps,
making two different models for each mobile phone company.
this work was presented in two versions:
>Your Mission is a Failure, 1996, video projection, stereo sound, 56 min.
>Your Mission is a Failure (ICTM97 edit), 1997, video projection, light box, psychadelic sensor, stereo sound, 25 min.
Your Mission is a Failure consists of a series of virtual performances – recorded on video – taking place inside the worlds of early 3d computer games for pc.
The performances consist of continuously dying (thus the title, taken from the computer game Command & Conquer message when the game is over), or, using hacking tricks, becoming imortal,
exploring and passing the virtual boundaries of the game architectural set, or even making music during the gameplay.
All the performances were transfered live to video using a Creative TV Coder, under Windows 95.
Games used include: MechWarrior 2, Dark Forces, Doom, Descent 2, Duke Nukem 3d.
In 1997, I made a shorter version of the video, and used a psychadelic lightbox from my 1996 solo show.
This box was placed in the middle of the projection area and would react to the video and ambient sound through light patterns.
Your mission is a failure: Dark Forces
1. attacking a sculpture. 02′08”
2. invisible floor in the vacuum of space. 01′44”
3. jamming the door. 03′07”
4. invulnerable, jumping with the aid of land mines. 03′24”
Your mission is a failure: Duke Nukem 3D
1. playing pool with guns. 01′16”
2. invulnerable, creating a grid of laser beams inside a theater with laser detection bombs. 04′28”
3. using the shrinking gun on a dancer. 01′52”
4. invulnerable, underwater. floating laser detection bombs. 02′27”
Your mission is a failure: MechWarrior II
1. ejecting, aborting mission. 02′57”
2. explosions in the dark, and self-destructing an_invulnerable mech. 01′37”
3. leaving the defined mission zone. 04′01”
Your mission is a failure: MechWarrior II
1. invulnerable, taking hits. 01′42”
2. looking right and left to the rhythm of the steps. 02′44”
3. leaving the defined mission zone II. 03′43”
made for Greenhouse Display, Estufa Fria, Lisbon
VR Trooper 1996 A metal cylinder erects from the fresh turf. Inside the cylinder, through a red plexyglas, and under a strobbing light, one can see a rotating toy robot (VR Trooper) in a frame-by-frame kind of motion. The cylinder is meant to be an observation point for the trooper, that probably would erect from time to time, at diferent locations for routine observations. VR Trooper was made for the Greenhouse display exhibition, in 1996, that took place in a greenhouse in Lisbon, and was focused on ecological issues.
lamps, plexyglas, psychadelic sensors, speakers, wheels, etc.
made for Wallmate, Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade de Lisboa, 1995
During my years in the school of fine arts in Lisbon, the teaching methods were not in total contact with the contemporary reality happening outside. So it was as if we had to live double lives, me and my friends – Pedro Cabral Santo and Alexandre Estrela, among many others – working at school during the day, and planning exhibitions and discussing art the rest of the time, sometimes through the night.
Night Art School is a yellow Formica Box with 24 white lights, my age at the time. Psychadelic sensors make the lights react – through a red plexyglas – in 3 basic patterns to the ambient noise made by people inside the cistern of the school. This was alternated with 30 second spots of electronic music (mainly Kraftwerk and Negativland) to simulate the circadian cycle. The formica box/school building is shown as a maquete on top of two sculpture tripods – used for clay sculpting inside the school- over green grass.
The set reminds me of Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. As if this was a scale model for a new experimental art school.
Wallmate was an exhibition I organized with Alexandre Estrela in the 5th and final year in the fine art school as a reaction to the academicist concepts prevailing inside the school.