In late 2015, a highly regressive ‘Statute on the Family ‘ was approved by a Special Committee of the Brazilian Congress. Around that same time, the art collective Corpos Informáticos circulated on the web the photographs a street performance: “I am floating”. The photos shows a “family” dressed for the beach, happily walking around Ceilândia, a city in the periphery of Brasilia, located at thousand miles from the sea coast. As in the case of other performative interventions of the group, “I am floating” is colourfully ironic.
It was not the intention of Corpos Informáticos to link the performance to the House Committee approval of the ‘Statute of the Family’. Yet the coincidence was fruitful. The images of ” I’m floating” projected a remarkable parody of the gap between what conservative lawmakers are proposing and Brazilian families’ realities.
When we thought of posting the photos of “I am floating” we have invited Bia Medeiros –artist, researcher, professor at UNB– who coordinates the group to write about the performance. Very generously, she and Natasha Albuquerque shared with us a short but enlightening text about the premises of their work. We thank them!
In 2016, Brasilia completes 56 years and the Research Group Corpos Informáticos (www.corpos.org), based in Brasilia, completes its 24 years in the course of which it has investigated contemporary art through performance, video art, urban composition and “fuleragem” (unruliness).
Corpos informáticos is a group, a pack, a bunch, perhaps a family, another family. Around 50 people have passed by the group, mostly students from the University of Brasilia (UNB) who, one day, will be artists, teachers, masters and doctors.
‘I am Floating ‘ was an urban performance proposed by Natasha Albuquerque to Corpos Informáticos and to Corpos Expandidos — which are our friends and lovers – for the 5th round of the event Performance Body Politics. This event created in 2010 is, perhaps, the wider virtual space for art performances and art as politics in Brazil
“I’m Floating’ departs from the incomprehensible, from what is not known. It searches for surfaces and few moments of deepening. It can also be portrayed as making a ‘poker face’. We swam in the nothingness and have floated in the landscape created by the CEI (Campaign for the Eradication of Urban Squatters) from which Ceilândia, perhaps the largest Northeastern city outside of the Brazilian Northeast, was born.
Is Ceilândia Brasilia (Braz-island)? Where’s the island? Where is the beach? Is there a pool there?
Fuleragem (unruliness) is our theoretical foundation: it challenges, it defi(l)es state policies, it lies, it laughs. We also use the Scanning Method: a visual apprehension model created by Joseph Beuys that consists of feeling the body in continuity with the landscape, of extending its lines to the infinite line of the horizon. Scanning explores the relationship between human beings and the open space and strikes discontinuous and fragmented visions of the big city. To slide in the landscape. To float in the air, in the eyes, in the senses, in the meaning: a body that floats in the wind, that looks but does not see and then becomes a landscape.
Another starting point of our work is Drifting, the practice theorized by the French situationist Guy Debord, consisting of following a path that is not necessarily the most obvious: to allow ourselves to be taken by desire and the senses. This takes us to chance and indifference, which also pertains to the drift: it is not necessarily a destination, it is a political practice, another politics.
Rio de Janeiro / Brasilia, January 29, 2016
Maria Beatriz de Medeiros and Natasha Albuquerque