Monday, December 3, 2007

It will be what we make it

During 3 weeks, artists from different fields, theorists and programers have been working in Lisbon at the old building which will be the new space of Alkantara: cláudia jardim (portugal), pedro penim (portugal), nuno rebelo (portugal), gustavo ciríaco (brazil), tarek atoui (lebanon), carlos pez (spain/belgium), sasa asentic (serbia), federica porello (italy), estela lloves (spain), marc neelen (holand), ana dzokic (serbia/holand), bojana cvejic (serbia/belgium), mark deputter (belgium/portugal), catarina saraiva (portugal), raquel fernandes (portugal).

Check the blog of the project "it will be what we make it" at for detailed info. The whole thing turned out to be focused around the space itself, the history of Alkantara and possible futures for it. There was a wide range of programming, from cinema showings to performances, from cooking to party, from video instalations to concerts, from debates to conferences, etc. I'll focus here on what i've done during this time.

On Friday 16 November I proposed the screening of Edgar Pêra's film "Evazion LX94", featuring Robert Anton Wilson, Rudy Rucker and Terence Mckenna, one of my favorite films ever.

I participated twice in the kitchen activities, together with Carlos Pez. First, on Friday 23 of November, we cooked for 30 people: us + our guests, invited to debate possible futures for Alkantara and this space.

The second occasion was Saturday 24 of November. The public was supposed to bring any kind of ingredients and we cooked non-stop since 19h30m to 23h, having presented a wide variety of delicious and spontaneous recipes (with the help of the volunteer girls from Alkantara who choped a lot of onion and also cooked some goodies).

This night was called "goodnight and good luck" and featured 2 performances by Sasa Asentic, a conference on alternative architecture by Marc Neelen and Anna Dzokic and a duo concert by myself (on electric guitar) and Tarek Atoui (on electronics).

On wednsday 28 of November, Federica Porello organized a Jam session with students from a few dance and performing arts schools in Lisbon. I invited Ricardo Freitas (bass guitar) and Miguel Cabral (homemade percussions) to join Tarek and myself on the musical side of the Jam.
The Future is Uncertain” evening, on Friday 30 of November, presented three scenarios for possible futures of Alkantara. Scenario 1: venue - guide tour through Alkantara’s building in 2019, by Sasa Asentic and Pedro Penim. Scenario 2: project based organisation - with 7 timeframes from 2007 until 2019, by Bojana Cvejic and Gustavo Ciriaco. Scenario 3: platform for thinking - the press conference on 30 November 2019, the day when the building has been acquired from the city, by Ana Dzokic and Claudia Jardim. Then there was a documentary by Bojana Cvejic, Claudia Jardim and Federica Porello about Alkantara and Dancas na cidade; and a photographic research on more then 70 spaces in Lisbon used by Alkantara from 1993-2007, by Ana Dzokic, Marc Neelen and Pedro Penim.

After all this, i did a very short audio visual concert (about 5 minutes!) called "It will be a question of...". Using a piezzo microphone on a transparency projector, my hands and the objects that i was using to produce sound (and of course visuals) were projected on a wall. The end of it left a projection with question marks made with screws.

On this night there were also several video instalations, one of which, "It could have been tomorrow" by Carlos Pez, had my music as soundtrack. He used an electronic piece called "jumping birds", one of the "cristalized improvisations" that i composed back in 1990!

The last night, Saturday 1 of December, was called "Performing the space" and featured a very nice performance with the same name by Sasa Asentic and Gustavo Ciriaco, with the participation of Federica Porello, involving the audience and the space. There was also a great energetic and exciting solo concert by Tarek, and another solo concert by myself.

In this concert, also called "performing the space", i used objects that i found in the space and the space itself in order to produce sound. This was the core of my research during this period of 3 weeks, not only as performance material but also for video: i videotaped these and prepared some software in order to be able to play live music with video projections of the sound sources. This way, my concert had an acoustic first part (me playing the objects) and a video second part (me playing the clips of the ojects).

This night i put up again "It will be a question of...". Since the night before it didn't become interactive (people from the public using it to transform the images) cause it was the last thing presented, it was great to see people using it all the time during this second night. Once in a while, i would come back to it and redo some question marks.


  1. mt curtido, força niisso!!

  2. i really enjoyed your post!