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«The Gap» – Felinto [BR] and Simon Grab [CH] at São João Residency [BR]

Brazil — Residencies

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Residência São João

A collaborative audio project by musicians and activists Felinto [BR] and Simon Grab [CH], «The Gap» explores the unspoken stories and sounds of the black diaspora. The work is inspired by the musical concept of feedback, or circuit interference, and was developed in the context of Somoscosmos, at São João Residency, an independent program based in an ecological farmer and artists community the Rio de Janeiro state, in Brazil.

Felinto, a Brazilian producer, multi-instrumentalist and mediator in social conflicts, and Grab, a sound artist from the Swiss electronic music scene, base their collective work on the pedagogia das encruzilhadas (crossroads pedagogy). This concept, theorized by Brazilian researcher Luiz Rufino, reference to African Brazilian culture and the deity Exu, considered an explanatory principle of the world on matters such as communications, invention, corporeity and ethics. Through Exu, Rufino says, we come across cruzos (intersections), where a diversity of knowledge resides, and learn to work with unforeseeability, transgression and resilience.

By transgressing the cultural norm, «The Gap» aims to bring out knowledge at the fringe of “official” art production. The project is inspired by the manifestations of the black diaspora and seeks to rescue the historical memory of colonized people, and the articulation of their wisdom.

During the residency, which took place in April 2022, Felinto and Grab developed their individual research, made recordings, and collaborated with São João’s educational program, presenting their work and offering a workshop to children at a public school. Alongside the local community – composed mostly of afro-descendants and people living in peripheral contexts –, the duo explored the limits of translation, invisibility, and the unspoken. The actions, therefore, intended not only to examine and register these stories but also to contribute to critical thinking and art pedagogy.

“Over time, «The Gap» project was perceived as a set of actions that do not need words, a laboratory of decolonial practice linked to the context of sound art,” says Felinto.

The recordings from the residency should became an album, to be released on Somoscosmos’ bandcamp page.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Felinto is a Brazilian music producer, multi-instrumentalist and mediator in the yoga study group Corporeidade e Masculinidades (corporeity and masculinities). He is also a co-founder of Sistema Negro (Black System), a collective of black artists and intellectuals located in São Paulo, whose actions concern the mediation of conflicts and anti-racist interventions in the social context of black communities. As part of his studies in mediation, he offers yoga classes for children. As a musician, he studies manifestations of the fractal in the electronic language. He has participated in festivals of contemporary art, science, and experimental music, such as Campus Party, Exploratório, Novas Frequências Festival [BR], and VIDEOEX [CH].

Simon Grab is a Swiss sound artist and musician who explores new grounds by negating assumed borders. In his recent work, he focuses on reduction, and the peculiarity of self-referential systems. The album «Anthropocene Panic» (sound-space Records London) follows his recent LP «Posthuman Species» and the EP «Extinction». His «Diamonds» EP in collaboration with Togolese rapper Yao Bobby and Asian Dub Foundation’s Dhangsha was released on Bristol’s LavaLava Records. Grab’s recent works include «Hirnmusik 1 & 2», in which he dives deep into musical imagery by transferring his sonic ideas directly from his brain to vinyl.

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