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Tradition in Transition: A Postcard from Cali

TraditioninTransistion.jpgIf you’re any what of a beat head, you know all about 1992′s Brasilintime, a history-making documentary film by hip-hop photographer B+ linking old-school percussion legends with beatmakers of our time like Madlib and Cut Chemist, shot around Sao Paulo. With his Mochilla partner Eric Coleman—both brought the heralded concert series Timeless to L.A. and along with it Arthur Verocai— they just dropped a trailer for their newest project, Tradition in Transition: A Postcard from Cali. Focused around the making of Quantic’s record of the same name that comes out in July, they shot footage for the film in Colombia’s Cali and Buenaventura, where Quantic lives. The trailer gives a taste into the film’s juxtaposition of these cities’ everyday life and people with the music from this American-born artist. While the first thing most people still associate upon hearing Colombia is drugs and the FARC, check out the trailer for a refresh: It’s a great thing to see the concentration elsewhere for once.

Lanceiro Nike Air Max

Lanceiro1.jpg

In 2007, a tiny Brazilian sneakers blog started tapping into the kicks obsessions of its citizens, but as we are with most things, we were on their potential from the get-go. Two years later, it’s built up a veritable reader base, who head directly to it to hear first word on the country’s newest arrivals and to read the daily musings from some movers and skaters in the industry. Nike Brazil, one of its most ardent fans, has given it a flattering gift for all that dedication on its anniversary: to let it design its own Air Max 1 called the Lanceiro, making it the first model of this type to be designed by Brazilians. Pulling colorful cultural inspiration from the blog’s home state of Pernambuco, especially mangue beat, the state’s musical invention in the ’90s that mixes traditional maracatu and ciranda sounds with hip-hop and rock music, the Lanceiro is a real eye-catcher. Designer Fabricio Machado looked to the vibrant beads on the costumes of Pernambuco’s rural spearmen Caboclo da Lanca for the dots on the upper of the shoes and added in a speckled midsole to imitate mud from the state’s famous swamps. To switch things up a bit, the laces and inside soles are swappable for a version with the beadwork pattern. The site has full information in English on the development of the shoe including some amazing photos of Caboclo da Lanca, and promises to have information on where to buy the Lanceiro shortly. An inspiration picture after the jump.

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Capacete E8

Capacete.jpgThough it’s already in a hot lipstick-red color, the spectacular sleekness of the Capacete E8 motorcycle helmet by Sao Paulo design firm Questto Design is a serious competitor for your attention. Winner of the 2009 IF Product Design Award in its category in Brazil, this sexy helmet made from plastic resin boasts flexibility: you can wear it open-visor or with the chin lifted to let in more air, which makes it seem like it’s completely open (in Sao Paulo, when they stop to make a delivery, motorcycle delivery guys will take their helmets off to the point that it’s holding only the crown of their head). It’s being put out by Brazil-based EBF helmet company and will likely only be sold within Brazil, but nevertheless, it gives out true border-jumping inspiration in the industry for a motorbike essential. Daft Punk might consider a change of headwear after seeing this hottie.

Thiago de Souza Queiroz

You could be friends with someone forever and think you’re all BFF — complete their sentences, tell secrets … all that wonderful stuff — only to find out one day during your usual Sunday soccer game that they can operate a fork with their toes and has been practicing it since you were both 14. I don’t know Thiago de Souza Queiroz very well because he’s super shy, but I would’ve thought that our mutual friends in Brazil would have dropped me at least some hint that he was such an amazing artist. His style’s clearly inspired by wood block printing and mosaic and geometric arrangements, but I also adore the more candid, still-life pieces. No doubt his talent has lead him to some work for Brazilian magazines, but he seems most comfortable when left to his own devices, as evidenced by the non-commercial, personal-works section of his site. At just 21 years old, Queiroz could still change his style, but we can already get a strong feeling of tranquility when looking at his art, even if it’s in the form of a sharp-clawed cougar. Inspiring.

Cons History Hunt

Going through my ridiculously large memory box this past weekend, I came across a few particularly classic ’80s items amidst old report cards and photos: colored rubber bracelets, a two-sided Swatch phone and a photo of me wearing clear jelly shoes that took begging and promises of finishing my homework to get. It looks like I’m not the only one recently waxing nostalgia. With the Cons History Hunt, Converse Brazil is asking the public to send in videotape footage, homemade DVD vids, photos"”whatever recorded memory you have"”of their shoes in a serious effort to build up their archives.The best photo gets a rare, blindingly white sample model of the Cons CTS shoe in size 40"”I’ll leave it to you sneaker freaks to decode what this size is in American speak"”which comes in a sleek wood shoebox. Unfortunately the contest is only open to Brazilians, so if you want these shoes that bad and think you have the winning photo, I suggest you make a Brazilian amigo real fast and do some negotiating.

Nike Brazil's V Project

Nike Brazil’s newest campaign idea, entitled “V Project,” tasked nine people from the worlds of fashion, skate and art to create their vision of victory. One of them, artist and skate photographer Flavio Samelo (who’s part of the ever-productive Baglione collective), tapped into the period when he was in a coma for a year and had to learn to walk again after coming out of it. It was an experience that he made tangible through a mix of concrete and photographs (video here). Over the next few weeks, the works will circulate through the windows of various stores that carry Nike in Sao Paulo, including Surface to Air and Maze Skate Shop (which recently underwent a nice renovation that incorporates rails and concrete just like you find at the skate park), and will be put on the website of a new Nike-sponsored magazine called Project Gudi.

Steal this Magazine

With the advent of the Internet, magazines and newspapers fought to keep their readers loyal to the paper versions. When things started looking bad they released some of it online. Now, as publishing companies start hacking and slashing to keep their print biz running during the economic crisis, some companies that sell the written word are heading the opposite way. Trip magazine in Brazil — one of the best lifestyle magazines in the country, with a few issues designed by Ray Gun magazine design pioneer David Carson — is putting the whole kit and caboodle online for free. To promote their big move they put out photocopied issues of the magazine and its female counterpart, TPM, all over metro stops and other public places, encouraging people to “Steal This Magazine”, a riff on Abby Hoffman’s famous phrase … as if the naked girls on the cover doesn’t already give you a reason to want to steal the issue. Check out the video of the campaign. The question of whether we will still pay for a magazine despite having the content for free still rages on. What’s your take on it?

Os Gemeos: Vertigem

Photo from Black Rainbow Extraordinaire Magazine

Although Brazil’s famous graffiti export Os Gemeos have gone from painting streets in Sao Paulo to castles in Scotland, they deserve more than a few solo shows given to them in their home country. Vertigem has the distinction of being their first solo exhibit in Brazil’s old capital of Rio de Janeiro, and just opened yesterday to amped-up Carioca fans. The twins’ skinny, yellow figures star in the usual stellar paintings, but Os Gemeos also have a few sweet installations in store. There will be a giant head visitors can stand inside filled with tiny infinitely reflecting mirrors, and even a piece that incorporates a Volkswagon Beetle. The exhibit runs at CCBB Rio de Janeiro until May 24, but you can check out photos here.

Titi Freak x “Freak”

Sao Paulo street artist extraordinaire Titi Freak tells stories with his work, but now they’ll actually be in print. His first book, released in sponsorship by Nike Sportswear, is the 200-page Freak. It traces the Japanese-Brazilian’s art trajectory from his start as a fresh-faced comics newbie whose parents let him leave school to apprentice under a nationally known artist, to the murals, objects and installations that mark his work today. Titi Freak’s hollow-jowled characters are seen everywhere in Sao Paulo, as well as internationally. With his rapidly rising stardom "” and a catchy name like that "” it’s likely this guy will have even more stories to tell soon. Hit up the ever-prolific Choque Cultural if you want in on one of the 1,000 copies.

Omega Code

While some bands are well connected enough in the music biz to get producers like the Neptunes or Rick Rubin to work on their debut album, Brazilian metal-industrial band Omega Code is more concerned with getting artists like Joshua Davis (pictured here) and Mike Cina. Convinced that a visual element must accompany a true music-listening experience, the group commissioned these guys, plus an enviable crew of other top guns (Si Scott, Motomichi and Dimitre Lima, who has gone on to lush pastures since we introduced him here) to design posters incorporating their logo that will be given out for free when the album launches "” which is also free. But that’s not all, folks. Accompanying this mega launch will be a book and DVD published by design mag icon IdN. They’ve opened the floodgates to fans too, encouraging illustrators and designers to submit their ideas for a chance to see their artwork alongside these graphic design gods. The newly extended deadline is March 31. Stay tuned to the band’s website for news on the posters and album release date.

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