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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.

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.

ARAC Group invades 28th Sao Paulo Biennial

The art attacks in Sao Paulo are continuing, and they only seem to be gaining in strength and scaring the bejeezus out of gallerists. Around the same time when pixadores once again caused a hubbub "” this time on the opening day of the 28th Sao Paulo Biennial "” by tagging up the building’s second floor (purposely left empty by the curators to inspire new thoughts and ideas), a sticker group called the ARAC Group started surreptitiously invading this same notorious “Void” in their own method. Armed with instructions from a manual developed specifically for the Biennial, and a sarcastic take on the art show’s “In Living Contact” theme, participants carry out the underground stickering sting, decorating the white pillars with their signs of life. You can check out some of the photographed results here. The show runs till the beginning of December, so it’s likely the Void won’t be left vacant after all "” which, ironically, achieves the curators’ intents for the space.

Related: Choque Cultural Art Attack


When crisis takes over a country, its citizens, as history has shown, oftentimes returns to its cultural roots to help find stability in all the chaos. Woodstock, for example, proved that unrest during wartime adds water for creativity to grow. This is the philosophy being promoted at the exciting Antidote: Cultural Actions in Conflict Zones International Seminar taking place in Sao Paulo as we speak, an annual look at how art and culture persist throughout violence and war in rural and urban areas across the world. Documentaries profiling the different people living in favelas across Brazil, what America would be like without immigrants, and violence in Colombia are just some of the films that are being shown at the free event. Sprinkled in between arefilmmaker debates and hip-hop and samba performances (speaking of culture). You can watch one of the more famous docs (above), Falcon: Boys of the Drug Trade, albeit in parts. There’s a weird comfort in knowing good can come out of the bad. The commendable-worthy programming runs till Oct. 23.

Wagner Pinto

There must be something in the water lately in Sao Paulo, because it seems like it’s a particularly blooming time for art galleries here on account of the rash of fine, inspiring art they’re showing. Among these contributing to the cause is Wagner Pinto, a different kind of Brazilian artist we’ve been featuring lately on "” uniquely Brazilian influences, such as iconic references to the Afro-Brazilian religions of Cadomble and Umbanda, and country folklore make their way onto his canvases. Pinto is part of an art collective called Upgrade do Macaco, which counts members like Bruno 9li who dash a bit if the mystical into their works in a street-savvy way. Pinto’s latest works just opened in his solo Miracao at Rojo ArtSpace in Sao Paulo.

Guarana Antarctica Street Festival

I’m a tripper. Invisible cracks in the sidewalk, errant candy wrappers, delicate leaves, you name it — I only recently stopped blaming the horrible conditions of the sidewalks in Sao Paulo for my clumsiness that oftentimes results in my arms flailing and legs akimbo; butt sometimes making contact with the cement. But when walking through one of the metro stations yesterday it wasn’t only me who almost lost their breath. I stepped right into a skate bowl but remained on terra firma. As part of the publicity campaign for the upcoming Guarana Antarctica Street Festival in Sao Paulo that counts in skaters like Bob Burnquist and Sandro Dias and bands like Bad Religion. Brazilian firm DM9DDB designed a giant adhesive that created the perfect illusion of a skate bowl in the middle of a busy thoroughfare. It was a convincing visual trick, even if you didn’t know what you were stepping into until after. Not a bad way of promoting another method of transport.

Photo: Marketando

Sao Paulo's Art Biennial

The Venice Art Biennial. The Sao Paulo Art Biennial. The Whitney Biennial. The Belo Horizonte International Graffiti Biennial. Wait — hold up. The Belo what-what? New to join the line of art biennials is an event in one of Brazil’s biggest cities, geared specifically for graffiti heads but testament to the country’s support of street artists, which comes at the same time as press is drumming up excitement for the Art Biennal due to set fire to Sao Paulo later this year. The Graffiti Biennial will be a nine-day, history-setting expo (starting August 30) that promises 60 selected graffiti artists including Tinho, most of them Brazilian but a few culled from around the world. Exhibits, seminars and music shows will make up the event. Sao Paulo’s Art Biennial has become one of the most important among its kind in recent years, and if all goes well, the Graffiti Biennial idea could spawn across the world. Doesn’t the “Venice International Graffiti Biennial” have a nice ring to it?

Submarine Records launches Noropolis

Talk about an open mind. Sao Paulo indie record label Submarine Records — the label that signed Hurtmold, the great post-rock type group we’ve talked about — announced the formation of their new artist management company Noropolis. They not only take care of biz for their own bands but bands that they’re just simply into and believe in. This includes one of my new hip-hop faves Elo da Corrente and instrumental metal band Elma, whose music is showcased on the site. Noropolis is a new concept built upon the roots of the music industry itself: Give people good music and they will listen (and buy). It also opens doors for unsigned bands that might not have an album in the works, but nevertheless have a rock-solid fan base that they’re trying to grow. This fertile ground is fresh.

Pedro Lourenco

If Pedro Lourenco didn’t share the same name as a certain prodigy teen clothing designer in Sao Paulo, I would’ve never had the delight to come across this Portuguese artist’s impressive work. He earns his daily bread through illustration assignments with newspapers, magazines and books, but gets to inject his personal enthusiasm for comic books, music and movies into projects for clubs (Lux/Fragil in Lisbon), record shops (like Flur, “the greatest record shop ever,” he says) and concert posters (The Liars). Next on the production line is a kid’s book and fanzine. Between the two Pedro Lourenco, there should be no mistaken identity here.

Globe Patrol: Sao Paulo

Ada Pinkston at Current TV just sent over a video they just posted featuring their Brazilian host Rico (no last name) of the Globe Patrol show getting reacquainted with Sao Paulo after being away for a decade. You know we’ve always got the best coming from Brazil covered, but watching what’s going down will give you a different angle of how I see this awesome city. Rico jumps around town to the Munny exhibit at toy store/ art gallery Plastik, goes to venue Studio SP to catch up with long-lost friends and interviews the Brazilian Larry Flynt, aka the sleazy Oscar Maroni, who was arrested last year for running a brothel. More fun with Brazil here.

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