Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Day 2 - Mobilefest set up

Yesterday after breakfast (beautiful orange juicy papaya), avoided the choice of Japanese pickles as stomach not so strong in the mornings. i love south american breakfasts, tropical fruit, cake and cheese! I feel like Marie Antoinette.

I then worked all morning, setting up the kit. Though there seems to be anti GPS windows in the hotel and I wasn't too keen on loitering outside in the street.

We meet Paulo in the lobby and Gabe, a Canadian artist and Adriana who was volunteering. Gabe is showing a project called Murmur where he collects stories from people about their memories/feelings of locations in a place and then puts posters up in that location with a phone number that you can ring to hear the story. He does it quite guerrilla style, apart from in the UK where he had to get permission... which caused a huge comparitive discussion about the world of health and safety.

We got driven to a restaurant not far away but experienced a Sao Paulo traffic jam first hand. The drive was meant to be 20 minutes but took much much longer. The streets are mixed with warehouses, large houses, tall tall gated flats, dress shops. There are lots of father christmas decorations, the favourite being santa with a sack, on a ladder breaking in a window. They don't have chimneys (too hot for fires). Santa looks pretty stupid with a woolly red hat with a white bobble in 32 degress. sweaty santa.

Had a lovely meal in a trendy restaurant. Palm hearts are a speciality and they are great.mmm. had them and haloumi type cheese grilled and salad and gauva. again pink, juicy. doesn't taste like soap like gauvas do once they go through whatever process needed to fly to the UK.

Went on to the venue. SESC is a cultural institution, a large high storey building. The exhibition is in the gallery area next to the foyer and looks like it is going to be good. Got GPS in the foyer, phew. We checked out the route, which goes out the door, into a secure rose garden next door which is a little city oasis, round the block which has a security guard on everydoor of every building. I think it should be safe enough to wander with kit and it is a varied walk, with steep bits, calm bits, loud busy bits.

The roof garden at SESC is amazing. A view of Sao Paulo which is totally futuristic. Tall high rise buildings with these huge aerials pointing at the sky that look like they are receiving not transmitting. No adverts or screens. The opposite of Tokyo. The hoardings are bare, no visual pollution. The mayor has banned advertising (although there is some small adverts above shops still) supposedly people really support this. It is eerie, a visual quietness. To put a large screen in Sao Paulo as part of a project (like Love City) would now have the most amazing impact, it would mean something. The city itself is at the forefront.

Had a bit of a crap meal for dinner. Searched for restaurants and ended up in a bad food court, and again couldn't make it clear that I wanted food without meat, so had to fish bacon bits (what is is with the bacon bits?) out of a bland stuffed ricotta in cheese sauce dish. I need to find out how to say "I am a vegetarian, please no meat or fish, and definately no bacon bits". On the way back found about 10 great looking restaurants that we had passed by somehow. Had a drink with Martin in a lanchonette that smelt of mens armpits and looked like a woman hadn't entered it since 1970.

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