Saturday, December 08, 2007

Days 4 - At the festival

Pictures: The British Consulate, Carla and Alberto, Adriana and Gabe, Paulo and Marina
I have been all caught up the festival and having fun.

Before the pizza place on Wednesday we started talking to guys showing an interactive video. When Bush came to Brazil and Argentina they made banners and posters and did some interventions, the imagery was beautiful. Their studio was in the area cornered off by the police but as they worked there they were able to do some really protests as Bush drove past.

Mobilefest is a very good festival. It has managed to bring together some really good themes, it is also so well organised, the exhibition has been supported by some really good people and technically it has worked really smoothly. Details like simultanous translation, although slightly confusing really helps. I have been having good fun with the exibition team, they have helped explaining everything to the public and with the demos, they have also had a bit of a battle of their hearts, with playing the game. I have to say I have never experienced such totally enthusiastic reaction.

So much to write! Thursday I was mainly demonstrating. At lunch time I had a little adventure to the British Consulate to meet with the UK trade and investment officer for "creative industries". Simone and Jaquelina took me to lunch in a beautiful restuarant that had a mini jungle in the middle (no snakes luckily). The food here is amazing. The big restuarants seem to mainly do buffets, a whole area of salads of all kind, potato, rice, green, Japanese style, italian, buffola mozzarella, I ate a plate of this and then they took me back for hot food. A moussaka style thing, traditional Brazilian beans (like baked beans but really tasty) veg. Then back for dessert. Proper choice that I couldn't decide, a syrupy pumpkin fruit salad. wow that was good. A dulce de leche cake AND a doughnut type thing made of bread and dulce de leche. I only had a small portion of each, but what a pig! I couldn't finish it mind you - total sugar overload.

The meeting was interesting, they are trying to change perceptions of Sao Paulo in the UK, as a good place for people to come and work make partnerships and of course invest. It is very trade orientated (well I suppose it is the DTI) but was interesting to talk about this in terms of what we do, what Mobilefest is about and the possible types of partnerships. The big interesting thing for Sao Paulo, unique from most cities in the world is because advertising hoardings and large shop signs are banned there is a whole gap for innovative marketing, which means companies (like the mobile phone companies) have to get their brand out in interesting ways. Russ and Leanna (two of the artist/designers from Rio) have done amazing stuff in the public arena but commercially to promote companies, really hi tech but accessible and beautiful work, because companies need to get their names across in different kind of ways and not rely on the obvious. The kind of work we dream of in the UK. Maybe we are looking in the wrong places but it just doesn't seem the same, although our ideas, methods and experiences are all very similar.

Russ and Leanna, like all the artists I met have been so lovely. They invited me to spend my last night in Rio and show me round. What a temptation, but unfortunately when I looked at the flights (only an hour from SP) they were all wrong times and too risky (but also so tempting) to miss my flight home!

Back at the gallery I demonstrated the game to a curator of an art gallery in SP who seemed quite interested in trying to get us out to do some work. Also met a really interesting guy, a film maker who is now working for the Brazilian government to decide on policy on how to invest in mobile technology and interactive media. I talked about the UK, and gave him Simone's details, could be an interesting link up.

In the evening, Paulo and Marcelo the organisers took us to Japanese restuarants, like the ones we went to in Japan. Huge platters of Sushi, Carla the producer of the festival ordered me a special vegetarian dish, a plate of noodles arrived, then a plate of rice and vegetables, and then a plate of tofu. all for me. after the lunch I had already eaten. needless to say I struggled to get half way through the noodles, what a waste. I will be dreaming of this when I get back home. It was great to talk properly with Paulo and Marcelo and also meet Paulo's wife Marina who was so sweet and lovely to talk to.

Went on to another bar with Alborto (from Spain/Italy), Carla, Gabe (a really cool artist from Canada) and Adriana, in a interesting part of town, Vila Madalena. The bar was so good for people watching. We drunk alot of beer, before you knew it another one appeared in front of you! it was 4am when Carla drove us home.

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