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Will Modernism be On the Streets?
by Alexandra Pereira
2009-10-26 08:06:37
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Will Modernism and the many -isms it produced, will they be on the streets? Are young generations of creators taking into account, much more than ever before, what is done elsewhere, it does matter what is done if it interests them - but it doesn't matter where? Yes. Now why can't this happen in other domains of our societies - will it ever happen, is it likely to happen?

tropics2_400"Tropicália took its name from an installation created by Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica in 1967 and subsequently became the title of one of the most celebrated albums in Brazilian music history, featuring Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and Os Mutantes. The Tropicália movement was a passionate and intelligently articulated response to military dictatorship and the ultimate counter-cultural statement - a true revolution that re-defined Brazilian arts and re-shaped Brazilian identity. It was to be a brief explosion of cultural transformation and upheaval, spanning a period of no more than five years, from 1967 to 1972. Some would say that it ended only a year after it began, with Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil’s arrest in December 1968. What is clear is that Tropicália changed Brazil forever.
Although the original movement was crushed by an authoritarian regime, the influence and irrepressible spirit of Tropicália continued to spread. While musical experimenters from David Bowie and David Byrne to Beck and, most recently, The Bees cite the eclectic music of Tropicália as an influence, the groundbreaking nature of the visual art has only recently begun to be fully appreciated. (...) The time to celebrate, to investigate and to reappraise the events and the lasting legacy of Tropicália has well and truly arrived"
The Barbican Centre: 'Tropicália: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture', 2006

"The English-speaking seafaring tradition maintains that all sailors who cross the equator during a nautical voyage must undergo rites of passage and elaborate rituals initiating them into The Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep. Those who have never "crossed the line" are derisively referred to as "pollywogs" or simply "slimy wogs". Upon entering the domain of His Royal Majesty, Neptunus Rex, all wogs are subject to various initiation rituals performed by those members of the crew who have made the journey before. Upon completion of the initiation ceremony, the wogs are then known as "trusty Shellbacks". If the crossing of the equator is done at the180th meridian, the title of "Golden Shellback" is conferred, recognizing the simultaneous entry into the realm of the Golden Dragon. If the crossing occurs at the Greenwich Prime Meridian, the sailor is considered to be an "Emerald Shellback"." - Wikipedia

Why Equator does not equate (in my first language 'Ecuador' means equator, while decomposing the word in two it can mean 'echoes pain', or 'it is filter', which is somehow ironic, if not premonitory) but divides worlds? If Ecuador echoes pain or is the filter for something, let us cross-transgress all imaginary lines. But... did somebody do that first, by reviewing the terms? Yes. We have discussed the Tropicalism movement before, its core in music/sound 'which was not an echo' and how it represented 'a filter for the fusion', its depurated foam. In this sense, Tropicalism gave a creative answer to fate, it gave a new meaning to old imaginary concepts and a new understanding, simultaneous and different, to a world with too many imaginary lines and borders. The echo for pain can be original music instead, the filter can be a natural syncretism which can exist simultaneously everywhere ('such is the strenght of the synchronic vision', they declared). If synchronicity could exist as a Jungian concept, if it was important for the movements-offspring of Modernism as well (but in a different way, which should be stressed), why could it not exist beyond artistic concept, as a way of life, as a common world vision? - this was thought by the Tropicalists (in a way, it could only be thought by them, because of their culture and because many Tropicalist concepts derived naturally from the semantics of their language), as their avant-garde was avant, derrière and au même temps, that is, in synchronicity, and their geography was the vibration which propagates sound, not a straight line dividing north and south, tropics and non-tropics, developed and underdeveloped, the inside and beyond the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, or 'Mentalities Between Lines'... Were the Imaginary Lines of the Tropics 'equated' to bars of prison cells for too long? By the way, according to statistics of 2008, 40% of the world's population (and all the rainforests in the world, with their 70% of all living species on earth) are between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and that number will rise to 60% of the world's population in the next decades.

The talents of Tropicalia were not just musicians nor just visual artists. They were writers, poets, visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, actors - at the same time in the sense that they were all in one person, in several people ('such is the strenght of synchronicity' - nature is synchronic and when creation manifests itself, it does so on several levels: individual, social and continental). There are various simultaneous truths. This polyvalence is something very common among artists in Brazil, it is accepted very naturally and not faced as 'pretension' or 'presumption' in any way. Another important problem is how did Tropicalism affect identity. For generations, Brazilians, Europeans and Africans were thought at school that Brazil was discovered by accident - an identity as a result of serendipity, or was serendipity THE identity itself?- this was developed by the Tropicalists too, after Mario de Andrade, by associating serendipity to experimentation (and taking advantage of serendipity while experimentating, as part of the artistic path), but also exploring how much are serendipity and synchronicity related as concepts, with philosophical and artistic bases. 'The sailors thought it was an island', 'The wind took them away from the African coast', 'They were lost in high sea', 'Nobody knew it existed', and then after a couple of years they got to Guanabara bay, on the 1st of January: River of January (Rio de Janeiro). The same Rio de Janeiro which Villegagnon wanted to be forever known as the 'Antarctic France', a tropical colony of France... a dream which never came true. And now that Brazilians got the Olympics, in the de Coubertin spirit (the French Baron with ancestry in the royalty of Spain) they begun to dream with... the Winter Olympics in Tropical soil. When Brazilians are angry with themselves for some reason, they still often curse the fact that they have a language which is different from the rest of South America ('What is its purpose? What does it want, this language? What does it want, where is it taking us?' - they asked in the past, and it was a way of asking 'What are we going to do with it?', just as Caetano asks in his last album 'And after tomorrow?/ What will we do of Rio/ When, enriching/ We start giving the cards/ The coordinates/ Of a better world?'). That is, I suppose, a good and responsible question - what will happen when the Equators of the future are traced by/with South America? No fear, just wonder. And the need to start planning.
How about the concept of synchronicity, does it exist?
Take Sampa, for example, Sampa is...
a short nickname for São Paulo
a computer-readable script to facilitate exchange of emails and data in different languages, EU-made
a song by Caetano Veloso on São Paulo, the city bellow the Tropic of Capricorn, and the Tropicalists
a goddess of the Eastern Alps
a place in Ghana
a town in Burkina Faso
Not that any of this knowledge is essential common sense for our readers, but... of course synchronicity does exist, as a common-sense fact of this world, but also as a concept of physics (and this is the most interesting part, which is to be studied if we are to 'investigate Tropicália', as the Barbican Centre suggested already 3 years ago). However, synchronicity is not a mirror for the perspectives of somebody else. Synchronicity respects and takes into account the perspectives of the Other: the other time, past and future and simultaneous time, the other person, the other town, the other continent. That's why the city of Santarém in the Amazon rainforest is not a mirror of the city of Santarém in Europe, but something totally different, and yet exists simultaneously on the other side of the Equator. The cultural dominance of the Southern Hemisphere opens the possibility for substituting the concept of Dominance with the concept of Simultaneity, thus Synchronic Growth. 'Such is the strenght of the synchronic vision'.   

Tongue Lyrics
- C. Veloso
I like to feel my tongue rubbing the tongue of Luís de Camões
I like to be and be at
And I want to dedicate myself to create confusions of prosody
And a profusion of parodies
That shorten pains
And steal colors like chameleons
I like the Pessoa in the person
The rose in Rosa 
And I know that poetry is to prose
Just as love is for friendship
And who will deny that this is superior to that one?
And let the Portugals die of scarcity
"My fatherland is my language"
Speak Mangueira [neighbourhood]! Speak!

Flower of Lácio Sambadrome Lusamérica Powdered Latin
What does it want
What can it do, this language?

Let us focuse on the syntax of the Paulistas
And the fake English relax of the surfers
Let us be imperialists! Where?? Let us be imperialists!
We're going in the velocity of the choo-choo diction of Carmen Miranda
And let Chico Buarque de Holanda rescue us!
And - xeque-mate - explain to us Luanda
Let us listen carefully the 'deles' and 'delas' on Globo TV
Let us be the wolf of the wolf of the man
Wolf of the wolf of the wolf of the man
I love names
Names in ã
Things like frog [rã] and magnet [imã]
Magnet magnet magnet magnet magnet magnet magnet magnet 
Names of names
As Scarlet Moon of Chevalier, Glauco Mattoso and Arrigo Barnabé
and Maria da Fé

Flower of Lácio Sambadrome Lusamérica Powdered Latin
What does it want
What can it do, this language?

If you have an incredible idea it is better to make a song
They say there's proof that it's only possible to 'philosofate' in German
Blitz means lightning
Hollywood means Azevedo
And the Reconcavo and the Reconcavo
and the Reconcavo my fear
The language is my fatherland
And I have no fatherland
I have motherland
And I want fraterland
Concrete poetry, chaotic prose
Future optics
Samba-rap, chic-left with banana ['chiclete with banana': name of a magazine from the 80s gathering international and brazilian cartoonists; brazilian musical band]
(- Maybe he is in the Sugar Loaf?
- Tá craude brô ['there's a crowd, brother']
- Você e tu ['you and you']
- Lhe amo ['I Love In You']
- Qué queu te faço, nego? [´What doIdo to you, nigga?']
- Bote ligeiro! ['light little boat'!]
- Ma'de brinquinho, Ricardo!? Your uncle will be desperate!
- Oh Tavinho, put your sweater on the inside, you look more like a scarecrow like that!
- 'I like to spend some time in Mozambique'
- Arigatô, arigatô!)
We sing-speak as someone who envies negroes
Who suffer horrors on the ghetto of Harlem
Handsful of books, records, videos 
And let them say, think, speak.

Ecuador Line
Lyrics - C. Veloso
Light of the stars
Loop of the infinite 
I like it so much like this
Yellow rose
Voice of all scream
I like it so much like this
This vast boundless love
It goes beyond whatever
Goes beyond where I go
What I am, my pain
My line of the Ecuador
This vast boundless love
It goes beyond whatever
Passing beyond the sky of Brasilia
Trace of the architect
I like it so much like this
Like daughter
Black music
I like it so much like this
This dismeasure of passion
Is craziness of the heart
My Iguaçu river mouth
South pole, my blue
Light of the naked feeling
This vast boundless love
It goes beyond whatever
Goes beyond where I go
What I am my pain
My line of the Ecuador
But it is sweet to die in this sea
Of remembering and never forget
If I had more soul to give
I would give it, that means to live for me
Sky of Brasilia, trace of the architect
I like it so much like this
Like daughter, black music
I like it so much like this
This dismeasure of passion
Is craziness of the heart
My Iguaçu river mouth, south pole
My blue, light blue feeling
This vast boundless love
It goes beyond whatever
Goes beyond where I am, what I am
My pain, my line of the Ecuador
But it is sweet to die in this sea
Of remembering
And never forget
If I had more soul to give
I would give it, that means to live for me.


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Get it off your chest
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Gold2009-10-26 08:47:55
I had a great time reading around your post as I read it extensively. Excellent writing! I am looking forward to hearing more from you.


Emanuel Paparella2009-10-26 09:40:57
“... of course synchronicity does exist, as a common-sense fact of this world, but also as a concept of physics (and this is the most interesting part, which is to be studied…”

Indeed it does, and it is the most interesting part, and it does need to be studied as Jung the psychologist who coined the term pointed out and as Pauli the physicist of quantum mechanics confirmed scientifically. Actually the two men investigated the phenomenon together and collaborated on its elucidation. For a fascinating read on this very subject see an article in Global Spiral by Charlene P.E. Burns titled “Wolfgang Pauli, Carl Jung, and the Acausal Connecting Principle: A Case Study in Transdisciplinarity.” See link below:


Emanuel Paparella2009-10-26 10:03:07
P.S. By the way, the Global
Spiral article mentioned above is itself a sign of synchronicity...

ap2009-10-26 13:09:25
thanks for the link, Mr. Paparella

ap2009-10-26 15:51:27
It is my opinion, Mr. Paparella, that this complimentary perspective integrating physics and psyche saught by Pauli and Jung can find straight means of expression through the arts.
If, as Pauli defended, “appearance of [synchronistic events] is complementary to the archetypal contents becoming conscious”, arts explore meaning without causal order, bringing the archetypal and symbolic to conscience.
The synchronicity developed by the Tropicalists also relates with the study of the theories of Minkowsky on the flat spacetime and the physics concepts of relativity of simultaneity and general simultaneity. In music, you find this concept in simultaneity successions and musical textures.

Emanuel Paparella2009-10-26 18:57:39
Indeed, interdisciplinarity seems inevitable in the university of the future; it is already here, fulfilling thus the very meaning of the name given to the first university in Bologna in 1088: a universal school interrelated globally and available universally via internet. Even university professors are now convinced of this new trend of courses on line… See the intersting link below: a reflection by Professor Eric Weislogel titled “It’s the end of the university as we know it (and I feel fine)…”


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