Música dos Ventos | installation | 2003-2004
Wind as air in motion. Four windmill vanes were located outside a museum. A contraption installed in the museum emits a metal-string sound resembling a harpsichord or piano. Wind turns the vanes. Each turn of the rotor generates a pulse. The mechanical force of wind produces a sequence of electrical pulses. The signal produced by the windmill is transmitted by radio frequency. The contraption located in the museum has a receiver that picks up radiofrequency signals from the windmill. Then a multiplex circuit combines the signals from the four vanes, triggering one of the 15 percussion mechanisms that hit the strings in accordance with the signal coming from the windmill. The sound of the strings is amplified and the outcome may be heard through headphones, thus ensuring audience participation. The notion of contraption or gadget is directly associated with Paul Nenflidio’s invention. The idea was to achieve a type of creative work without a creative act performed by human hands, since he sought to produce music independently of human action. But what prompts a young artist to aim at such a frugal concept? Surely an urge to transform; if the artist plays guitar, he is himself is the luthier – what detachment motivates him? “As long as there is wind and I am making it into music, I’m giving it a meaning.” The artwork requires a specific place to happen, unlike DJs or VJs. The signified is the poetics of the real in the chosen place. Perhaps there is a veiled critique of consumerism here. Music in real time, in harmony with the wind, raises an issue: although taking place in real time, it is out of place in space-time. Chronological time is different from real time (time passing) and wind may be seen as a regulator of time. Wind is not action-reaction, but action transformed. Wind as temporality, as present. Wind that remains wind until the end. Although more or less intense, wind is the result of a flow of phenomena of life today. Wind and economics in the same guiding thread of thought. The work refers to a monastic period. Outside time, an event in real time; the pursuit of estrangement, the safeguarding of poetics, which comes indirectly; suddenly Nenflidio realizes he has had a dream… he was in an old church, and had managed to climb the clock tower .There he found a metal case with a moving mechanism triggering a linear sound .There was a needle too, over a copper sheet with a surface like a vinyl disk. Then he heard a voice that called the time, saying “This church was built in 17 ….”Nenflidio uses contemporary media and poses a fruitful discussion on hi-and low-tech and capturing time, while the feeling he aims to convey to viewers is that of a period other than the present. In this piece, which works with the notion of external-internal (part of the work is in an external space, the other part in the museum) we are reminded of what Augusto de Campos called “music of invention,” operated in the 1970s by composers such as Walter Smetak or Tom Zé. Here, the visual arts and sound merge to build a poetics that turns on randomness, and the paradox of displacements of the space-time relationship.
Paulo Nenflidio de Carvalho was born in Sao Bernardo do Campo (SP) in 1976. In 1994 he concluded an electronics course at Escola Técnica Estadual Lauro Gomes. In 1998 he enrolled to study visual arts at ECA-USP. In 2000 he executed Bicicleta Maracatu. In 2003, he was selected for the 27th National Arts Salon in Belo Horizonte (Pampulha grant) for the Música dos Ventos project. In 2003 he graduated in multimedia from the visual arts department at ECA-USP. He showed Música dos Ventos at Museu de Arte da Pampulha from February 7 to March 28 2004. He is now living and working in São Paulo and São Bernardo do Campo.