Maria Elena Workshop Day 2

Friday, August 22, 2014

I woke up super early with the sun. In fact, sunrise seems to be getting earlier: 6:45 today. There’s something rather nice about an east facing room.

The past two weeks have been quite intense with workshops. This is great and very inspirational but I could use a bit more time for my own work. I make the time and/or I am more efficient with the time I have.

A space to experiment and focus on the process rather than the result (open studio is not an exhibition.) I still feel it’ll be important to bring this process to some form of completion especially before we leave here.

Maria Elena Bernardes’ lecture

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Activate surrealist antennae

domramento” = folding

A second plane (about the book)

It’s not necessarily a document.

sabor do realdade – the taste of reality

Filming is a problem of the past. A document isn’t reality. Before 2010, Maria Elena had a problem with this. It has to be alive, not dead (as in a document).

Live implies contact.

Inspirar = inhale

amplify the radar of perception

corpo arquivista

The street gives you a lot – an abundance.

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Pay attention: how can this relate to your work?

Things coexist (arrangements) without bringing attention to their existence.

Pay attention: how are things made and arranged?

The street is a banquette for the people.

The street has its own life/energy, the way people interact, position themselves, waiting for the bus (human nature, interacting with others and surroundings).

The frequency of the human antennae: collect impressions with human antennae, photograph, make notes.

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I am always walking around with a camera at home, making visual notes. Today I felt more comfortable walking around with the gopro – I took my time, counting steps, breathing, and smiling.

Feeling like a baby seeing things for the first time, not thinking as words but experience. The feeling of being excited and enthusiastic.

We’re always rushing, rushing – slow down and relax. (The feeling of walking without a phone or money.)

INSPIRAR – to inhale, to inspire

EXPIRAR – to exhale, to expire (die/end)

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Maria Elena Bernardes – work & play

Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Workshop with Maria Elena Bernardes

Silence – silent technique

Contact – so much technology and mediated experience

very different – especially for women who often live two or three realities simultaneously

MEB recalls listening to a conversation between two women sewing a fantasy.

It’s very rare to be in the moment/present .

Helps with contact with now.

Can be frustrating, different chemical reactions, processes.

Increasingly more relaxed and concentrated.

Little book: walking.

  1. Pay attention, how many steps between here and there (walking at a regular pace). First moment, how many steps in one breath.
  2. Amplify the number of steps between here and there in one breath.

Breathing / oxygenation is important for concentration (meditative).

  1. The final element is to smile.

I just returned from our third walk. I could feel my breath generally fluctuate between 4 and 5 steps. I noticed the way children engage with space is completely different from adults. One boy walking hand in hand with his father just instinctively jumped on top of a bench that was in his way without even considering walking around it. Another boy used a shrub as a prop to play hide and seek with his mom. Opening up this perception then made everything seem like it has potential to be a game. From there, I noticed my interaction with everyone in the workshop.

I found myself gravitating to the outer perimeter of the park and my pace quickened. I realized this is not unlike the process of walking on a track – a physical, psychological and even spiritual process named “exercise” to be socially acceptable.

I thought a bit about the camera, wondering if others noticed or what they thought of it but otherwise I tended to stay focused in the present exercise.

Smile, be relaxed and open…general awareness, feel the electric fields, notice the movement of your head.

Back at Nydia’s studio, Maria Elena and the group recaps our experiences. Nydia talks about the poetic possibilities of visual diagrams using photographs arranged on a wall. Maria Elena talks about a two week workshop of walking every day, executing a song of the street with your feet. She works a lot with memory and doesn’t worry about photos. She says before going to bed (after moisturizing)she returns to the first moment in walking when she was focused. She remembers the first image, and then a flux of images in returning to the moment. (alembranca – memory? Lembrança – souvenir). I wonder about the effect of documenting: photo, audio, etc…on memory.)


I’ve been enjoying spending some time without my glasses these days…doing movement exercises and some yoga or even just walking around the apartment when I know where I’m going or what Im looking for.

Enthusiasm (from the Greek, “filled with God”) is an ongoing energy supply tapped into the flow of life itself. Enthusiasm is grounded in play, not work.” – Julia Cameron

Perhaps I should rethink my: workspace = playspace.

Learning is movement from moment to moment.” – J. Krishnamurti

Synchronicity: Impulso, Fluxo e Vibração Oficina & Maria Elena Bernardes workshop.

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Sidewalk, plans, and bird in the window

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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The idea is to bring my work here to a close and have something to show for this time, be it very process oriented.

  • complete blog with text and images and video
  • compiled video Contorno
  • series rubbing experiments
  • compiled movement exercises
  • print photo series and experiments as book

This could very well be it, although it’s quite a lot!

[Bird in the Window]

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I still didn’t get to see the Capivara

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The day is wide open after yoga, I can either go to Pampulha and see if I can locate Capivara, bring them some bananas and set up the gopro, or I can continue on with the studio work and take a break going to the market or somewhere else. I’m going to see how I feel after yoga.

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It feels really good to be catching up and taking care of things.

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Though I still didn’t get to see the Capivara…

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Monday, August 18, 2014

It’s another beautiful morning and I woke up feeling really great! I resisted the urge to check the internet on my phone, to be fully present in this moment of waking up.

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Steffania’s back and I’m thinking it may be time to pack up for the day and also pick up some beer/wine as she’s planning some kind of dinner with folks at home.

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This was such a great night with Steffania, Larissa, Morgana and her friend. Steffania made delicious typical dishes from Minas (video of Carne na Latta) and we all had a wonderful time hanging out.

[Carne na Lata]

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Kitchen dance

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I started digesting virtual media almost immediately after I woke up. There’s something about the vastness of it, and the fact that it’s constantly changing that keeps pulling at my attention way beyond useful information or meaningful connections. It becomes a background hum of data and my eyes glaze over and hands become numb but there’s one more app to double check, yet again. It’s the same addiction as computer solitaire, playing beyond the point of concentration and then the frustration of losing fueling another round. It’s really quite awful, and numbs the senses and sensitivity to surroundings.

This is an especially stark contrast for me right now, since while Pilar’s away this week I’ve been staying in the bedroom with internet, as opposed to the small bed in the living room without internet. The internet connection is still there in the hallway but I don’t linger. This seems like a more healthy approach. It’s an interesting context that’s given me a chance to consider my relationship with the internet and how it makes me feel. The part that I do like is real connections with the people I love, to feel closer to them even at such a geographical distance. That is really nice and helps to maintain my connection with home.

The other thing that I’m realizing is that I’m better off saving my clicks for my actual work rather than wasting all of my clicking energy on silly stuff.

[Kitchen Dance]

Day 4 : Impulso, Fluxo e Vibração

It’s funny to think that I went through this whole effort and rushed to take a shower and wash my hair and then I proceeded to writhe around on the dirty floor of the dance studio, practically using my hair as a mop.

My take-away from today is: standing still outside (remembering the perception exercise from last year of focusing on one point but being aware of what’s happening all around you) and realizing this is an exercise I can practice with the gopro.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

It’s nice to have a lazy morning. I’m realizing that I am spending much more time online while being based in this room. It’s good for ease of Skype communication, and I think it’ll be good for blog updates today and tomorrow but I’m sure I end up wasting much more time checking stupid things, which does interrupt my focus and thought processes.

Day 3 : Impulso, Fluxo e Vibração

I returned form the workshop quite tired and drained and my body is actually quite sore, I guess from these workshops over the past few days.

The two big things I got out of today’s workshop was:

  1. the surfing analogy of relaxing into things. The ocean/wave can swallow you, if you let it. Straining your body to overcome the wave also won;t yield any results. The surfer needs to become one with the wave.
  2. The connection with the center.

My whole body is sore and I can only imagine it’s from the intensity of visualizing the energy from my center and really articulating every inch of my body from the inside out – it’s really rather remarkable!

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