The Makeshift Madness of Gambiologia - Design Bureau

The Makeshift Madness of Gambiologia

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

By Caitlin M. Ryan 

A group of Brazilian artists fed up with material excesses are turning junk into fully-functioning monster machines Gambiologia, a collective composed of Fred Paulino, Lucas Mafra, and Paulo Henrique, is a play on the Brazilian Portuguese word “gabriarra,” which loosely means “improvisation.” In Gambiologia’s art, you’ll see materials reworked in surprising ways as a form of waste intervention—think bent circuits, retooled metal, and lots of LED lights. A piece of work close to the collective’s heart is the “Gambiociclo,” a multimedia vehicle “hacked” together to project video and digital graffiti in public spaces. Hack, a term most often associated with computer work, is stretched beyond that traditional definition by Paulino and his counterparts. “I prefer to define hack not only in computer terms, but also for everyday objects,” Paulino says. “We suggest thinking about hacking as any action towards modifying a system, inserting a piece of information on it, reprogramming it and, in our case, recreating it.” Gambiologia is adept at what Paulino calls “visual research.” “This has a lot to do with a common artists’ wish of working more locally and thinking about technology as a technique for solving problems instead of always creating high-end products,” Paulino says. “[Gabriarra] is a natural consequence of our society being obligated to consume brand-new products every hour and the emergency of thinking about what will be done with so much trash that is being produced.” 

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