Ilhas de Salvador

This photographic series of 45 prints and 2 panoramas, is the result of the Vila Sul/CALQ residency at Goethe Institute Bahia in Salvador (Brazil) in June-July 2018.

The residency enabled the exploration of 8 territories in and around Salvador, as well as extended conversations with members, activists and artists of these communities. This artistic proposal is an active observation of processes of transformation within environments. The residency ended with a solo exhibition at the Goethe Institute Bahia.



Within 8 territories of Salvador (Bahia) can be observed powerful natural, human and technological forces of transformation at work. In the relation between spaces, bodies, and environments, which generate a variety of landscapes, modes of community organization and building processes, a dual dynamic seems to operate. The aspiration to a dominating economic, progressive mirage faces the resistance held by non-colonising behaviours of eternal emergence - a relational construction or self-regulating continuous engagement within a web of complex relations.

Placed within architect Frederick Kiesler’s Correalist model of environment inclusive of all acting forces; in line with architect Lina Bo Bardi’s understanding of technology as knowledge acquired through interaction, which builds memory and the individual; adopting Viveiros de Castro’s perspectivism, as the irreducible complexity of perspectives - each neighbourhood becomes unique. A singular technology builds upon strategies of interaction with its surrounding bodies and environment. Within a natural and human context combined, an individual body constructs through various strategies, in an iterative process with its environment and with other bodies. It enacts the freedom of an individual constantly in movement within the collective. The body is in a permanent negotiation of rules and regulations - expands to the collective as an aggregate of free individuals.

The top-down notion of resilience can thus be renamed as the creative response to a survival instinct, the emergence of independence. The individual and collective body merge to reaffirm, to ritualistically celebrate a force of life or energy of emergence. The body acts as the core structure of a relational environment. It never detaches from, or elevates above a collective use and occupation of the land, as would the imperialist ownership sole perspective. The body remains the space of engagement, which confronts the infrastructure of a power aiming to expand, own the land, and exploit its resources (human or natural).

Resilience is but the reduction of otherness to a sub-model of the dominating economic progressive endeavour. To the freedom of action, other narratives must be told, as multiplied alternatives to the novella or the economic mirage, emerging as free imaginary. Strength lies in the permanence of a relational infrastructure, non-objectified or commodified inextricably merging the body and architecture, the individual and the collective in co-emergence - the constantly escaping interactive redefinition, the mutation, the adaptation of the parts and of the totality.

How can the observed iterative-open processes building and transforming environments be pursued within the photographic creativity, the building of a theoretical perspective and the architectural process? How can the continuous forces of emergence be contained within matter, merging to generate relational multiplication? « Islands of Salvador » proposes a strip of photographic collages to make perceptible a multiplicity of active relations within the past, present and future of an environment. A series of « as found » forces of emergence to make perceptible and generate new narratives - the reinvention of possibilities of transformation and interaction.


Transforming Environments: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Forces of Life in Architecture - Center for Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Federal University of Reconcavo de Bahia - UFRB, Cachoeira (Brazil) - July 12

Architecture within Environments: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Transforming Forces of Space - Faculty of Architecture of the Federal University of Bahia – UFBA, Salvador (Brazil) - July 4


Iles de Salvador, Goethe Institut Bahia, Salvador – July 24

Round-table (direction), Relational environments in Salvador/Bahia: the emergence of the individual, the collective and architectural bodies, Goethe Institute Bahia, Salvador (Brazil) – July 20

Transforming Environments: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Living Forces in Architecture – Center for Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Federal University of Reconcavo de Bahia - UFRB, Cachoeira (Brazil) – July 12

more coming soon