Took place on November 6, 2016, simultaneously in Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco, California. Below, a report on the event, and further down, a description of the concept behind it.
Flying Under the Radar and the new order:
On November 6, two days before the fateful American presidential elections, FUTR OnAir was brought to audiences in San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro. There were glitches, but overall the event accomplished what we set out to do. There was much to celebrate in the three collaborative performances: audiences were as enthusiastic in Rio as in SF. Most importantly, Flying Under the Radar and FUTR OnAir proved that by embracing the newest technology, and working with a dedicated, international team of artists, producers, staff, and planners, it is possible to break down borders of space and culture that isolate populations and individuals. On Novemver 6, everybody involved in this project, including spectators in Brazil and the US, came together to create a new way for people to experience some of the best that humans have to offer. We set a milestone.
All of that cannot now go to waste, in the aftermath of the tragic US elections. In the New Yorker David Remnick writes about American ideals, but they are universal ideals: "It is all a dismal picture. Late last night, as the results were coming in from the last states, a friend called me full of sadness, full of anxiety about conflict, about war. Why not leave the country? But despair is no answer. To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals—that is what is left to do. That is all there is to do."
Original plan for FUTR OnAir:
In San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro, live and virtual presentations will be transmitted through dedicated satellite channels: as an American poet reads from his work in San Francisco, a Brazilian artist, visible on a large screen by the poet’s side, will perform in Rio. In Rio, conversely, as the Brazilian artist performs live, the poet will appear on a screen nearby.
Participating artists are: Kim Anno, an American filmmaker, who will work with Saulo Laudares, Brazilian installation artist; Tongo Eisen-Martin, an American poet, will appear with Guga Ferraz, Brazilian sculptor and performance artist; and Candice Wicks, an American singer, composer and educator, will work with Renato Cruz, Brazilian choreographer and dancer.
Each pair will perform for thirty minutes. In order to accommodate a six hour time difference, the event will begin in San Francisco at noon at the Little Boxes Theater, a venue known for experimental presentations in dance, and in Rio at 6PM, hosted by the Museum of Modern Art (MAM-Rio), a legendary cultural landmark.
The theme of the debut of FUTR OnAir is Crisis, a condition that has come to define the natural, political and social landscape of the early twenty-first century. In exploring the creative response taking place in the two largest democracies in the Western Hemisphere, FUTR OnAir will use the experience of live performance to mitigate barriers of language and tradition.
As a project of Flying Under the Radar, an organization dedicated to provoking a transgression of cultural boundaries, FUTR OnAir envisions four important goals: to use technology as a mediating factor, to expose and fracture the projected concept of the “other,” which creates divisions between populations; to promote increased cross-fertilization of artistic practices in the Americas; and to bring attention to, and create public interest in, a celebration of the differences and similarities among the people of the United States and Brazil. that no country can be an island anymore, that governments are secondary to citizens, and that events in the political realm do not have the power to stop the flow of creativity and ideas.
It is my belief that these exciting performances will bring Flying Under the Radar’s artistic collaborations to life in a way that will energize artists and public, and broaden reach and appeal.