FLYING UNDER THE RADAR

VOANDO SOB O RADAR

Flying Under the Radar: Biennial of the Arts    Rio de Janeiro x San Francisco

 

The first Flying Under the Radar Biennial will debut in San Francisco, California over five days in April, 2017. A second edition, in 2019, will occur in Rio de Janeiro. The event will feature thirty emerging or career artists with limited or no exposure outside their home countries. Participating artists will be from the metropolitan areas of Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco, and will be known for working in the areas of Film and Video, Music, Dance and Performance, Poetry, and Visual Arts. Each Brazilian artist will be paired with a counterpart from the Bay Area, e.g., Brazilian filmmaker with American dancer, American visual artist with Brazilian poet. Artists were introduced online in the summer of 2015 and have begun corresponding remotely. They will meet in person in San Francisco five days prior to the event and will begin living and working on the site of the festival. When the event opens, members of the general public, as well as groups from local schools and universities will be welcome to visit and interact with artists as they move through the creative process and proceed toward a series of final presentations and performances.

The first Flying Under the Radar Biennial will debut in San Francisco, California over five days in April, 2017. A second edition, in 2019, will occur in Rio de Janeiro. The event will feature thirty emerging or career artists with limited or no exposure outside their home countries. Participating artists will be from the metropolitan areas of Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco, and will be known for working in the areas of Film and Video, Music, Dance and Performance, Poetry, and Visual Arts. Each Brazilian artist will be paired with a counterpart from the Bay Area, e.g., Brazilian filmmaker with American dancer, American visual artist with Brazilian poet. Artists were introduced online in the summer of 2015 and have begun corresponding remotely. They will meet in person in San Francisco five days prior to the event and will begin living and working on the site of the festival. When the event opens, members of the general public, as well as groups from local schools and universities will be welcome to visit and interact with artists as they move through the creative process and proceed toward a series of final presentations and performances.

Objectives:

While there are many useful precedents from music festivals, art biennials and artist residencies, Flying Under the Radar offers an important innovation: the artists themselves, along with the public, will determine not only the nature of the work, but the context for its presentation. It is crucial that artists have this opportunity to formulate their own interface so they can reinvent their practices and develop a presentation not shaped by institutional norms, national identity, or curatorial impulse. Making room for artists in this case means inventing a new venue for their vision to materialize in society so that artists can have the greatest possible impact on the world we share. 

Propagating conversations of this kind will nurture processes that can resonate across international borders and bring disparate, distant communities together. In concert with organizational and artistic partners in Rio and San Francisco, the festival aims to overcome divisions created by global power imbalances and to promote cross-fertilization of artistic practices in the Americas. Communication among artists with similar concerns will illuminate commonality and help reduce the negative effects of nationalism and the so-called North/South divide. In its debut, Flying Under the Radar will bring together a diverse community of artists from Brazil and the United States, but the festival can be a model for increasing communication between established and emerging economies. Any nation or community wishing to increase cross-cultural communication could adopt its innovative, modular structure.

It will feature approximately thirty emerging or career artists with little or no exposure outside their home countries. Participating artists will be from the metropolitan areas of Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco, and will be known for working in the areas of Film and Video, Poetry and Literature, Dance and Performance, Music, and Visual Art. Each Brazilian artist will be paired with a counterpart from the Bay Area, e.g., Brazilian filmmaker with American violinist, American poet with Brazilian sculptor. The artists will be introduced online in the summer of 2015, and will work remotely until April 2017, when they will meet in person in San Francisco. When Flying Under the Radar opens its doors, artists and public will come together for three days of mutual collaboration, followed by two days of performances and presentations.

San Francisco and Rio are logical partners with many similarities, physical as well as cultural. Each exists in an extraordinary natural setting, possesses a unique cultural identity, has an important presence in worldwide trade, and boasts a wealth of highly regarded artistic and educational institutions. Of all the common characteristics Rio and San Francisco share, the most salient is the ongoing tradition of accepting outsiders into their midst. From their founding, waves of immigrants from within and without national borders have arrived in these metropolises and their surrounding areas seeking opportunity, and many have found places for themselves in the fabric of urban society. The multicultural, multiethnic populations rising out of hundreds of years of immigration have been instrumental in transforming both of these port cities into crucibles of social change.

In epochs past and present, societies open to outside influences have become sources of widespread innovation, and the dynamic nature of opportunity that marks these sorts of societies has always attracted large numbers of individuals involved in the domain of the arts. For many artists it is the observation of local issues and phenomena that stirs passion, and artists dealing with local themes in Rio and San Francisco have produced, with regularity, extraordinary works of literature and art. Some of these artists and authors have gained renown for their attention to local concerns, but most remain largely unknown. It is these undervalued artists, whose community-based voices pose larger social and personal questions, who will be the focus of Flying Under the Radar.