Of How We Have to Leave Doubts, Expectations and the Unachieved
5000 Balloons, 15000 paintballs, paintball marker, compressed air bottle, scuba diving air tank, 5 servos, 2 carbon fiber rods, tv rotating plate, 3 12v fans, 10 industrial 130w fans, computer, c++ application developed in OpenFrameworks, AV capture card, Video Camera, photo clamp, 3 diy arduino based controller boards, midi dimmer, 3 pir sensors, ir sensor, photodiode, led, relay, hose, turntable plate, 2 pulleys, computer case, hair blower, 15 power supplys, 6 power strips, 5 extension cords, wood, glass, aluminium, acrilic

Short video

more soon


Of How We Have to Leave Doubts, Expectations and the Unachieved

Installation / 2008

Honorary Mention in the Digital Language category
FILE Prix Lux 2010

This Project started as an idea for a small scale installation, after having being invited by Filipa Oliveira for this collective exhibition i had the opportunity to rethink and enlarge it to better fit the space i was offered to exhibit.

This project took me four months to complete, it's my biggest installation so far and also my first institutional exhibition.

more soon!!

Of war and disputes among populations or between individuals, how based on creeds, races and religions populations fight other populations because of oil, land, or with some intricate idea of future profit.
During the three months of the exhibition paint will accumulate on the wall as well as the balloon debris will pile up in the floor.

Operation method
Motion detection sensors track the presence of visitors in the space, after this detection the fans inside the balloon aquarium start to spin, making the balloons inside it float, a smaller directional fan by the opening of the aquarium is running at full speed in order to push one balloon out, after a few seconds the fans started spinning the aquarium door opens through a pulley system controlled by a servo motor. An infrared proximity sensor, located right outside the door, tracks when the balloon exits the aquarium and triggers the pulley system to close it's door as well as triggers the fans outside the aquarium to spin at their full power.
Due to the wind generated by all the industrial fans on the floor the balloon is forced to float beside the wall and enter the camera field of vision.
As soon as this happens the computer, receiving the image from the camera analizes the incoming data and calculates the distance, angle and speed of the ballon, then based on the gun current position calculates the best spot for intersecting the ballon, after this calculation the computer sends the intersection position to the motors that control the gun aiming position and shoots. if the it fails it will shoot again until the balloon is blown away or this manage to leave the camera's field of vision.
For every shot there's a message sent to a parallel board that control
the paintball's feeding mechanism, so that even if the gun shots ten times in a few seconds, the parallel board get the message of each shot and keeps them in memory so that afterwards it will send the same amount of paintballs to the gun paintballs reservoir, even if it takes a lot longer than the shooting rate.

Supported by
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

A very special thanks to Pedro Boavida for his trignometry, math and all expertise, friedship and moral support. Respect!


Made with OpenFrameworks

FILE Prix Lux
Digital Language Category
"Of How We Have To Leave Doubts Expectations And The Unachieved"
Received an Honorary Mention in the Digital Language category from:

I've been given an Honorary Mention from File Prix Lux in the Digital Language Category with this 2008 installation







02.10.08 > 11.01.2009

7 Artistas ao 10 Mês
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

curated by Filipa Oliveira

*a big and warm thank you to Pedro Boavida for his trignometry, math and all expertise, friendship and moral support, Respect!!
also big thanks to Filipa Oliveira for all the help and Damian Stewart for his tips!





October 2008 - 11 January 2009
7 Artists at the 10th Month
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

























































*Before the opening









































*after the opening






































































































































































































































* the paitballs








*the feed box








*the feed box electronics









* the Seiko Tonegawa PS050 monster servos








*the mechanical gun electronics
















*the balloon box door









*the door opener pulleys system





































*the fans protection








*the back corridor

































*where it all started








*Thankx Pedro!!


Sobe, sobe, balão sobe [Rise, rise, balloon rise],

sang Manuela Bravo at the Eurovision Song Contest of 1979, the year of André Gonçalves' birth. The singer's performance can be easily found on YouTube and, on looking at it, we cannot avoid finding ourselves confronted with a certain temporal discrepancy, a nostalgic feeling, a refrence to a time that is no longer ours, that no longer exists, but which is still near enough to be present in our memory. The choice of this subject is no coincidence, as can easily be seen in the song's title and exhibited work, and is not gratuitous either. Most of André Gonçalves' works explore the feeling of discomfort resulting from the lack of adequacy of technological cultural artifacts to a contemporary context, due to their quick obsolescence. Thus, the use (recycling) of outmoded equipment and a work method that embodies autodidactism and the DIY ethics (and aesthetics) as its organising principle are fundamental to our understanding of Gonçalves' approach. The DIY logic is especially important here, not only as a fundamental modus operandi of contemporary culture and, more specifically, of what is termed "digital culture" by a certain academic discourse, but also as a strategy that runs through all the production of this artist, be it in musical or contemporary art terms.

In Of how we have to leave doubts, expectations and the unachieved, a piece created specifically for the exhibition, Gonçalves deals with another one of his recurring subjects: the technological control of natural phenomena on a personal scale; more specifically, the emulation of the natural dislocation of air, the wind. The use of computer fans, originally used for cooling the machine, preventing its possible damaging through overheating, has been a constant feature in his work (I thought some daisies might cheer you up, 2006 or You got me floating, 2007). In the version shown here, the fans are semi-industrial and the ballons remain, but instead of poetically hanging in the air, by means of a controlled air flux, or perpetually ascending, as in Manuela Bravo's ditty, they now move across a firing range, while camera-controlled paintball guns shoot to destroy them, splattering an amalgam of latex and paint across the installatio's space. This apparatus is apparently self-contained; interactivity, which is both a means of distinguishing the "new media" from the so-called traditional art forms and a utopian promise of a new kind of art, is here inexistent and undesired. The ballons' inconsequent lightness and the guns' automatic violence create a perfect dialectic, which needs no elements extraneous to its own condition. However, even though intractivity is out of the question, the same cannot be said of interference, since Gonçalves has conceived his system in such a way that some balloons can escape the guns'computerised aim and reach the end of the corridor untouched, where more uninhibited or curious viewers may, with some effort, take them and put them back into the system, thus disrupting the piece's apparently self-containedcondition, in which no outside intervention would seem possible.
In previous works, the ballons floated; now they are targets of robtised weapons. André Gonçalve's first piece for an institutional context is also his first piece to show a more violent side, in which the poetics of lightness and imponderability is replaced by the noisy roar of destruction. Have all doubts and expectations been abandoned once and for all?

Text by Luis Silva, comissioned by Gulbenkian Foundation and published in 7/10, the catalogue documenting the exhibition 7 artists on the 10th month, held from October 2nd, 2008 to January 11th, 2009, at Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. Translated from Portuguese by José Gabriel Flores.





eventually more to come*