By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The relationship between geometry and graffiti is generally a fixed sequence, architecture and the urban setting always pre-existing the work created by artists over its surfaces.  SUPERNOVA, the interactive installation which will be on display at the Circo Digital Festival starting this Thursday, is focused on exploring this dialogue between geometry and graffiti.

Circo Digital Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Graffiti and architecture will converse at Circo Digital Festival, photo by Faiscas.

The collaboration between Faiscas, a collective founded by Raul Correa-Smith and Keith Kaseman dedicated to promoting innovative exchanges between art and architecture, and Smael, one of Rio’s most innovative graffiti artists, is testing the imaginative boundaries through a dynamic exchange.

With the support of Studio-X Rio, one of a series of think-tank spaces throughout the world dedicated to the future of our cities (an initiative of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation), the four days of the festival will serve as a spontaneous platform through which this ongoing project will evolve and gain new insight.

“This type of creative dialogue is what Faiscas and Studio-X are all about.  Facilitating cross-genre thinking through actions that are focused on demonstrating new potentials within Rio’s rich cultural fabric as a way of re-envisioning urban imaginaries,” mentions Smith.  “Our tools of investigation traverse unique ways in which digital and analog means of design and expression can be tested in an applied setting.”

The intended results of the installation, which will be set up in a pod at Circo Voador in Lapa, are unknown. Instead, the evolution of each day’s work will be generated and reconciled by means of manual and parametric tools.

Three dimensional modeling will be fine-tuned throughout the festival and delivered via laser cuts (made available by the Curso de Arquitetura e Urbanismo at PUC-Rio) to be assembled and incorporated in response to Smael’s work; the resulting object birthed from the feedback between graffiti and geometry.

The SUPERNOVA pod at Circo Voador, photo by Raul Correa-Smith

Smael, who is known for his abstract geometric forms throughout the city, will be leading the graffiti charge, interacting not only with the evolving spatial armature but also with the attending public of the festival.

Each day the installation will respond to the involvement of the people, with an energetic crew made up of team-members from both Rio and New York.  Considering the number and diversity of potential visitors to the festival as a result of Rio+20, the outcome is an exciting unknown.

“When you do graffiti on a wall, or on canvas, you are working on a 3-D surface.  I was drawn to the idea of an active dimension, an active canvas, with this project,” states Smael.  “My work on the street is 3-D, but I wanted to push that interaction, to better understand its potential.  This project is set-up towards that end.”

Smith’s architectural experimentation, through both Faiscas and Studio-X, is motivated by the transformative ways in which spatial demonstrations can instigate creative means to think and engage with the city.

“Rio’s Centro [downtown], with its rich cultural history and a true mix of people from all over the city is a major focus for Faiscas, the potential for imaginary forms of occupation and exchange throughout its hundreds of abandoned buildings and unused spaces can serve to boost new and positive urban charges. We are interested in sparking the public’s imagination through demonstrations that foresee a dynamic future in urban life.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

5 × 5 =