Stealth Stories (A História é Clandestina)


«How, after all, do you write a history of a “consciousness”? How do you write a history for something that escapes easy definition, has no discernable boundaries, and operates on the principle of reflection (how, for example, do you separate a photograph from what it’s of or from the unfolding context of its reception)? How do you invent a voice (or voices) for this history that can speak to photography’s emotional effects as well as its physical and formal characteristics and economic and political ramifications?”»

Geoffrey Batchen

 

Press reviews

PDF

6 artists, 6 places and 6 stories. On October, 28th and on November, 5th it was presented the digital low tech performance “A História é Clandestina” (Stealth Stories) – a technological project developed from the idea of personal photo albums.

Batchen tells us that the history of photography must include an emotional reading, beyond the aesthetic reading: “they [the snapshots] condense some of our most precious values: our notions of identity, of our relations with each other.” These photos cause an emotional response that goes beyond the reproduced image. Even if, most of the times, they seem to be relevant only for the portrayed subject, those photos are also fragments of a political and economic history – personal perspectives of History.
Starting from this idea, several artists were invited to share their family photo albums, using them to create a short performance piece of intimate (personal) stories (histories).
These stories are, in themselves, memories mediated by technological medium (the camera). Given that nowadays digital technology is perceived as something intrinsic to contemporary culture, we proposed to think technology as a concept. It is not the idea of technology as “machine” that we are looking for; it is instead the ontological and anthropological arisen by a technology that is becoming more and more intimate and personal.

The performance was broadcast live through the Internet from intimate spaces in Lisbon, Hamburg and Athens for an audience in a public but underground space.

Performances by Eunice Gonçalves Duarte, Igor Stromajer, Luís Castro, Rita Lucas Coelho, Rui Mourão and Yiannis Diamantis.