Depois da Fonte [After the Fountain] – Maíra das Neves and Pedro Victor Brandão, 2014

Presented at the exhibition Depois da Fonte [After the Fountain] at Portas Vilaseca Galeria, during ArtRio 2014 fair.

Depois da Fonte proposes to implement in Rio de Janeiro the model of a self-sufficient system with financial sculpture of Maíra das Neves and Pedro Victor Brandão. Since 2013 the two artists have been developing projects in partnership, on the fields of spatial studies, radical economics, and social experiments.

Depois da Fonte intends to produce natural and financial resources for community use, so to support the development of local artistic and scientific research. This system model requires a public or private site where a communal space can be started. There the artists will install the equipment to mine virtual currencies and start a communal fund.

Maíra das Neves and Pedro Victor Brandão present at ArtRio 2014 some possibilities of implementing this model in Rio de Janeiro. The depicted sites are considered as “ruins” by the local government. These “ruins” consist of wastelands that remain isolated from the street by its original historical façade. The artists’ ideas for these “ruins” here appear as fictional photopaintings as well as the mining rig sample – the computer the artists built – that is connected to a network of running algorithms.

Bitcoin is a currency based on distributed computing. It is decentralized, digital, and global. It has been created and maintained without bank or State control. Bitcoins can be “mined” by its very users and are exchanged online.

Depois da Fonte points out to a possible future. Maíra das Neves and Pedro Victor Brandão already implemented this model in Germany as the þit ( between last April and August, with outstanding results. Some of the photopaintings derived from the þit can also be seen at ArtRio 2014.

Depois da Fonte proposes a new fountain for the gush of wealth. It also proposes another way to administrate collectively produced resources. Depois da Fonte blurs the boundaries between public and private and activates collaborative modes of production and financing, which are neither hierarchical nor speculative. Depois da Fonte does not dam. Rather, it distributes.

Combined with intense real estate speculation, current plans of urban development compromise people’s rights to the city and undermine the creation of common spaces. The artists’ work of mediating public, labor, and space offers a counterpoint to these plans. Depois da Fonte requalifies the function of art.

Here visitors have the opportunity to invest in the project at its early stage. They can purchase the pieces on display and also exercise the democratic potential of a network economy, since Portas Vilaseca Galeria accepts traditional fiat money and cryptocurrencies likewise. To implement Depois da Fonte in Rio de Janeiro, the artists also seek for proprietors who are interested in experimenting different agreements to activate idle lots and buildings.

When the door of a ruin is open, Maíra das Neves and Pedro Victor Brandão will be able to implement the model as they recently did in Germany. They will be able to build other six cryptocurrency mining rigs so to start a local fund to develop communal activities in the lot. The activities will result from the wishes and skills of those involved. As we can see in the photopaintings, possibilities are many. There could be a communal garden, playground, urban bee keeping, but mainly there will be sociability and collective labor. For that, the artists are already activating local and international partners, such as Agência Transitiva (Rio de Janeiro), Wasteland Twinning Network (Germany and UK) e Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Germany).