Projection made by members of the collective Projetemos. Photo: Disclosure

“It is necessary to be attentive, strong and at home”; “Without a healthy people there is no economy”; “Pay basic income”; “In Italy there was no lack of food, but there was a lack of coffins. Stay at home"; “Washing hands saves lives”; “Defend the SUS”; "Resist!"; “No more dictatorship”; “Bolsonaro out”; "1o April: Bolsonaro's day”; “It was a dictatorship, there was torture, it's not a flu, the earth is round”; “Create networks of affection and see how to help each other”; “No more fake news!”; “Being close is not physical. Longing"; "Will be all right"; “We don't just want food, we want food, fun and art”; "Free time! Sing, study, love, preserve, help, read, dance”; “Take care of yourself now so that we can hug each other stronger later”; and even the request: “Will you marry me, Sarah? Signed: Will”.

Be welcoming or protesting; informative or encouraging; motivational or indignant; poetic or harsh; these and hundreds of other phrases, in the form of luminous projections, have spread over the last few weeks on the walls of the country's cities. With the recommendation of social isolation by health professionals and the – at the very least – controversial action of the President of the Republic in the face of the new coronavirus pandemic, the projections are added to the pots and pans as a means of political manifestation and, more than that, if become weapons of awareness and support for the population. A kind of “guerrilla video”.

The VJs (video jockeys) – creators and operators of visual performances – and, more specifically, the collective Projetemos, created after the beginning of the pandemic, are behind these actions, which are gaining increasing prominence on social media and in the press. When they realized that many people were still on the streets, “we had the idea of ​​making projections to make people aware of the situation. And at the same time that we bring information and awareness, we also bring hope. Let's not despair people”, explains VJ Mozart, from Recife and co-creator of the group alongside VJ Spencer and political scientist Bruna Rosa. “But it's all collective, like a hive where all the bees are important,” he continues.

In just a few weeks, Projetemos, which brings together around 200 people in a WhatsApp group, quickly expanded far beyond the world of professional VJs, including designers, producers, journalists, activists for various causes and so many other people willing to turn on the projectors. on your windows. Dozens of images taken from around the country are posted daily on the Instagram profile @projetemos – always after dark – with the most varied messages, which generally follow the lines of action defined by the group. To encourage people to design, Projetemos even created a website with a basic tool that helps the less experienced.

“There are people who tell me that no neighbors will see. What I say is that if the person photographs and films, the message will not go out when you turn off the projector. Because we're going to make this photo rotate. Our Instagram is like an online march,” says Mozart. Another member of the group, VJ Boca, from Brasilia, with a long history in the area, still warns: “That's what I say, when you turn the projector to the outside and project on the front building for the first time, a hug, you You will never want to do anything else.”

A arte!brasileiros talked by telephone with Mozart and Boca, separately, and gathers here the answers of the interviews. Read below:

ARTE!✱ - Before talking about Projetemos, I would like you to explain a little bit what is the work of VJs and how have you been acting lately?

Mozart - The VJ has been around since 1800, before electric power. I mean, one of the pre-cinema toys was the magic lantern. It's an object that has a candle inside and a tube that comes out to the front with a lens, where little glass plates with drawings come in. And there was the traveling lanternist, who arrived in cities and lit a gas candle, put it inside the equipment and projected it on the wall. And he danced, sang and played the tambourine. And since then, the history of the VJ has only improved, along with the history of cinema, with projectors and such. And nowadays we work in different ways.

ARTE!✱ – Not only with the projector…

Mozart - That, with LEDs and other things too. The big consumer market is shows. Behind the LEDs and show panels there is always a VJ doing the operation. It's always something done live, but it has a whole background, a preparation that can take days or months. For example, the opening of the Olympics was done by VJs.

mouth - The issue of projection and image at events emerged around the 1990s, in Brazil with some early VJs such as Alexis, Spetto and I, among others. We were already organizing nationally to play this game with the images for the events. And that was opening several fans, until arriving at video mapping (mapped projection), for example, and until arriving today in the politicized part. Many VJs always had positions, they had a side, but they still didn't include themselves within the idea of ​​transmitting political images. But of course there are steps in this VJ work, from the use of shocking images, funny images, rhythmic images, polluted images, it has everything. It started in events, or in video art, in video experiments. But the range opened up for TV sets, for installations in museums, among others…

ARTE!✱ - The VJ's work requires skills and knowledge in different areas, from a more artistic and creative part, which also involves working with words, to a more technical part, software and equipment, a certain knowledge of architecture… How is this work done? 

Mozart - It has several techniques behind it. Because it's an art, and we use questions from the history of art, composition, colors. We have to understand a lot to be able to put it there. And then there are those who specialize in different areas: in being a content creator; or doing video mapping, which are mappings on architectures, and so on.

mouth - The VJ has to know how to maintain his own equipment, he has to know how to install all the software on the computer, he has to know an infinite range of software to produce the content. It's a complex business, the knowledge we have to have is great. Not to mention the creation part, thinking about what message I want to convey, how I want to convey it, with what sources, with what idea.

ARTE!✱ - Well, let's move on to the current context and the creation of Projetemos. How did it come about and what does it propose?  

Mozart - Me, Spencer and Bruna created the story, but everything from the beginning is collective and everyone participates in everything. As if it were a hive where all the bees are important. All discussions and debates are an open conversation about actions, sentences, what will be projected, sociopolitical actions. Which are political, but non-partisan. Anyway, I'm from Recife, Spencer is from Paraíba, but he lives in São Paulo, and we talk a lot. And the whole category is very united. There are always forums, meetings, conferences, contests, where people really go. And then, talking to Spencer, I said that downtown Recife was really free, unoccupied, there was no one on the streets, but that here in the suburbs, where I live, people are walking, going to the market, the lottery, on the sidewalk. Then we had the idea of ​​making projections to make people aware of the situation. And while we bring information and awareness, we also bring hope. Let's not despair the guys.

ARTE!✱ - And how was the network formed?

Mozart - It was easy, because it's a group that was already kind of together. There were already groups to exchange ideas, send suggestions. So this group already existed and we just started calling it up. And the idea was to bring everyone together to do a coordinated work in favor of information and awareness against the pandemic and against some of these government services.

mouth - I, for example, am a participant, not a creator. But I am a representative of Brasilia. Projetemos has people from different profiles, different places, different social classes. People who make a living off of it, VJs themselves, but also people from other areas. People suggest things, and then we go into production. But this involves the design of each one. We try to direct guidelines, but within the possibilities of each one. And everyone can write in their own way. I saw a guy from the hood who projected “take the alley, Bolsonaro”. And that's the big thing, each one using the language that has to do with their universe.

ARTE!✱ - How many people are involved today?

Mozart - The group has more than 200 people, not all VJs, but also designers, journalists, video editors, among others. During the day we are talking, creating strategies and such, thinking about the content. We have everyone's folder, but everyone can go their own way too. There are even some people out there, in Lisbon, Berlin, Dubai and Barcelona. And we have a debate so that there is a logical thought in common, so that everyone has a speech, understands the concept.

ARTE!✱ - There is a very strong discourse criticizing the actions of the federal government…

Mozart - The political bias ends up appearing because there is a very important political character (Bolsonaro) who has a very important role, or antagonism. He is the main antagonist of this pandemic situation. So he ends up being the target of the work we do. There are a lot of people who hate this guy who arrives wanting to curse and such, but we talked to try to do it in an intelligent way, so as not to alienate people. We want to add, and that won't happen if we just keep cursing the guy. We want to bring information to protect everyone from the pandemic. And show what he's doing wrong about it, of course.

ARTE!✱ - There are other guidelines as well. I saw projections in favor of the Guarani struggle in Jaraguá, for example.

Mozart - We also have to look at minorities at this time. This is the time when minorities get it wrong. Let's praise the motoboys, who are working hard, the health professionals. We're keeping an eye on what we're going to say about homeless people too. If churches had the competence to welcome these people to sleep in their spaces, it would be incredible. Get them off the street. CUFA (Central Única das Favelas) is also in dialogue with us, so that people from the favelas can tell us the messages they want to convey. Because I can't speak for them. So let's call them in for a real speech.

ARTE!✱ - This context in which one cannot leave the house, in which the political struggle cannot be carried out on the streets, greatly strengthens the power of action of the VJs. And there are also social networks. How's that?

Mozart - If you look on Instagram, there are a lot of people posting and reposting projections. Not everyone there is a VJ, not everyone I know. Much more than half I don't know. And around 20 to 30 people a day contact me to find out which projector they should buy to start making projections. Because they are people who feel represented by us, they feel protected within that hive. And they know that in addition to being able to speak, they can be seen, shared, multiplied within the group, the collective. There are people who tell me that they live far away and that no neighbors will see them. What I say is that if the person photographs and films the message it will not go out when you turn off the projector. Because we're going to make this photo rotate… On our Instagram we post a lot, that's an online march.

ARTE!✱ - Even the Projetemos website encourages more people to make projections. Is the idea to democratize access to this technique, this language?

mouth - Yes, that's why we're fighting for each one to go to their window to say what they want to say. The practicality and feasibility of being able to do this, of replicating this, is very important. Now, here's what I say, when you turn the projector outside and project onto the front building for the first time, a hug, you'll never want to do anything else...

Mozart - The website is exclusively a tool. You go in there and you have a text writing tool, with a few moves and possibilities. And there you write whatever you want, plug the projector into the computer and project. We also did lives, but then focused on using the professional VJ software tool.

ARTE!✱ - And this ends up taking away, at that moment, the focus on authorship, on the signature. Does the message being conveyed matter more than the name of each one?

Mozart - Yes, as a concept we suggest not placing personal signatures. The signature is Design. Because this is a big project. It is a great collective work. And when it thins the thing gets stronger. In fact, this is a guerrilla video, so to speak, we didn't ask for permission. That's why it's also preferable not to have anyone's name.

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