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(Text written for the exhibition "Ambiente Moderno", held in january of 2021 at Fundação Ecarta, Porto Alegre/RS)


In the disclosure text for the exhibition "Ambiente Moderno" by Gabriel Pessoto, curator Gabriel Bogossian describes some of the artist's works as a kind of "small short circuit of techniques". My reflection on Pessoto's production already started, even before proposing the development of this text, from an analysis of the hybridization processes present in his works, especially those that are elaborated from a relationship between the cross-stitch of the embroidery and the digitization of new media.

This hybridization, this "short circuit", as Bogossian so well described, seems to emerge in Pessoto's work in a context that Marshal Mcluhan describes as a response to the ambience of new media in its process of assimilation by contemporaneity. Mcluhan says that artists are the first to venture into these technologies and that they do so through an assimilation of their procedures through formats already known in the popular imagination. This transduction of a new media into an already assimilated language makes the process of understanding this shock less painful, more familiar. In Pessoto's work, this process is visible through the ressignification of materials, as presented in the "table"installation - which takes fabric as paper, and ceramic as fabric -, and through the reappropriation of digital procedures by works that use the cross-stitch as a way of building images analogous to the pixel (or perhaps when using the pixel as a cross-stitch). The hybridization process between the pixel and the embroidery stitch, however, occurs in a complex way, even though it may seem, to us, to be a simple formal relationship between techniques. In order to understand the depth at which this assimilation between pixel and cross-stitch is created, it's  necessary to resort to an analysis by the french artist Edmond Couchot on this constitutive final point of digital images. The pixel represents, to Edmond, the total hybridization between television technologies and those of computational calculation, generating an image that presents itself as optical - just like analog photography, or the camera obscura itself that projects the perspective for painting -, but which carries in its morphogenesis all the automatism of calculation and computer simulation. It is this same type of hybridization that we see in Gabriel Pessoto's work, but this time taking embroidery as an organic process in contrast to the digital process.

The hybridization, it's worth remembering, occurs symmetrically in Gabriel Pessoto's works: it is both the digital process circumscribed in the "artisanal" of embroidery and the process or embroidery transposed to the digital. The artist makes this relationship explicit when he uses the embroidery instructions model to create the video "Flor Singela". Each video, extracted from vintage pornography, works as a future point for the drawing; each point is formed by images composed of pixels, calculated and inserted in a simulation context. According to Couchot, no digital image corresponds to a real object/subject anymore: it is always a simulacrum generated by the instructions of the codes that form the images. When Pessoto superimposes the pixel of the videos forming a matrix on the embroidery canvas, there is a meta-instruction in action: the codes that form the digital image and the code of the embroidery recipe to come.

Gabriel Pessoto makes it clear to us that there is a strong interest in materiality. This, then, is reconfigured in a way that can cause some kind of strangeness, it also refers to a place of comfort. Such comfort is due to this hybridization; to the process of assimilating materialities and themes; to recognize both the procedures that are already familiar to us and those that are still under development; as well as dimming the explicit representation of what intimacy hides.

Chico Soll, 2021


Chico Soll is an independent curator and mainly investigates the production of young artists. The object of his research orbits between the themes of ubiquity, everyday identity and affectivity in digital and non-digital places. He was a member of the MACRS Collection and Curatorship Committee (2019-2021) and the Ecarta Foudation Curatorship Committee (2020-2021). From 2018 to 2020 he was curator, manager and producer at Galeria Prego, an independent research space in curatorship and exhibition production. In 2019, he was nominated for the Açorianos Award in the Curator category, for the exhibition Lento Crepúsculo, held with Fernanda Medeiros and Gabriel Cevallos.

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