Damara

“Mecânica do Efémero” is an exhibition curated by the Angolan artist Kiluanji Kia Heanda, that was like from November 2021 to January 2022 at the Galeria Filomena Soares in Lisbon.

This project was developed using: Oculus Quest, Google Tiltbrush, Clo3d, Daz3d, Blender, Lens Studio (Snapchat) and Adobe Premiere Pro.


Role: art, performance and 3d Design;

Pensatriz Description:


Re-Artefacto is the action of re-owning African artefacts that were stolen during colonisation; re-imagining the gaze upon these artefacts through the post-colonial eye, through the African Diaspora ethnographic research, this Pensatriz gazes back at the audience - as if they exist in her mind. It is the re-interpretation of codes and values via the contemporary and digital experience.

Pensatriz is inspired on intersectional-digitisation: making sense of technology and multi platform digital-expression through expanding the vocabulary of one’s culture, in order to accommodate the-ever-changing landscape of identity. To express and expand my sense of idenity as an African Woman in the diaspora and the Metaverse.

A cultural connection threaded by listening to stories from the elders, avid Google searches and holidays. It is a umbilical cord carved by meat and wi-fi. A self-made placenta, made of genetic memory and emotional connections. A beginning and therefore the end of now.

Looking and re-interpreting Chokwe wood art, through 3d design and simulation.

Here we use the same materials and body pose, but different digital processes of re-owning African art.

Although “Pensador” is a genderless character, its own name is grammatically masculine and the sense of wisdom associated to the artefact is connected to age and life experience. But what is time in the 21st century, when information and a data base of life experiences is the new empirical knowledge, just a click away.

A Pensatriz gazes back at the audience, as if they are looking at her and she looks back - because her experience and knowledge comes from observing and empirical digital experiences.

The time space between the hand carved wood figure and the Daz3d + Blender +Tilt Brush digital sculpture that is 3d printed with wood filaments - is filled by the physical presence of the audience, that wears the hyper-myth through an AR lens. A hyper-myth that becomes a hyper-selfie that captures my identity, culture and formats of interacting. The augmented-reality lens is the digital aura/soul of the physical re-artefactos. It is the moment in which the audience enters Pensatriz’s mind and is suspended in her thoughts.

This is a digital object with a physical shadow - here the physically present object becomes the shadow of the native object. The physical is the other side of the Pensatriz that gazes back...This old soul of digital, that with just a few hours of birth already is a thousand years old.


Pensatriz, the Video Art:


This video features the other two elements of this piece:Augmented-reality Lens (Snapchat) and set of six 3d Printed Wooden Combs.

The video was captured on a smartphone and edited in Adobe Premiere Pro.


Music by Richard Melkonian

Video Translation:


Before talking about Pensatriz, I want to describe Pensatriz.

Hmmmm… Pensatriz is a RE-Artefact.

And a RE-Artefact is to RE-Imagine, RE-Interpret and to RE-Fill (or RE-Feel) the emptiness left behind, by the Angolan art that was stolen during colonialism.

RE-Artefact is to RE-Interpret ancestral values through the ephemeral contemporary gaze.

RE-Artefact to take the away the aura of an eternal object, only to reduce it into an ephemeral object, through the fragility of the zeitgeist.

It is to re-write in the sand, what was already written in stone. It is a sopro (in Portuguese “sopro” means to blow on something, like a candle).

A RE-Artefact is to blend Intersectional Digitisation and Post-Digital craftsmanship.

An it aims to RE-Interpret values, objects, emotions and physical memories through the contemporary and digital gaze.

Pensatriz gazes back at the audience, she looks back at the audience as if they existed…. as if they existed in her thoughts.

I like to imagine that someday there will be digital archeologists, that dig/excavate external drives, pen drives and computers…. looking for artefacts, art and iconic moments of our experiences and interactions as humans, or should I say post-humans? These digital archeologists will enter the cloud to un-earth the past. In the same way that we explore the pyramids to better understand the Egyptians.

The notionof Pensador (portuguese word for ‘Thinker’) the totem, the object, the soul, aura and ascension…the sensation of being protected by knowledge.Trough Pensatriz (portuguese word for ‘Thinker’ in feminine), I’d like to RE-Interpret all of this values through the feminine gaze. Although culturally Pensador is an hermaphrodite, or should I say a non-binary character. Grammatically the word Pensador (portuguese word for ‘Thinker) / Samanhonga (Chokwe word for ‘Thinker is maculine).

Pensatriz aims to RE-Create what already exists and to expand its meaning. So that this new meaning might include me.

Made out of all of the beginnings after all endings….simply made of...

Set of six 3D Prinded Wooden Combs:


To design this set of wood combs, I designed a replica of myself in Daz3d where I posed the 3d avatar to resemble the position of ‘Pensador’.

The 3d avatars in different positions were imported to Blender, where I assembled them and designed the base shapes of the afro hair combs.

After the sculptures were scaled and arranged, the afro-hair combs were 3d printed using the wood filament that has the same texture and scent as wood.

Augmented-reality Lens (Snapchat):


I designed the headpiece of this AR Lens on Google Tiltbrush, edited it in Blender and assembled in Lens Studio.

The base dress of this piece was designed in Clo3d, fitted in Blender and assembled in Lens Studio.

The petals that decorative elements on top of the base dress were design in Clo3d and assembled in Lens Studio

Using Format