🎉✨The Nexialist #0074
Which Planet Are You On? | HER MIND, PT.1 | Amazonize The World | TheHomo Mammals | Contextomy | The Divergent Association Task | Social Media x Cults | (Own)ership | Mugler + Funk Carioca
Welcome to another one of my weekly (sometimes) trippy virtual zine, The Nexialist
By the time you get the next Nexialist, I’ll be a 33-year-old man (the age of Christ as I’ve heard all my life). The official date is June 15th, but celebrations already started. This week I got the incredible opportunity to see Pabllo Vittar live in Amsterdam and I had such a blast (she was the cover gif of my birthday Nexialist a year ago, so I guess gifs can manifest things?). Then, next Sunday, I’ll be DJing at Tropikali my favorite Brazilian music. Let this week’s Nexialist be a little celebration. As a present, you can share the newsletter and/or buy me a coffee. Or just read it with love, I’ll be just as happy 🫀
1 year ago » 🎂✨The Nexialist #0023 - Sixth Sense: Echolocation | Interoception | ASMArt | Bob Ross in Data | Permission to be Creative | Plastic Visualization | Is Bolsonaro Finished? | The Edge of Democracy | Brazilianness
🪐Which Planet Are You On?
Going to Pabllo’s concert this week reminded me of why we go to concerts. I got really emotional to see a queer icon from the countryside of Brazil selling out in Amsterdam, bringing Brazilians together in another country and mindblowing non-Brazilians with their energy. It’s especially touching to see the resistance of Pabllo’s success during the Bolsonaro government, one of those unexplainable dualities that we have in the Brazilian culture if you ask me.
I’ll share one of my favorite recent songs, Zap Zum, which is also a sci-fi short story. Zap Zum is the onomatopoeia of a comet that takes Pabllo to their lover on another planet. Also, I love the fact that this hit is originally from Companhia do Calypso, an iconic band Belém do Pará in the Amazonian region. Amazofuturism is pop!
🌀HER MIND, PT.1
The opening act for Pabllo was Urias. In terms of vibe and energy, if Pabllo is the sun, Urias would be the moon (ok, maybe I got a bit corny, but it’s how I feel). Her energy is darker and mysterious and her sound goes towards a more electronic and experimental vibe. Urias released a new EP recently, HER MIND, PT.1, which is impressive. So proud to see her live as well, I was hypnotized.
🐍Amazonize The World
I had already finished this week’s Nexialist before going to watch a performance with Gustavo at Holland Festival, Altamira 2042 by Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha, and I just had to come back here and include this.
The fateful story of a dammed river in a conjuring installation. A recently built dam threatens to upset the balance in the entire environment of the Brazilian Rio Xingu. With an enchanting theatrical ritual, the Brazilian actress and director Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha draws attention to the impending doom. How does the river itself 'experience' its fate?
It reminded me of last week’s post about Countercultureless societies because this felt completely like the opposite. Gabriela run the whole show by herself, piloting the equipment and urging the audience to interact. Mixing loudspeakers and projectors, with incenses, rattles, and indigenous chants in a sort of a techno-shamanic ritual, she created an immersive live sci-fi performance. She used recordings from indigenous people to tell local folklore along with their very real struggles as a dam is built at Xingu River. Some things that stayed with me (I’m writing them as I remember, not as she presented)
There is a great war taking place between two forces: progressians and aliendiginous.
Progresssians: are the oness who want to turn the world into deserts. Only their way of living is valid.
Aliendiginous: they understand plurarity of life is necesssary. The Aliendiginous people are on the mission to Amazonize the Amazon in order to Amazonize the World.
It is so powerful to turn the Amazon into a verb. One of the narrators compares the Dam to the Berlin Wall, which created a whole new image in my head. In the end, Gabriela vanishes and the following message appeared on the screen, reminding the role of sci-fi to bring attention to very serious problems of the now:
“English journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenist Bruno Araújo Pereira have been missing for more than 72 hours in Vale do Javari, Amazon, where they were were conducting investigations about illegal activities on the forest. We demand that the Brazilian authorities being to search immediately. Help us to put pressure! #whereisDomPhillips #whereisBrunoPereira
Next time someone says homosexuality is unnatural, send them this page. (Source: @depthsofwikipedia, mentioned in one of my favorite newsletters Messy Nessy’s 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. DCVI)
Steal Like an Artist’s author Austin Kleon also has a pretty cool newsletter here on Substack. This week he was talking about how collages help him get over creative blocks and I learned a new word:
When I get stuck, when I have no ideas, when I’m not sure what to do next… I make collages. The art of collage, for me, is mostly one of contextomy (quoting out of context) and juxtaposition: You put two things next to each other that aren’t really supposed to be together and you get a new thing. (1 + 1 = 3.)
Contextomy: Quoting out of context (sometimes referred to as contextomy or quote mining) is an informal fallacy in which a passage is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning.
Austin’s exercise made me think of this research project about creativity. “The Divergent Association Task involves thinking of unrelated ideas. People who are more creative tend to think of ideas with greater “distances” between them.” Another skill we have to practice as Nexialists.
My friend Victor brought to my attention this comparison from Center of Humane Tech between Authoritarian Cult Techniques & Social Media Features, which seems all quite clear when you see it on a table like that.
“Social media platforms and cults share a similar underlying goal: influencing people. Social media platforms keep users engaged in order to profit via ad revenue, while cults keep members committed in order to keep power and, in some cases, make money.
As Dr. Hassan notes, influence is on a continuum. There are “healthy cults” which give informed consent and “authoritarian cults” which pursue undue influence. Many social media practices are closer to the “authoritarian” end of the spectrum since social media companies don’t practice transparency with users (e.g., sharing what data they’re using or how they’re using it).
While social media leaders aren't cult leaders, nor are all social media users part of a cult, social media's means to keep users engaged can parallel how cults keep members committed.
As the Center of Humane Tech usually does, they offer tools and exercises for us to reclaim our minds and you can find them in their newsletter.
In the last edition, I brought you Variant’s report about The Ownership Economy and this week Protein Agency announced a new Dirty Words report about the same theme (The first two editions were about Exclusivity and Influence, which were super interesting.)
“In the thick of the hype, hope, and confusion around web3 and our own experience setting up and running our own DAO, we’ve been asking ourselves what ownership really means in this new world order? Continuing our Dirty Words series, we’re taking a look at emerging models and ideas of ownership both IRL and URL, and what this means for the planet, people, and progress. As always, we’d love to know your thoughts, so we’ve put together a few questions with the folks at Parlia that cleverly helps you discover who you share opinions with…
This time, I am quite curious about the platform they are using for the survey: “Parlia is a radical new self-discovery engine, and home of your Opinion DNA.” What comes to mind is an advanced personality quiz or Buzzfeed quiz. Or what Cambridge Analytica was measuring about social media users, but now we are participating and being able to take a look into that mirror. As the survey happens, they give instant feedback on my position and then gave me an Opinion DNA in the end. I have this feeling I’m sharing something quite intimate, but here it comes anyway:
🔥Mugler + Funk Carioca
The new Mugler campaign made my heart beat faster for so many reasons, including: similar cast to the last campaign, Meghan being there, SHYGIRL’s song opening, some funk carioca in the soundtrack, the crazy walks, the death drop at 1:33… I’m here for all of it.
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I truly believe innovation comes from bringing improbable areas together, and that’s why I called this project The Nexialist. Some sectors are known to be self-referencing and hermetic. Sometimes teams are on autopilot mode, focused on the daily grind, which hinders innovation. As a Nexialist, I like to burst these bubbles, bringing references from different areas, and maintaining teams inspired and connected to the Zeitgeist.
I offer inspiration sessions, called Brainsparks, creative desk research (Zeitgeist Boost), Plug’n’Play deals for workshops and sprints, and other Bespoke formats. If you want to know more about this, send me an e-mail with your challenge(s) and we can figure something out together. Check out my website and some work I’ve done below: