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Chelpa Ferro
Jungle Jam
15 June - 18 September 2010

27 Heddon Street London W1B 4BJ

Sprovieri is delighted to present Chelpa Ferro’s sound installation Jungle Jam.

Chelpa Ferro is an art group formed in 1995 by the Brazilian artists Barrão, Luiz Zerbini and Sergio Mekler. Barrão made a name for himself in the 1980s, by using banal materials – from refrigerator components, to television parts and other fragments of household appliances- to create sculptures with a sense of humor; Luiz Zerbini is one of the most recognized Brazilian painters and Sergio Mekler is one of the most sought after editors of video and cinema in Brazil.

Chelpa Ferro is an old colloquial Portuguese term for money, chosen by the artists because of its sound. Chelpa Ferro’s eclectic work explores the plasticity of the sound and its dynamics through sculptures, objects, installations and music performances that challenge the senses of the viewer by using every day objects.

The construction of machine designed to produce sound follows the lineage that began in the 1910’s with the Intonarumori, noisy machines that were created by the Italian futurist Luigi Russolo and gave expression to the ideas formulated in his Manisfesto The Art of Noises (L’arte dei rumori). This Manifesto was published in the art magazine Lacerba in 1913 and exalted the noise of the modern metropolis, which, according to Russolo, dominated the contemporary life and introduced an extraordinary selection of new tones and rhythms.

Jungle Jam is a kinetic installation that uses portable food blenders, which hold plastic bags in substitution of the cutting parts and are driven by a box called “bighead,” to produce sounds. The blenders are installed along the walls of the gallery and, when activated by the “bighead,” move and shake the plastic bags at the edge creating a rhythmic sound. The movements of the plastic bags determined by a computer programme through the “bighead,” create random patterns and never repeat themselves. Every turn of a bag will originate different sounds depending on the order of its creases at any given instant, which makes the piece unique to each individual visitor. This musical experiment reflects a culture of innovative resistance that opposes the modern technology-driven society by developing imaginative and unofficial resources in art and music. By shifting and interchanging the visual, sculptural and aural qualities of different elements, Chelpa Ferro’s creative use of technology stresses the interdisciplinary possibilities that technology itself allows.

Jungle Jam was first commissioned in 2006 by FACT (Found for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool. In 2008 it was hosted by Caixa Cultural in Rio de Janeiro, after which, the work was shown at MAM-Bahia (Museum of Art of Bahia). Later on in September this year, it will be exhibited at Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf. A new version of Jungle Jam will be presented by Chelpa Ferro in London. Chelpa Ferro have been featured in major international events such as the biennials of Venice (2005), Havana (2003), São Paulo (2002, 2004) and the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art (2002).