Cycling in São Paulo

​11,895,893 people!

– in place of ​a​ square- a shopping center

– ​instead of ​a sidewalk – an av​enue

– ​i​n place of ​a​ park – a parking

…​a​nd its engines and  horns, in place of voices

City lights are made for cars, not pedestrians.

In March 2011, more than 7 million vehicles were registered
– notoriously bad traffic
– chaotic traffic jams


Cycling, for sure.

– Its faster than cars, because of traffic jams – or helicopters, that wealthy businessman use to commute

2013 NEW YORK  18

2013 LONDON      14

2013 SAO PAULO 52


On Sundays, 45km bike lanes available, São Paulos´ bike lane network, Cicliofaxia, inaugurated in 2009, has helped bring cycling into the mainstream of city life.
Not to go into horrifying examples that triggered cyclists actions and protests, we went for a Sunday ride to get a glimpse of how it feels for a São Paulo muscle powered two wheeler.

More info on:

..and many others…


Procurando o córrego do sapateiro


Para começar, tentamos nos achar no mapa.


Será que tem uma nascente no fim dessa rua?


O córrego foi encanado… será que em mangueiras como esta?


Olha a água!


O nome dessa rua é indício de que passa um rio aqui perto.


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A vegetação responde à agua subterrânea.


Instrumento de Welton Santos, para achar água.


AHÁ! Olha a água aí.

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Um retrato da natureza tentando se virar com as construções do homem.


Terminamos como começamos: olhando mapas. Com mapa de Welton Santos, que mostra como os rios que chegam no Ibirapuera influenciam o comportamento das pessoas.

Imagens de Sanne Cobussen.

I see the sea

Out of the city. In to the city.

Out of the city.
In to the hills.

A view from the bus window.

A view from the bus window.

Santos. The largest port of Brazil.

View from Mount Serrat, overlooking old Santos, which is home to largest port of Brazil.

View from Mount Serrat, overlooking the new district of Santos.

View from Mount Serrat, overlooking the new district of Santos.

View from Mount Serrat.

View from Mount Serrat.

View from Mount Serrat. Ana Costa Avenue falls into the ocean.

View from Mount Serrat. Ana Costa Avenue falls into the ocean.



Panorama of Mount Serrat.

Panorama of Mount Serrat.

Our Guide for the day.  Paulo

Our Guide for the day.
Paulo von Poser.


Santos Beach. The longest beach front garden in the world.

Santos Beach.
The longest beach front garden in the world.


Natural Beach.

Natural Beach.


Handglider above natural beach.

Handglider above natural beach.

Apartment view. Overlooking natural beach

Apartment view.
Overlooking natural beach




Military zone

Wietske Maas and Matteo Pasquinelli

”We should never abandon the city in favour of a virgin territory.
There is no innocent state of nature to defend: cities are flourishing ecosystems in themselves, a true ‘human participation in nature’.
In fact, nature builds no idea of nature. The image of nature has always been an artifact of human civilisation, a mark of its stage of evolution. Yet we remain unaware that this image is still the projection of our animal instincts and fears on the surrounding environment.
Any utopia of nature will always be the territorial gesture of a form of life.
‘From the most ancient of times, from Neolithic and even Paleolithic
times, it is the town that invents agriculture’.
In the sixteenth century eastern Europe was converted into a vast countryside for western cities, and thereafter the ‘new world’ was forced into becoming countryside for the ‘old world’.
If in the modern age ‘Europe was beginning to devour, to digest the world’, urban cannibalism is the nemesis of late capitalism.
Urban cannibalism emerges from the biomorphic unconscious of the metropolis.
Innervated by flows of energy and matter, the urban landscape is alive. Hydraulic forces ebb and surge through a tangled skein of canals and sewers, water being one of the main metabolisms of the city. But also buildings are liquid strata of minerals — just very slow.”

(photos by Geert van Mil)

Walking down from R. Paulista to Ibirapuera park.

Walking down from Av. Paulista to Ibirapuera Park. Joggers on their way to and from the park.

Military residental land loft.

Military residental land loft.

Entrance to the military residental land loft.

Entrance to the military residental land loft.

Approaching military zone near the park Ibirapuera.

Approaching military zone near the Ibirapuera Park.

Fanced military area.

Fanced military area.

Guardians of the military zone.

Guardians of the military zone.

Police station with heavy political memory.

Police station with the heavy political memory.

Detail of the greenary in front of the police station.

Detail of the greenary in front of the police station.


The Bienal Archive

The archive of the Bienal is located at the right side of the main entrance of the building. Fernanda gave an introduction on the history of the archive, going alongside with the history of the Bienal as a whole. At the moment the archive is being digitalized. When going through the whole archive the researchers come across a lot of unfinished projects about the Bienal, which appears as a big puzzle.



OCA Exhibition

At the downfloor of the OCA museum the history of the Iberapuera park is explained. The round building where the museum is located is built in 1954, the same year as the park itself was built originally for housing sculpture exhibitions. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the building shows some similarities with the building which currently hosts the Bienal. Especially the turning ramps that go from one floor to the other and the white concrete are similar. Because the building is built in the shape of a dome it has very particular aucoustics.

The Iberapuera park was planned to host the celebrations for the fourth centennial of the founding of Sao Paulo.

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Cafe Educativo Weekend!

We spent nearly four days with the artist Jorge Menna Barreto and his guests learning about `food and ourselves´: different strategies for producing it, different ways to think about what we eat, how it is produced, why it is important to think of food as a system, among other issues.

On Thursday 30th October, Jorge opened up his theoretical interest around site specificity, and how Turning a Blind Eye opens up a space for the exchange of knowledge. Building on a history of land art and concepts employed by artists such as Robert Smithson, he understands eating as sculpting landscapes when we take into consideration the chain of production which dramatically alters the surface of the planet.

The cultivated species of plants which make up the majority of the ingredients we eat are what he called ‘domesticated’ – having been bred to produce high yields, be infertile, and be dependent on pesticides and fertilizers.

This we heard from the organic farmer Fernando Ataliba. His farm Sítio Catavento in São Paulo State. He explained that organic farming wasn’t just the negation of these damaging technologies – growing food without pesticides, with chemical fertilizers – but that the first conceivers of organic farming came from a period when pesticides weren’t used industrially, as they are now. He cited Rudolf Steiner from Austria, Masanobu Fukuoka from Japan and Albert Howard from England – all working throughout the first half of the twentieth century – as pioneers of the modern organic farming movement. That organic farming is about an understanding of the inter-connectedness of life. Of needing to be ‘in symphony’ with nature; to understand and respect its laws and how precious it is. That, for example, fungus is a means of eradicating low quality plants from the cycle of food production. If they are too weak is withstand a fungus attack, they are not good enough quality to be eaten. But also that it indicated other problems, and so calls for an approach which doesn’t only treat the symptoms (such as contemporary use of fungicides) but means one must observe and learn what the root cause of the weakness is.

He also spoke about the ‘green revolution’ that occurred after the second world war – the technological, industrial, political and economic shifts that revolutionised the mass production of food. This, he argued, resulted in the displacement of many people from their land. In Brazil, small scale farms producing a variety of different foods – enough to feed themselves, and sell to buy products they couldn’t produce at home – were replaced with large scale, monocultural plantations and farms. A simple way of putting it would be: People couldn’t survive, lost their farms, and immigrated to cities for work. Coffee and sugar cane plantations, on the other hand, already existed on a super large scale.

He also told us about the landless movement – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra – the political and social movement for people to return to their old land to farm again. There was a revival of this from the 1990’s too, but by the descendants of those farmers.

The next day, back at the Bienal, Jefferson Mota gave a presentation about wild edibles – plants that grow, often considered to be weeds, which are edible. We walked through the park and picked berries and he showed different wild edibles. We spent the afternoon with Leandro Lopes, who guided us with botanical drawings. “You haven’t seen it until you’ve drawn it”. We studied some plants and leaves we’d collected and sat on the ground floor of the Bienal looking and drawing and looking again.

We were then brought together, blind folded and asked to open our mouths, with the question “Where does this come from?” Elaine de Azevedo and Neka Menna took us through a blind tasting of various different foods, asking us to think about the production process, where the plants grew, and how were the workers in the process treated. Elaine and Neka told us about the importance of being suspicious about what we put in our mouths, and they advised us never to close our eyes when eating – as a metaphor for being more conscious about the systems of production that affect, at the end, our whole life. “What is healthy food? Is it healthy when the farmers and workers are exploited? When the land is polluted?” Neka Menna had prepared an amazingly delicious organic dinner of variety of dishes – black rice salad with coriander and beetroot, a beetroot juice, sesame cracker bread, roasted cauliflower deliciousness, and acai paste…So So good… and exotic…

And on Sunday we returned to the Bienal for a presentation from Fernando Ataliba, who expanded on his knowledge of organic farming, and another talk by the agroforestry farmer Adilson Gonçalves who lives in Barra do Turvo, to the south of Sao Paulo. He explained how farming practices had changed radically in the area – from 100 families growing corn and rearing pigs, to some 15 families (the rest having become bankrupted and having to leave) to currently over 110 families employing agroforestry methods – a variety of types of produce, grown in the forest in harmony. Their diets improve, the economic model is more sustainable, and the culture of the farmers and their families has blossomed as they collaborate and support one another. He impressed upon us the importance of learning, of observing, and of sharing knowledge.diagrama_apresentacao_menaBarreto DSCF5163 IMG_0774 IMG_0777 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.06.44 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.07.22 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.07.29 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.07.40 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.07.49 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.07.59 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.08.41 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.08.52 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.09.02 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.09.13 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.06.58 Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 17.07.08 IMG_0785 IMG_0786