GIBBERISH is a audio-visual performance by Manuela São Simao & Pedro Lopes, using analog equipment, in particular turntables, old overhead projectors and micro FM transmitters, which was presented twice: (1) Festival Silêncio 2010 at Goethe Institut Lissabon; and (2) Festival Trama 2011 at Fundação de Serralves (Porto).

festival Trama // Fundação de Serralves 2011


The performance is a class-concert presented by the musician Pedro Lopes and visual artist Manuela São Simão, using turntables with percussion material and overhead projectors with liquids and custom made acetates. The sound travels the air in the form of FM waves, to arrive at dozens of radio boxed which sit in the chairs of the amphitheater, like perfect students. These amply the performance to the audience, also spread through the amphitheater.


The performance was developed site-specific using recorded material from the laguange classes taught at that time at Faculdade de Letras, Porto. For such the professors of different language classes were involved, namely: Arie Pos (Afikaans), Manuel Ramos (Latin), Olena Nesterenko (Russian) and Lu Yanan (Mandarin Chinese).

From the recordings made through the classes, the sound artist explores the phonetics through deconstruction, in an aesthetical sense, visually and sonically.


festival Silêncio // Goethe Institut 2010

The ongoing durational performance was developed in co-creation between performer and visual artist Manuela São Simão and musician and composer Pedro Lopes, with technical collaboration from the Radio Zero team.


The performance was composed specifically for the Garden of Sounds, which was crucial for Festival Silêncio (Goethe Institut Lissabon). Here, mental and physical spaces clash, the auditorium and the garden are physically separated (by hallways, stairs and many meters of air and cement) but become connected as the sound from the musical performance (Pedro Lopes, in the garden) travels through the FM waves, and enters the ears of the audience, which participates by collecting one FM receiver radio at the entrance and navigating through the FM spectrum looking for the right frequency.


Isolated from the organic and lighted space of the garden, the visual artist Manuela São Simão, is immersed in the darkness of the auditorium. There, she draws a calligraphic interpretation of the sounds in a physical timeline, which never stops. This timeline is a roll of paper, pulled automatically by a machine, and that spreads out through the floor of the auditorium. The audience interacts by moving carefully in the darkness of the auditorium open space, merely illuminated by the reflections of black light on the paper stripes.




João Pádua for the copyrighted photographs for the Serralves presentation.

performance by Manuela São Simão & Pedro Lopes. Performed at Festival Trama (Serralves) and Festival Siêncio (Goethe Institut Lissabon).