‘Código,’ by Thessia Machado and Nico Pam Dick, 2011

Thessia Machado and Nico Pam Dick, Código, 2011. Video piece and instrument. Developed in collaboration with Nico Pam Dick for the exhibition Telefone Sem Fio: Word-Things of Augusto de Campos Revisited, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, New York, November 4 – December 17, 2011, 2011. Published in Telephone, No. 3, December 2011. Courtesy of the artists.


Augusto de Campos, the Brazilian writer and founder of the Concrete poetry movement in Brazil, wrote the poem Código [Code] in 1973 as an emblem for the poetry journal by the same name. In the poem, the letters from the word “código” are set as concentric rings, with ‘o-d-i-g-o’ each appearing in sequence within an oversized ‘c’. The resulting image reveals the words that can be produced by rearranging the letters of ‘código,’ including ‘dog,’ ‘god,’ and ‘I.’


In the above video, the artists and musicians Thessia Machado and Nico Pam Dick adopt the complexity of de Campos’ emblem for their animation. The left screen shows a series of forty drawings created by the artists. Each drawing was fed into a computer program developed by Machado, which separated the colors of the images. The right screen shows these colors after they were translated into the audible sound frequencies and then back into images. Using a custom instrument, Machado was able to modulate the speed of the process, accounting for the animation’s pulsating rhythm.


To submit a video proposal to our online gallery, please email Amber Harper, Assistant Curator, at amoyles@drawingcenter.org, including a brief description and a video link.