Gambiologia is the Brazilian art and science of kludging. Someone with gambiarrá displays a cunning ability to improvise, kludge, hack and make do with whatever is available. Gambiologia, however, is far more than a demonstration of one’s own resourcefulness, it is also a political and ethical gesture. It questions industrial processes and mechanisms, rejects consumerism and postulates the need for greater autonomy

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What makes the city of the future? How do you heal a divided city?

In Radical Cities, Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America in search of the activist architects, maverick politicians and alternative communities already answering these questions. From Brazil to Venezuela, and from Mexico to Argentina, McGuirk discovers the people and ideas shaping the way cities are evolving

The exhibition finally gave me the opportunity to see some of the works i had missed at the Venice Art Biennale in 2009 when Teresa Margolles was selected for the Mexican pavilion.

Her works took the form of mundane and ‘luxury’ objects that embody the trauma of violent deaths in Mexico, more precisely in Sinaloa. The Northwestern state is the home of a cartel regarded as “the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world.” Every day in Sinaloa people are victims of drug related gun violence

Artist Rodrigo Derteano’s autonomous robot plows the desert ground to uncover its underlying color, using a technique similar to the one of the Nazca lines, the ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. Guided by its sensors, the robot quietly traced the founding lines of a new city that looks like a collage of existing cities from Latin America

Shaped like flying saucers, the Nanodrizas are floating autonomous robots which measure, in real time, the environmental conditions of polluted water surfaces. The data collected is then transmitted for interpretation and analysis. Once the level and nature of pollution has been identified, the nanodrizas directly intervene by emitting synthesized sound and releasing bacterial and enzymatic remedies in the eco-system that, ultimately, should regulate the quality of the water

Sorry for being so silent over the past few days. A combination of medicine-proof flu and weak wifi at the hotel have thrown me into the arms of Jo Nesbo again and i’ve only emerged from this lethargy now. So here’s a last and light post about the ongoing London Street Photography Festival where i discovered Anahita Avalos’s tableaux of everyday life in Villahermosa, Mexico

This year, the biennial was guided by the notion of cybernetic autonomy – by the evolution of principles and patterns derived from the emerging behaviors of the devices themselves. The devices not only possess the ability to enter in a dialog with their surroundings, they also determine the rules for this interaction and change their behavior as if they had “personality”

Two of our speakers explores the cultural and economic modes of (in)formal distribution both in the world of file-sharing and in Tepito, an area of Mexico city famed for its humongous street market where you can buy pretty anything, especially if pirate, stolen or counterfeit. We also had rappers performing live, a lesson on local pride and an intense introduction on critical fetishes

Burgos expands urban apocalyptic visions which proliferate in daily life. His starting point is a children’s storybook, from which he constructs a delirious collage. Anything is possible in his productions. With amazing dexterity he cuts, pastes, digitally photocopies and photocopies again, the result of which he fits into a fascinating stage design. Within these metaphors, there are, mingled with a large cast of characters, iconic elements of national images

Ever since i found about his tattoos on the pin-ups and luchadores appearing in vintage Mexican magazines, i was in love Dr Lakra. The tattoo artist lives in Mexico. A couple of weeks ago i was in Mexico too and there was a solo show of Dr Lakra at the kurimanzutto gallery. I felt like the happiest person in the world. Now, in retrospect, i feel that i’d been happier had i not forgotten in a taxi my lovely camera with all the images i had taken at the exhibition

No one dons the moustache like Fernando Llanos. He’s a video artist, a musician, a writer, a blogger, a curator, he makes drawings, he’s the über macho-looking Mexican guy who walks around the city with a chihuahua in his bag. He also produces tv shows, a competition of animation movies, and the moto of his own radio programme is “There’s no need to talk about art in order to talk about art”. When he’s not performing Llanos is always impeccably dressed. He’s probably the one and only media artist whose sense of style i admire