“Be Sicklecell Be a Hero (Xenofantasies in Transparent Scenarios)” presented by Ribeiro, Rocha, Valente, Didakis and Ribeiro


Session Title:

  • Emancipation and Pain (Long Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Be Sicklecell Be a Hero (Xenofantasies in Transparent Scenarios)




  • This paper presents and discusses the poetics and concepts woven in the conception of the interactive media art and science installation ‘Entrancer: Be Sicklecell Be a Hero’ (2018) inviting for a reflection concerning issues of race in science research mainly related to the sickle cell anemia. The work invites for the experience of a possible dance with a virtual moving model of a sickle-cell in AR (Augmented Reality) – mutated from the 3D model of a normal blood cell using morphogenetic algorithmic strategies. The experience is conducted by the rhythm of a Brazilian samba (live recording) distorted and combined with sonified fragments of sickle-cell image’s textures under the microscope (imported as raw data to Adobe Audition).

    The samba metamorphoses into its distorted version resembles the mutant sickle-cell that changes shape due to a chemical alteration that can be a strategy against malaria – and not a genetic condition of black men and women. At the same time the installation is a tribute to emblematic works of Hélio Oiticica, bringing together in a conceptual combination or convergence the ‘Parangolé’ and the stencil ‘Be an Outlaw Be a Hero’ from the series ‘Marginalia’, proposing a piece that is a ‘cross-over’ of both referred works, that has adaptive qualities concerning the most diverse exhibition conditions and spaces, and that is itself a mutant work in relation to the body and the environment.

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