Flávio Camargo: I have a degree in Visual Arts, and a graduate degree in Design, and I had prior training working for a long time with set design, theater, with constructing objects, manual labor. In parallel, I was always involved with the streets through graffiti, like almost everyone who lives in the urban periphery. The streets train you, too.
Toni Baptiste: Together we earned our degrees in Visual Arts and it was during our studies that we set up Coletivo Coletores in 2008. For a long time, we juggled our artistic careers with a teaching career, working in the public school system, teaching art at various schools. Then we did the same graduate degree in Design and Humanities. I also got a master’s in Information Science. Like Flávio, I was always drawing and I got into graffiti from a young age. Skateboarding was a form of bodily expression that helped me to exist collectively in the city and to think of the city as a medium. Then I wound up going into music and getting interested in photography and video in a self-taught way.
Collecting Stories and Materials
Flávio Camargo: At first, we had this idea that we were nomads because of our experience of displacement, the practice of producing in transit. But, after we better understood the way we work and relate to spaces and people, we saw that our work comes from collecting: collecting things, stories, materials. Our equipment has always been portable, even down to thinking about this concept of the collector, someone who doesn’t take more than he can carry. When we didn’t have a car, we put everything in our backpacks. We’re always thinking about how much can be taken from the bare minimum that we have.