About the Ernesto de Sousa Fellowship (1992–2013)
In Portugal there is a time before and a time after the Ernesto de Sousa Fellowship.
During its 20 years of existence, this initiative in homage to the multidisciplinary artist who inspired various generations of Portuguese experimentalism and vanguard has radically changed the country's intermedia art scenario. Musicians have since started to work with space, video and objects, while visual artists and performers have turned to sound.
With support from both the Luso-American Development Foundation and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, twenty grantees flew to New York for an internship where they would develop new works at the Experimental Intermedia Foundation (EIF), founded by remarkable figures such as John Cage and Elaine Summers. They were hosted and guided by filmmaker, photographer and composer Phil Niblock, compagnon de route of Ernesto de Sousa and EIF director, pioneer in the art of sound and image whose films explore the repetition of movement (with exception for the his about Sun Ra, the seminal The Magic Sun).
Phill Niblock put the grantees in contact with artists like David Behrman, Ron Kuivila, Anthony Braxton, Thurston Moore, Gerd Stern, and many others. Since he is the programmer of the “Festival with No Fancy Name” at the EIF, it was in this annual event that grantees presented their projects in New York.
It is worth noting all the personalities invited by Niblock to join the jury panel during the two decades of this fellowship.
And thus history was made: among those grantees many have pursued acclaimed international careers.