M00-0364 | Performance Text [part of the text]

CD4 & Viral Load

CD4 cells are the white blood cells which organise the immune system’s response to some microorganisms, including bacteria, fungal infections and viruses. The CD4 count is the measurement of the number of CD4 cells in a cubic millimeter of blood. CD4 counts can vary considerably between individuals. A person who is not infected with HIV may be anywhere between 500 and 1200. While the CD4 cells play an important role in fighting viruses, HIV has the ability to infect CD4 cells and use them to produce more HIV copies. Even wile a person with HIV feels well and has no symptoms, millions of CD4 cells are infected by the virus and destroy each day, and millions more CD4 cells are produced to replace them. A CD4 count between 500 and 200 indicates that some damage to the immune system has occurred. If your CD4 count falls bellow 250-200, an HIV positive person is recommended to start treatment with HIV drugs because this is the level at which the risk of AIDS-related illness is greatly increased. If an HIV positive person has relatively high CD4 count, no symptoms and is not taking anti-HIV drugs, then the only need is to measure the CD4 count once every three months.

Viral Load tests estimate the number of HIV particles in the liquid, or plasma part of the blood. They do this by looking for the HIV’s genetic material, which is called HIV RNA.The result of viral load test is described as the number of copies of HIV RNA per millilitre. All viral loads tests have a cut-off point below which they cannot reliably detect HIV. This point is called the limit of detection (LOD) and varies from one testing kit to another. However, just because the level of HIV is too low to be measured by these tests, it does not necessarily mean that the virus has disappeared entirely. The virus may still be present in your blood, but in amounts too low for the test to pick it up. Having undetectable viral load is desirable for three reasons:

1- A very low risk of developing AIDS.

2- A very low risk of developing resistance to the drugs.

3- A very low risk of transmitting the virus.


Body fat changes in HIV are known as lipodystrophy. Four patterns of body fat changes are being seen in people with HIV who are taking potent combinations of anti-HIV drugs often called Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy.

These are:

1- Central fat gain which is within the abdomen and makes the belly feel harder.

2- Between the shoulder blades.

3- Around the neck.

4- In the breasts.

5- Loss of fat from under the skin (which becomes most obvious in the arms, legs, buttocks and face, resulting in a facial wasting, shrunken buttocks and prominent veins on the arms and legs).

Only this particular kind of fat loss is specific to HIV infection, Fat gain may be caused by metabolic changes that also occur in HIV-negative people. A few people will also develop small, unusual fat deposits on other parts of the body, usually the limbs and trunk. These are called lymphomas. Exercise improves both the heart’s ability to pump and the muscles’ ability to use oxygen. It includes activities like brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, rowing, even vigorous sex and dancing.

V-Effect – Yes, HIV positive people do fuck like all of us.

A total of 30 minutes of any of these activities per day at this level will reduce your risk of heart disease.

V-Effect – If vigorous sex you may want to make it last more than 30 minutes, I would.


Stage Design for M00-0364

Since my photoshop hasn't been working properly, I had to draw the Stage Design by hand. More information will be updated shortly with a better understanding of what I have been planing for the M00-0364 performance Stage design. Moreover, new experimentations will be posted shortly.


Conversations and discussions raised with one of the volunteers – M91 - 1565

From the series of monologues I filmed on the 10th and 11th of February, interesting conversations and discussions raised with one of the volunteers – M91 - 1565. We concluded that the point of view towards HIV is getting a new dimension for some people. Nowadays, it seams that young people are not preoccupied if they get infected because it is known that is possible to live with medication. This situation can be uncomfortable for some people that longer live with HIV since they have gone through fear and have seen many of their closer friends dieing due to the virus in the 80’s and 90’s. It is also a fact that many people have announcements online hunting for sexual intercourse with people living with HIV. This obviously extends to a level of fetishism that hasn’t been accepted within society throughout many decades. As an example the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - DSM, which I have been analysing for the past four years and therefore I concluded that it is the most outdated manual I have ever analysed, states that a fetish causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of life. I must rather agree with Psychologists and medical practitioners that at the present time regard fetishism as normal variation of the human sexuality. Having said that, post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP is the new next morning after pill that prevents HIV when knowing someone had a risk sexual intercourse with someone and that the ejaculation occurred inside the body. In this case, people have to start taking the drugs after exposure to HIV within 72 hours in an attempt to prevent infection with the virus. Currently in Britain, PEP is usually offered to people who might have been infected with HIV through work, such as health care professionals. Obviously the PEP is not being considered within democratic principals since it is just being given to heath care professionals. To conclude, I affirm that it can be scary such radical changes within a short period of time and that thoughts and actions occur with a blinking of an eye. It is to ask if mentalities should be redefined evolving at the same pace as thoughts and actions. Honesty fetishism should be considered as a normal variation of the human sexuality and apart from that should be taken in consideration the self consciousness of the individual body.



Methylcellulose (or methyl cellulose) is a chemical compound derived from cellulose. It is a hydrophilic white powder in pure form and dissolves in cold (but not in hot) water, forming a clear viscous solution or gel. It is sold under a variety of trade names and is used as a thickener and emulsifier in various food and cosmetic products, and also as a treatment of constipation. Like cellulose, it is not digestible, not toxic, and not allergenic. Methylcellulose is often used in the pornographic industry to simulate semen in large quantity, in order to shoot movies related to fetish.

Useless/Useful participatory fashion performance and exhibition | Text by Milka Panayotova

Apart from the excellent description on Useless/Useful participatory fashion performance and exhibition by Milka Panayotova I must say that this was what I call a collaborative performance. Moreover, everyone involved created an excellent bound and also worked hard for the performance. Milka Panayotova could easily interpret the complexity in the choreography diagram above that I have developed for the performance.

"Some days ago I got contacted by a colleague and friend of mine, Filipe Canha, who was directing a show and was in need of a second performer. I had already accidentally read an article on the project in question the previous day, the concept of which involved our senses besides seeing, so although a coincidence it turned out a great opportunity of collaboration for me both as a performer and concept creator researching on ways of (non)seeing.
Useless/Useful participatory fashion performance and exhibition is an ongoing project that involves both graduates and current students from UAL as well as other professionals. Episode one, which was presented yesterday at the Rag Factory in Brick Lane, was, as the name suggests, very much about fashion and audiences' participation. The costumes, created by Christina Tso, looked at the touch and hear aspect of fashion, rather than solely rely on the visual effect. The costume I performed in had sound sensors attached to it and therefore sounds were generated according to body movement. Even though the rigid parts of the costume along with its cables and little gadgets did restrict the fluidity of movement, it allowed me to perform a consistent and yet simple choreography that exhibited the garment and at the same time brought it to life. Dancer Marta Masiero wore an unsusual black tutu that unveiled thousands of tiny blue lights that somehow resembled colourful sea corals that moving under water.
Along with the performance director, sound technician, set designer, make up artist, graphic designer, film maker, cameramen, photographers, and many more who were there for help and support it was possible to put up a great piece of work in a matter of weeks. I was not there from the very beginning, but working all day with the same people on the same thing makes you familiar with it all in no time.
The end part of the performance was about audience. It aimed at showing spectators the costumes, letting them interact with the garments' qualities and possibilities. As we had two performances one after the other it was good to see how they changed according to the number of audeince. The sencond one proved to be the best and we even got a spectator who got so interested in exploring the costumes that by the end of the show she was believed to be one of the performers. Indeed she was, as we all merged together to bring the piece to an end. The whole project was documented step by step, so I will update with links to material from the actual show.
I really enjoyed working on the project and got to meet lots of great people. I am looking forward to future collaborations and whatever future results may bring, I must say that this time the timing was perfect, given the performance I am presenting next Tuesday explores clothing and fashion in a way very close to the themes of senses and audience participation that Useless/Useful is working on."

Text by Milka Panayotova

M00-0364 interviews | Exhibition [05/02/2010]

The “M00-0364 interviwes” video exhibition took place at the Observatory at Wimbledon College of Arts. From the feedback's I have got the video was presented in a very professional way and what most triggered the audience was the answers to the questions, the body language and capacity of some interviewed to articulate in an immediate response what has been asked or commented by a physician, a doctor an artist and The Guardian newspaper. What has to be unfortunately pointed out as a negative aspect of the exhibition is that there were tutors at the College and there has been no interest from them to appear and comment on the exposed working progress from the VLP students. The constant disinterest from the tutors has grown and moreover leaves the students without a cohesive feedback. Having said that I do not by any means dismiss my colleagues comments on my work but I underline the careless behaviour by tutors in this institution.

The video installation was presented in 16.9 format projected in a wall.


Editing Video - Personal Comments | based on "Thinking Behind" - Diagram [04/02/2010] "

During the interviews video editing I started analysing the interviewed behaving upon each answer or comment. I concluded that 3 to 4 interviewed had the capacity to evoke the thinking on the question or statement and that could be perceived by their body language and expressions. Even not knowing some of the questions it is to state that the political consciousness and the capacity to comment and/or guess is part of their curiosity behavior. I would definitely state, concerning the “Thinking Behind" - Diagram that these people could be part of the category “those who get it” and “those who get it and do not get it”. I do underline once more that not knowing is not the fundamental in this interviews but rather the capacity to evoke the thinking on the question or statement. It can be perceived from the interviews that there are also people that are part of “those who do not get it” due to cultural differences which can be translated as an extreme honesty and vulnerability. The categories “those who get it but realise there is nothing to get”; “those who are very confused”; “those who do not get it and realise there is nothing to get” and “those who realise there is nothing to get”, are also implicit in the video. That is definitely what I state as "no political consciousness what so ever", no interest, no curiosity, no enthusiasm. I must agree with something that I read stating that if there is no political consciousness there is no aliveness but rather death of the human brain. Certainly it must have been or Bertolt Brecht, Paolo Virno, Guy Debord, Elfriede Jelinek or Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti which are my favourite thinkers in what concerns a change within political and social consciousness and awareness.


On 4 Feb 2010, at 10:38 am, Filipe Canha wrote:

As you may know tomorrow is the VLP's 1st Friday and we have to put up work. I do understand that the heating has to be fixed but the University had plenty of time to do so since we complained before Christmas. As many VLP's have material for tomorrow afternoon's presentation in the MA studio, I do ask if we can get our stuff in order to present work tomorrow. Moreover, it is just shocking how unorganized this system is that things are planned from one day to another, from one morning to an afternoon and everyone has to follow this unprofessional way of dealing with what should be dealt professionally. I do hope to see some changes from now on on this matter.

Filipe Canha

M00-0364 | Questions and Statements [02/02/2010]

1 - What cells are attacked by the HIV virus?

White Blood Cells AKA T Cells. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks the CD4+T cells which basically prevent our immune system from infections.

2 – What is the CD4 count?

CD4 cells are a type of white blood cell that fight infection. Another name for them is T-helper cells. CD4 cells are made in the spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus gland, which are part of the lymph or infection-fighting system. CD4 cells move throughout your body, helping to identify and destroy germs such as bacteria and viruses. The CD4 count measures the number of CD4 cells in a sample of your blood drawn by a needle from a vein in your arm. Along with other tests, the CD4 count helps tell how strong your immune system is and indicates the stage of your HIV disease. It also guides treatment, and predicts how your disease may progress. Keeping your CD4 count high can reduce complications of HIV disease and extend your life.

3 – How can the HIV virus be easily eliminated outside the organism?

The HIV viruses can be easily eliminated with bleech for about 15 minutes (1 deciliter of bleech in 1 liter of water); Ethanol 70% for about 15 minutes; more than 60ÂșC heat; detergents.

4 – What are the differences or similarities between HIV1 and HIV2?

Both forms of HIV are spread through sexual contact, blood, and mother-to-child transmission. The symptoms of HIV-1 and HIV-2 are exactly the same and individuals cannot know which type they have without tests performed by a physician. HIV-1 is found around the world, while HIV-2 is restricted to a very small portion of West Africa. Countries where HIV-2 is common include Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. Outside of West Africa, HIV-2 is extremely rare. Places where it is most common are countries with strong ties to West Africa like Portugal, Angola, and France. In the United States, only about 100 confirmed cases of HIV-2 have been reported. These cases have mostly occurred in people who have traveled to West Africa. Moreover the the viruses come from different monkeys.

5 - Comment on the statement.

“One may or not loose its identity or even have or not have the sensation of loss when discovering she/he is HIV positive. This is personal and it is different from each individual depending on many factors.”

(Filipe Canha, London, November 2009)

6 - Comment on the statement.

“Throughout everywhere and in every century, the individual is unwell, however, unwell through societie’s gaze, function and upon its fixed norms. The patient’s comunication is elaborated within the comunication based on relations from the individual to the social…”

(Herzlich et al., 1991: 13)

7 - Comment on the statement.

“HIV/AIDS should be considered as a cronic disease.”

(Mario Rui Andre - Physician, Lisboa, November 2009)

8- Comment on the statement.

“Researchers found that one in five people with an HIV diagnosis had been harassed, threatened or verbally assaulted in the past 12 months. Many reported ignorance and prejudice from within the medical profession, particularly from GPs and dentists.”

(“People with HIV alarmed by levels of stigma in UK”, http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/nov/29/hiv-study-stigma-attitudes discrimination)


M00-0364 interviews | thinking behind [01/02/2010]

Thinking Behind - Diagram

The project I am about to develop concerns the wrong, little or manipulated information upon HIV/AIDS through interviews. It is a fact that it is impossible to impose information if there is no motivation from the receiver. What I came to understand from my Portuguese background is that there is a possibility to induce information when someone gets in a situation of shame or embarrassment for not knowing something. I do make clear, even by provoking this situation, not knowing is not the fundamental in this interviews because in my personal opinion the information that gets to the people is more likely to be manipulated before received. As an example I mention porn in which the lack of condoms used on-screen in the porn industry caused positive HIV tests on performers. The Los Angeles Times has reported that 22 porn film performers have tested positive for HIV in the last five years. The news reignited concerns that the adult entertainment industry is not protecting actors from the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Clearly, if the porn industry is illegal there is no impositions from the state in order to induce people on safe sexual practices. Moreover, if an effective and right information is not being passed to the individuals concerning sexual education it is likely that Internet takes over in a less formal, medical content way. Having affirmed that I do also underline that the primary aim would be a political consciousness from the interviewed. What I am expecting from the series of interviews that I am about to make is the capacity to evoke someone’s thinking behind the question or statement in the interviewed eyes.


NHS Elton John Clinic Research Center for HIV in Brighton [22, 23, 25/01/ 2010]

Throughout this 3 days I have been researching at the NHS Elton John Clinic Research Center for HIV in Brighton and researching on medical and physician books, pdf files and power points. After and during this process I concluded that the right information is not being passed to the audience and moreover has been generating alarmism and preconceptions. Furthermore it has been stated by one of the nurses that there are a range of discrimination's happening from GP’s and Dentist due to wrong, little or manipulated information in this subject matter. Nevertheless, for the duration of my personal research on the content I discovered that are two ways of categorising “how could the virus be transmited” which clash and contradict with each other. This is probably the main question and a direct truthful answer should be given. From what has been told by the nurses, the virus is transmitted only by blood to blood contact, syringes exchange, vaginal fluids, sperm and mother to child. Having affirmed that, concerning sexual transmissions someone can be infected if there is a direct contact between the sperm and a wound and if someone ejaculates in another’s mouth there is a probability of being infected if there is an open wound in the mouth. Moreover, if the sperm is swollen the stomach acids directly destroy the virus. The HIV/AIDS virus is transmittable but fortunately is really difficult to be passed on and therefore very little percentage of contagion. It must be stated that in order to prevent HIV/AIDS and other STD’s there is a need for using protection specially if someone has a very active sexual live with different partners.