The cofounder of Nervo Óptico, Vera Chaves Barcellos, described this issue as “a mixture of cultural and social criticism that made the group laugh.” The N.O. group continued its ironic treatment of the debate that pitted regionalism against internationalism in all 13 issues of this journal. In this photographic parody, these Porto Alegre artists take it for granted that “what is ours” would include the indigent and the miserable. Certainly, this was one regional reality that the official “gaúcho” culture (that of the State of Rio Grande do Sul) would never accept as its own. That culture was too busy constructing myths about pampa warriors to be aware of anyone on the down and out. In order to highlight the international scope of Nervo Óptico, this issue was distributed as mail art and came to be a handbill for Ephemera (issue 09, year 01, July 1978). Ephemera was a publication of Other Books and so, founded by the Mexican visual poet Ulises Carrión (1941?1989) in Amsterdam, with a special focus on self-published books. Under the epigraph “Publication open to the dissemination of new visual poetics,” Nervo Óptico was published monthly in Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul) for a total of 13 issues (from April 1977 to September 1978). The journal was created by a group of artists who identified themselves with the journal’s initials, N.O. The participants in Nervo Óptico included Vera Chaves Barcellos (b. 1938), Carlos Asp (b. 1949), Carlos Pasquetti (b. 1948), Clovis Dariano (b. 1950), Jesús Escobar (b. 1956), Flávio Pons (b. 1947), Mara Alvares (b. 1948), Romanita Martins (b. 1940) and Telmo Lanes (b. 1955).
The content of Nervo Óptico was basically visual, reproducing works by the group or invited artists, almost all including the language of photography, whether as artwork in itself or as photographic documentation of performances. The publication created a space for debate about contemporary art events far from the values that prevailed in the art market and the demand for collectible objects. Nervo Óptico focused on conceptual art, thus creating its own instrument of legitimation.
All 13 issues of the Porto Alegre publication Nervo Óptico are available in the ICAA digital archive: see “[Em manifestaçao realizada em dezembro último...]” by the Grupo N.O. ; “Manifesto” . The second issue of this journal presented work by Mara Álvares ; the third issue, work by Carlos Asp ; the fourth showed work by Carlos Pasquetti ; the fifth issue work by Telmo Lanes ; the sixth issue work by Clovis Dariano ; the seventh issue work by Vera Chaves Barcellos ; the eighth issue represented an N.O. group exhibition held at the Galeria Eucatexpo ; and the ninth issue included an artist who was not a group member, Maria Tomaselli .