Architecture, Tourism, and Technological Innovation in the Jesuit Mission of São Miguel, Brazil

Architecture, Tourism, and Technological Innovation in the Jesuit Mission of São Miguel, Brazil

Pedro de Alcântara Bittencourt César (Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Brazil), Julia Luise Altmman (Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Brazil), Caroline Peccin da Silva (Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Brazil), Bruna Tronca (Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Brazil) and Michele Pinheiro Trentin (Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2927-9.ch011


The contemporaneity demands a better relation between the object and the subject. In this article, it is expected to understand how has been developed this bond of Jesuit architecture and its understanding by the visitor. In this way, it is searched to explore the touristic technological means in Missões Guaraníticas. It questions the use of technology to a better extent of dissemination of local and cultural legacy - existing architecture. The methodology presents an exploratory research of technological platforms of information. It is noticed that its use increases tourism, favoring the culture and history of the region, besides promoting accessibility, reducing the social and physical barriers. The technology helps to preserve and disseminate the historical importance of the site. New information media has influenced and has increased the tourism, stimulating the local trade, and also it encourages the preservation of historical heritage. The approach of historical study of the region / country has great potential for increasing interest in historical architecture and culture.
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Before presenting some determinants results of the relationship between technology and tourism as a feature of the architectural tourist attraction, an overview is introduced of this current environment. In it, ideas of a society as a holder of a traditional modernity has been surpassed by diverse values ​​that conditions to a new world context. The subjects, men and women, distinctly, have transformed technological props in support of their daily lives.

Another aspect of this activity portrays Lash and Urry (1998, p.16) when referring to mobility. These social scientists are directed to the capitalist economy in postmodernity, characterizing its currently striking aspects. In this condition, this social factor is determined as the structure of objects and subjects. This value not only configures the recognition of products that are formed by movements between project, components and ideas which overcome local and national physical barriers, from its origin to the final use (consumption); but also of subjects who are increasingly in different transits and forming global networks of flows of people.

In this issue, points are established with more interest in being accessed, which in Critical Geography can be denominated as luminous points of world capitalism (Santos, 2008). It is known that for various interests often they stand out for having their appeal associated with major world themes, reworking values, such as cultural, by structures based on information and communication. “Thus, places are redefined: as points of interest of long and short-haul, global and locals, manifested by a range of classifications that are expanding and changing (Santos, 2008, p.18).

The present moment, called by Lash and Urry (1998) of disorganized capitalism, presupposes “a predominance of the culture, global, local and a concern for the environment, all aspects that characterize the trip and the hospitality in contemporary era (Lash & Urry, 1998, p.348). Previously these displacements were directed to instructions of specialized guides, diverse printed matter and with little universal access. Nowadays, the traveler hopes to absorb an enormous amount of artifact and information, cultures and sense systems (Lash & Urry, 1998, p.345). In this condition, he (the traveler) uses various technologies. Corroborates in this context, the positioning of the localities, often predetermined as a place of tourist interest, not by determinism but by capitalist reproduction’s logic, and in many ways are positioned, like those qualified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, offering a landscape among other expectations to the future visitor.

It is also important to note that “the study of the relationship between the digital and the social tends to be characterized by technological determinism or by indeterminacy” (Sassen, 2010, p.192). In these conditions, the use of technology can be seen in several ways, as an independent relationship to a performance relationship. However,

The digital and the social can shape and condition each other, but each one is, and remains, specific and distinct. And this interaction can occur in short or long chains, where a social result contributes with a new technical element and so on (Sassen, 2010, p.192).

It is also observed that the digital space confronts the dominant idea previously referred to it. Not always, necessarily, but in it adds an imminent value of contradiction in the places’ affirmation. This panorama can be easily observed with the reading of Augé (1994). This anthropologist and researcher highlight the necessity to determine a status of the concept of non-place by associating it with various connotations.

Thus, even without directly affirming, the areas where a strong informational presence prevails are associated, such as, for example, the environments of airport circulation. Currently, can be extended the concept portrayed by a representational logic, such as virtual gaming environments, that uses virtual realities and formulates ephemeral spaces of super modernity.

Key Terms in this Chapter

APP: Abbreviated form of the word “application”.

Technology: A term that involves the technical and scientific knowledge and the application of this knowledge through its transformation in the use of tools (Internet and mobile apps).

Architecture (Missionary): Characterized as architecture (missionary) in Brazil, an architecture developed mainly by the Missions of the Company of Jesus and strong baroque influence.

Jesuit Missions: Settlements or reductions proposed in the Counter-Reformation context for the expansion of Catholicism through indoctrination and politicization of the Guarani people (Indian) that lived in the South America region.

World Heritage: It relates to a resource that must be conserved in the present and transmitted to future generations as a common good for all people around world, regardless of their geographical position.

Cultural Tourism: An economic activity that is related to events and organized trips and directed to knowledge and leisure with cultural elements such as: monuments, architectural complexes or symbols of historical nature, as well as artistic / cultural / religious, educational, informative events or of an academic nature.

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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