After seeing Shoeg’s project Infiltrate at LEV Matadero, we decided to catch up with him in Barcelona to find out more about his work, and to try and decipher the fascinating performance we saw that intrigued us to discover what technologies he uses to create his live AV shows.
Primarily I understand, you would consider yourself to be a musician, am I right? Or how would you label yourself? When did you decide to experiment with the A/V side of your show?
In the last years I’ve changed that way of seeing myself, so I would say I’m an artist. It’s not only sound anymore, I feel really that I am trying to express myself also through my code, my visual stuff, even my movements. I’m also collaborating with dance companies, where it is quite important to know how you move on stage, and this made me aware of that. So, for example I try to play without the table and computer blocking the visual line to the audience. I have also changed my relationship with sound, focusing more on textured layers instead of pitch.
I started as a “musician”, but my visual side has been always there. I’ve been working for 15 years as a video editor, and I always had this fascination about image and sound synchronicity and feedback.
Have you created the visual part of the show yourself or collaborated with a visual artist? (If so, who and why?) If not, tell us about how you developed the project and any challenges you faced in dealing with both elements of the performance.
I almost always create my own stuff. I’m not closed to collaborating with other people, but I tried to involve other artists in the past and for a reason it almost never happened, except for when I worked at the very beginning on the project with Ana Drucker, but after that I spent 2-3 years without a visual show, and I was really missing it. At some point, I wanted it back and I decided I had to refresh my coding knowledge to achieve what I wanted. I studied Computer Science for a couple of years, so at least I had a starting point – more or less.
I wanted to build a real time reactive visual system, that could be completely autonomous in a live set. The idea was to set up a bunch of rules, and do something sound reactive that could last 45 minutes in a live set without getting boring. So first challenge in this process was choosing which tools suited my needs the better. I tried, for example, Open Frameworks, which was a bit too complicated for my coding skills. Later, I knew about game engines like Unreal or Unity, which are free and you can do a lot of things scripting, easier to code. It’s also great to have this good amount of documentation and works done by other people online. I’m curious now about what Touch Designer can do, but for the moment Unity allows me to have a precise control of what I need.
On the other hand, I wanted to work with objects from the real world in 3D aesthetics. I could model them with Blender, but I have no idea. So I learned some 3D techniques, like photogrammetry or 3D scanning. I remember wanting something more “perfect”, but discovered almost by accident the beautiful imperfections this techniques introduce in the models.
We recently saw your performance of your latest project ‘Infiltrate’ at LEV Matadero. What tools and set up are you using for the show?
All the sound was generated using a couple of Etee sensors that the guys at Tangi0 lent me for a couple of months. These devices capture my hand and finger motion, as well as pressure data, and that is converted into MIDI signal through a Max MSP patch. Finally, MIDI is sent to the Virus and Digitakt. I had to bring hardware synths to the live sets, because I need a lot of polyphony to build these big layers of sound, and I couldn’t achieve it in virtual synths. Then, the visual stuff is a Unity app reacts to the sound mix.
How does the use of this technology improve, or add to the quality and experience of your show for you, as an artist?
It allows to express myself in ways I could’ve never imagined. I’ve never performed as comfortable and with wide palette of possibilities with an instrument until I discovered motion sensors combined with the computer. The ability to map any behaviour to any response allows you to optimize your abilities in order to get what you want. This can’t ever happen with “traditional” instruments, you have to adapt to the instrument rigidness and background. I also see the coding process as a prosthesis, an extension able to repeat mechanical operations while you pierce through them.
What does the future hold for Shoeg in the world of live performance?
In the near future, I have to improve a lot of things: I want to make my hands more prominent on stage and be less computer dependent. People keep asking what is happening with the sensors, and I want to make it a bit more understandable. I also have this long list of ideas to code which don’t have time to make, and I would also like to collaborate with other people. But before that, I want to record a new album. I hope I’ll be able to work on it in the next months.
You can find out more about Shoeg’s work through his artist page.
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The past week, 5th – 9th November, MIRA FESTIVAL celebrated its 9th Edition and Audiovisual City were present to enjoy the program that featured audiovisual shows, 360-degree experiences in DOME format, installations, workshops and conferences.
This edition rethought the combination of art and technology as tools of protest, to turn thinking into action, and invited us to interfere in a personal transformation to trigger a change in the future. In addition to this ingenious theme, the festival opened a new stage at Fabra i Coats, dedicated to multidimensional sound: the 3D Sound Room by Estrella Galicia.
For the live AV shows, we want to highlight some well-known artists that MIRA festival brought this year. Thursday Sam Shepert (AKA Floating Points) played accompanied by the visuals of Hammill Industries. Friday’s Av highlight was CLARK feat. Evelyn Bencicova and her show of a wide gamma of textures along with his characteristic techno. Alessandro Cortini also produced some emotional content through electronic sounds, with his warm and human visuals. On Saturday Biosphere performed a series of recordings and improvisations captured outdoors on the island of Senja, and Vessel and Pedro Maia presented the dualities of the human condition. But these are just some of the many artists who participated in this edition.
Some of the artists that surprised us at Audiovisual City were, on Friday, the Nihiloxica band, with their intercultural experiment, fusing the indigenous Bugandina percussion with dark European club music. Also, on Saturday, the duet of 700 Bliss, with who you clearly see a relationship with the theme of the festival, sounds and words are embodied in suffering and social alignment in an unfair world. And finally, Curl, on Saturday, where we could see an unexpected turn in the style of the band, showing a previous experimental work. The originality and strength of these artists left us astonished.
We show you some of the magical moments that we captured at the festival.
Carlos Martorell is a sound and visual artist based in a small Catalan town called Torelló, near Girona. His work focuses on the symbiotic relationship between humans and technology. He uses his programming skills and knowledge of new technologies to explore the visual and audio through the creation of experimental music and live AV.
He creates sumptious virtual worlds through programming language such as Unity, as well as with 3D scans. It’s not uncommon to see him performing with non-traditional MIDI equipment, using apparatus such as gloves and hand-held technology, which as an adds a peculiar physical dimension to his live shows.
Header photo © Hayley Cantor
Fascinated by music, video, photo, and film- I dive into everything regarding audiovisual that interests me or sparks my interest. Same thing.
Social media is amazing, it is a way to connect and speak to people all over the world. One image can go through so many countries. It’s fascinating!
Earlier this month, we met with Marta Verde to find out about her performance with Tensal at LEV Matadero, and to pick her brains about all those niggling little questions we had after following her career for the last few years.
Who are the artists that you are most looking forward to seeing at LEV Matadero?
Myriam Bleau and Ryoichi Kurokawa.
How were you contacted about the project at LEV Festival?
They called me and proposed that I collaborate with Tensal for their edition at Matadero in Madrid. I had never worked with him before.
Do you ever find that some genres of music just don’t inspire your work?
Absolutely. In general I don’t work on the clubbing, or nightlife scene, so related styles of music wouldn’t be my first choice of project. I actually started doing visuals with traditional Galician music.
Do friends often come to see your performances?
Yes, it depends on the performance. These days they tend to film me in vertical, so I rarely have content that I can use other than for Instagram [she laughs]
How do you feel about being on stage as a visual artist?
I don’t really like that part at all, but of course it’s part of the job. I’m quit shy, really. My show at LEV Matadero is quite different from what I usually do – in terms of music genre, as well as the time of the performance – pretty late, since I’m on at 1am.
What is the most unusual project are you’ve worked on in your career so far?
A few years ago I worked on a project with a musician called Julián Elvira who built a flute that played different frequencies (I had no idea that this wasn’t already the case with flutes!) It was really interesting, because I learnt a lot about music and we were able to work very closely together for the collaboration. We premiered the show in Martin E. Segal Theatre, New York.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I’m working on a live performance with Madrid-based composer, José Venditti. He plays saxophone, and works on deconstructing sound through classical patterns.
What set-up will you be using for your performance tonight?
A couple of months ago I bought an analogue video synthesizer from LZX Industries. It’s really fun. There’s no preview, so anything can happen, and I also can’t save any presets. I also won’t be using any code for this show, which is very unusual for me. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of analogue video techniques, and don’t really understand why people go to great lengths to copy the aesthetic digitally, when they could just try to get a real one.
Do you use social media a lot to promote your work?
You can follow me if you like, my instagram account is mainly dominated by photos of my cat and screenshots of my work. I don’t really get work through social media channels, people tend to contact me directly. The work is really interesting and every project is completely different. Usually I’m presented with some kind of problem and I find ways to solve it.
Apart from doing visual performances, you are currently working at a Fab Lab, right?
It’s very common for freelancers to supplement their work through teaching, which I love. I find it really motivational and inspiring to work with young people and their ideas. I used to work as a coordinator in a Fab Lab, and I still give classes on programming and digital manufacturing there, but not on a regular basis anymore. I tend to work in different locations and on a more ad-hoc basis, that way I can combine teaching with my own projects.
If you want to read more about Marta’s work, you can check her artist profile page here.
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Marta is a Creative Coder and Digital Artists from Galicia, based in Madrid.
Originally, she studied Fine Arts, and now she is specialised in new media arts and digital technologies applied to the performance arts. She also teaches at the Fab Academy, as an expert in digital fabrication.
Marta develops visuals, interactive and generative graphics, as well as dynamic/interactive content for lighting design, custom electronic devices and wearables, interactive installations for musicians, dance and theatre companies, artists, designers and arts institutions.
Her work is constructed through the use of custom built software and hardware specific to each visual set, allowing her to manipulate all the content in real time and to explore the limits of visual noise, repetition and the link between the organic and the electronic.
She works primarily in Spain and Portugal on a wide variety of projects, from theatre to festivals. Marta has also performed at festivals such as Primavera Sound, LEV Matadero, Sonic Arts Festival, MIRA and WOS Festival.
She also has taught about technology and interactivity at: IED Madrid, Ephemereal Architecture Masters Degree at ETSAM Madrid, Medialab-Prado, La Casa Encendida ,Fundación Telefónica, BAU, UOC, and has mentored Hackatons at Makers of Barcelona with Ciclo.io.
This week, we caught up with Huma about his most recent project ‘Eva,’ to find out a little more about how his musical project developed into a live AV show. Huma is Andrés Satué’s personal project, an evolution from his early musical days in a rock band to his more recent progression into the world of electronic music. He’ll be performing ‘Eva’ at Mira Festival, Fabra i Coats, Barcelona, Thursday 7th November
Tell us a bit about the visual side of your show. What can the audience expect in terms of live A/V performance?
The idea is to treat light from a 3D environment by making the light beams coincide, forming geometric figures in motion in the air.
Have your created the visual part of the show yourself or collaborated with a visual artist? (If so, who and why?) If not, tell us about how you developed the project and any challenges you faced in dealing with both elements of the performance.
I’m working with Jose Vaaliña from Eyesberg studio. It was a very natural collaboration, we met after finishing two gigs I did in Barcelona and we talked about the possibility of working together as we have very similar ideas about the relation between music and visuals, now it’s happening and I can say we are both really happy with the results.
What tools and set up are you using for the show?
We are using 5 powerful projectors, various smoke machines (fog and hazer) and also some visuals. The beams of light will react to sound to create a symbiosis between both. Also we will use some lights and strobes for punctual moments.
How do you feel about the importance of the visual experience in your projects past and present?
It is something I have always thought about as a very important element. Even when I played in rock bands lots of years ago we always carried a few lights to add impact to the final part of the show.
Since I’m working as Huma, I collaborated with Drömnu using visuals at the very beginning, then moved to colorful L.E.D.s, smoke and strobes working with Juan Pablo Larrazabal and now I wanted to try new things and Jose appeared. I like the idea of doing something immersive, not something that you have to look at the detail or that can distract the public but something that will enhance the music.
You’ve been making music for more than 10 years now. What is the project that you are most proud of, or have the most attachment to so far?
Well, I’m always more attached to the last thing I’ve ever done. Even though I really think that ‘Eva’ and this show is the project in which I have worked the most on and the project I’m the proudest of to date.
Got any questions for Andrés, Eyesberg, or just want to share anything with us? Jot down your thoughts below
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Berlin, January 24 – February 2 2020
CTM’s 21st edition launches with an announcement of new performances, special projects, and commissioned works.
Combining unique productions, concerts, and club nights with a dense daytime programme of talks, discussions, installations, and an exhibition, CTM 2020 proposes multiple entry points into thinking about this year’s Liminal theme.
Liminal phenomena and states are transitional phases in which a familiar order sees its values and symbols destabilised; norms are suspended or turned on their heads. We find ourselves in ambiguous spaces, somewhere between a past that is no longer valid and an ever-becoming future.
TM 2020 will again play out across some of Berlin’s most standout cultural and nightlife venues. For the first time, the festival hosts special projects at Radialsystem V and an immersive listening series at Silent Green’s Betonhalle, while continuing its close relationship with HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berghain, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Festsaal Kreuzberg, and SchwuZ. A limited number of Early-bird Festival Passes are available now.
As always, CTM takes place parallel to and in collaboration with transmediale festival. The jointly organised Vorspiel 2020 Open Call is out now. Vorspiel will again bring together a wide range of Berlin-based artists, initiatives, and venues, hosting a city-wide programme of cultural events.
From a festival organization to an international platform for trans-disciplinary creativity: ever since the launch of its first edition in 2005, TodaysArt has been bringing artists, thinkers, and audiences together in an ever-changing, yet inspiring setting.
Inspired by relevant political and artistic topics, TodaysArt aspires to promote and foster innovation and creativity as well as public interest for current developments within arts, culture, and society.
The network specializes in the presentation and development of emerging digital culture and contemporary visual and performing arts. By doing so, TodaysArt connects local and international talent to established creators and pioneers to collectively explore new possibilities and forms of expression.
The festival is known for its surprising settings: every year, the festival travels through the city of The Hague before temporarily finding its niche in a wide array of unconventional public spaces and venues.
Over the past thirteen years, TodaysArt has built up an impressive international profile by presenting and producing works that are developed in collaboration with some of today’s leading creators. TodaysArt’s key activity is the annual TodaysArt festival in The Hague. Besides this, the network organizes and participates in a variety of international events, exhibitions, and acts as a co-producer for the development and distribution of artists and projects in The Netherlands as well as abroad. (See the program here)
The Hague, Netherlands
WE ARE CREATIVE CONTENT DESIGNERS AND VISUAL STORYTELLERS
Formed in 2012, The Colour Project is a UK based Motion Graphics and 3d Design studio specialising in video projection mapping.
We design shows and visual content for, events, launches and epic architectural mapping shows. We produce original graphics, animations and bespoke video content to tell compelling stories and amaze audiences.
We’ve created shows internationally and at home, from galleries to World Heritage sites. Our audiences range from hundreds to tens of thousands and we work with brands and cultural organisations to create spectacular live events and installations in public spaces.
THE COLOUR PROJECT
Toru Izumida is an audio & visual artist who graduated from the Musashino Art University in Tokyo, Japan in 2010, and currently lives and works in New York.
In his A/V live sets he uses multiple layered programmed visuals reacting to the live soundscape.
In 2019, he showcased his live A/V sets at //Dreamlands\\ presented by Testu Collective x Ideal Glass Studios. He is one of the organisers of 0 // 2019 Public Visuals, live A/V event in Brooklyn, NY.
Moscow, 20-24 September 2019
The Circle of Light Moscow International Festival is an annual event where lighting designers and audiovisual artists from various countries reinvent the architecture of Moscow.
For a few days Moscow will turn into a universe of light while fascinating building projections will animate the streets and fantastic multimedia shows using light, flame, lasers and fireworks will shake the viewers to the core. As always admission to all festival venues is free.
THE ART VISION VIDEO MAPPING CONTEST RUNS UNDER THE AEGIS OF THE «CIRCLE OF LIGHT» FESTIVAL.
This year contestants from 35 countries joined the competition.
All entries will be projected onto iconic buildings in Moscow.
The organizer of the «Circle of Light» festival is the Department of Sport of Moscow. The coordinator of the festival is LBL Communication Group.
Circle of Light – Art Vision Contest
BARCELONA, 27-28 September 2019
The VISUAL BRASIL Festival will hold its seventeenth edition at Punt Multimedia. A dynamic center for multimedia projects and digital technologies, located in the Casa del Mig of the Parc de la Espanya Industrial de Barcelona.
Local and international artists will hold this meeting aimed at researching and experimenting within the Audiovisual arts: video art, mapping, audiovisual performances, workshops, installations, and VJs.
The event focuses on real time video production, the culture of free creation and new collaborative formats.
Visual Brasil is an independent project supported by several cultural entities and artists. VB fulfils thanks to the interests of the participating artists, whom are the core engine
This year is a pivotal year for L.E.V. Festival as they take residence in Madrid for the first time. When we attended L.E.V. way back in 2014, we were astounded by the potential of this seemingly small festival in Gijón. It inspired us with its delicate combination of musical and audio-visual performance, its variation between genres and the balance between sit-down performances and exceptionally well-curated concerts. We loved the daytime with the change of venue to the botanical gardens, and ending the day in a church.
As LEV themselves state on their website, Plaid is able to fill venues as diverse as the Sydney Opera House, right through to Berghain.
On Warp Records, as they approach their 30th anniversary, Plaid are a clear reference to the industry.
“The problems and benefits of Polymers felt like good themes for this album, their repetitious strength, endurance and troubling persistence, the natural versus the synthetic, silk and silicone, the significant effect they have on our lives.” – Plaid
Dancers, inspired by the colossal quantities of plastic in our oceans, shows that Polymer is much more than just a musical performance, but an artistic reference to the world context in which their creation has been made. The official music video, whilst quite surrealist, and disturbing, is strangely beautiful. We’re really excited to see how this can translate to a live visual performance.
This seems to be the technological performance of the festival. With growing exploration into the world of virtual and digital technologies, new media art really is at the cutting edge of what’s to come and is an exhilirating way to be introduced to new world contexts.
EXALAND is an AV performance using ‘wearable controllers,’ which we imagine to be a development on what we saw with Chagall’s performance using the mi.mu gloves at Sonar Festival some years back http://www.audiovisualcity.org/avcity/2016/05/23/sonarplusd-chagall-mi-mu-gloves/
These guys have got all of the buzz words Audioreactive Video Projection and an Audioreactive Video in VR/360°, as well as 3D art and electronic music, not forgetting of course, immersive.
We’re interested to see this interactive performance for the visual aesthetic and graphics, and of course, one of the audiovisual artist’s favourite topics: audio-reactivity.
We’re always intrigued by a write-up that focuses a lot on the visual aspect of the performance, particularly as this isn’t always common practice in the industry, and the description of Mathias Gmaci, triggers a lot of intrigue.
As director of the studio, Loop, who create ‘experiences and environments that radically rethink the future’, we get the impression that this will be yet another audiovisual performance to remember.
‘Mathias Gmachl is a trans-disciplinary artist, researcher and design thinker. He is director of studio Loop.pH founded in 2003 to form an entirely new creative practice that reaches beyond specialist boundaries by facilitating collaborative spaces, mediating between digital & biological media and intervening at an urban scale to re-imagine life in the city.’ -L.E.V.
4. Nkisi: Initiation Live AV
Based in London, and coming to L.E.V with a new live AV format in collaboration with artist Charlie Hope, Nkisi promises ‘African rhythms, uncompromising European hard dance tropes, foreboding synth melodies and a relentless, galvanising energy, as harnessed for her increasingly kinetic live performances.’
If that isn’t a description to get the juices going, we don’t know what is. Unable to find any link to Charlie Hope’s previous work, we decided we’d leave this one as a surprise (although we did catch a few exciting sneaky glimpses on Instagram of a performance at Kraftwerk, Berlin…shhhh).
It’s always good to leave a performance for surprise, we think.
Volume Massimo debuted at Berlin Atonal just a few days ago and will tour all the way to the Barbican in London. Like Plaid, the visual aesthetic is photographic, and is said to take the audience on an emotional journey, using music as a map for life’s journey. It tells the story via footage from the family archives.
Synthesizers, combined with memory, this will be another piece to make us think. Oh, and did we forget to mention that he’s best known as the keyboard for Nine Inch Nails, not to mention has collaborated with the likes of Ladytron and is now member of Los Angeles alternative electronic band, SONOIO.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re planning on attending the event, get in touch and we’ll see you there!
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Norbergfestival is a 20-year running festival, held on the abandoned iron mine site of Mimerlaven in Norberg, Sweden.
A growing group of artists presents contemporary music, performances, and interdisciplinary works. We make use of what the site provides and we sleep on the ground. We extract what we produce and leave the mine as it was left in 1981.
Norbergfestival brings experimental music and performing arts to the defunct mining site of Mimerlaven, centrally located in the small post-industrial town of Norberg, Västmanland, Sweden.
Three days a year, industrial concrete buildings transform into an international playground where festival visitors experience a multicolored spectrum of electronic music, sound art, and clubs. Norbergfestival offers a unique mixture of live electronic music at the spectacular location around Mimerlaven, an abandoned mining area in the small town of Norberg.
Since it’s inauguration in 1999, the festival has evolved from a utopian counter-cultural assembly to a national front-runner and internationally recognized platform for groundbreaking and unique musical experiences. Together with light and sound installations, workshops in the fields of audio and video and a friendly and creative atmosphere matched by none, this truly makes Norbergfestival one-of-a-kind.
In 17 years Norbergfestival has grown from being a utopian project for a handful of people into one of the most important annual events in the Scandinavian electronic music scene.
BARCELONA, November 05 – 09 2019
MIRA wants to bring the audience closer to several realms of artistic creativity through an event with two main objectives: to function as a platform for new creators as well as a showcase for world-renowned artists and to create unique immersive experiences through digital and technological innovation and the interlacing of live music and visuals.
MIRA is a digital arts festival based on three interconnected areas: exhibition, dissemination and education, and is held annually in Barcelona (since 2011) and Berlin (since 2016).
Focused on the intersection between arts and digital culture, the festival features a program comprised of audiovisual shows in both traditional and full dome formats, digital art installations, screenings, conferences, and workshops.
MIRA promotes artistic collaborations and boosts the creation of new projects, supporting the relationships between collectives, associations and artists from the fields of digital arts and technology. The associative and non-profit nature of the organization, aided by the participation of volunteers, guarantees that the results are reinvested in promoting digital culture in a sustainable way.
Fabra i Coats, Barcelona
C/ de Sant Adrià, 20
The free festival for creative technology, science, media, art, music and more celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
GOGBOT 2019 appears with the theme “BIO THE NEW DIGITAL” in the much-discussed world of bio-art and digital technology. Subjects such as genetic modification, stem cell transplantation, nanotechnology, and farmed meat are covered within this theme. International famous artists such as Agi Haines (UK) and Dmitry Morozov (RU) investigate the ethical boundaries of these worlds with their controversial works.
GOGBOT festival is the annual showcase for creative technology, electronic music, and contemporary art. The festival has been running since 2004 and it lasts for four days and nights. GOGBOT’s mission is to provide an inspiring platform for the most original, the most visionary and the most avant-garde artists active today. Innovation in digital creativity is key and the festival creates a sonic space for this. The festival offers a stimulating rendez-vous for artists, professionals, and visitors.
GOGBOT offers a playground of convergence. Drawing participants from all over the world are presented, in order to profit from a context of active discovery. We are proud to present the outstanding talents from the Netherlands, supporting this by having the Awards for the best of art and creative technology graduates.
The SIGNAL Lighting Festival is the largest cultural event in the Czech Republic, which, thanks to the unique interconnection of art, urban space and modern technologies, has attracted more than 2 million viewers for its five-year existence.
The festival uniquely combines visually attractive works with demanding installations of international quality. Its approach thus appeals to both broad and professional public.
The SIGNAL Festival brings to the streets of Prague cutting-edge forms of art which show the streets and recesses of the capital city in new perspectives due to the connection between technology and light.
About twenty installations annually combine visually attractive work with demanding installations of international quality.
The festival concept determined by its art council aims at the public and also experts. Owing to its support of new artworks, the SIGNAL Festival represents a respected platform also on an international level and it is a popular place to see new projects in the field of visual art.
For four days in October, the historical heart of Prague will be turned into a center of new technologies, amazing ideas, and unbound creativity. SIGNAL Festival will revive both well-known and hidden mysterious places of Prague with creations of renowned Czech and foreign audiovisual artists.
Praha, Czech Republic
MONTRÉAL, 20-25 August 2019
MUTEK Montréal invites you to its 20th edition, running from August 20 to 25, 2019, with six days and nights of audiovisual performances, live electronic music and a full theatre of experiences that will push the boundaries of digital art and engage you in the playground that is our city.
This year, the festival week also integrates the 5th edition of MUTEK_IMG, a forum on current practices in digital creation, which runs three full days, from August 20 to 22. Covering mixed realities, artificial intelligence, and new iterations in audiovisual spectacle the event provides a high-level context for professionals, practitioners, researchers, and creative companies to reflect, exchange, and get inspired.
MID is an interaction design and technology studio, specializing in engineering, interactive design, and new media. They work with museums, marketing and communication agencies, architects, public institutions, companies, entrepreneurs, musicians, and artists.
Their studio was founded in Barcelona in 2009. MID’s origins are found in the arts production centre Hangar, a meeting point for creative professionals, artists, programmers, and designers. This background, along with the experience acquired by the management team, allowed MID to become an established studio.
Presentation of the 10th Edition
After taking 2 years to convince Mutek Montreal, Mutek Barcelona was eventually launched as the first unique satellite of the International Digital Arts festival based in Europe in 2009. 10 years later, they provide Spain with one of the main references in audiovisual performance and digital arts in the format of a 4-day festival, with a wide variety of shows and venues.
Nonotak studio ‘Zero Point Two’
Nonotak studio, formed of two young creatives, Noemi Schipfer (FR) and the architect musician Takami Nakamoto (JP). They work together to create experimental audiovisual light installations that mesmerize audiences. At Roca Gallery, Takami explained how they project blue light onto yellow fibre optics in order to create the purest possible visible white light in an audiovisual experience. Usually the installation is covered from above, but on this occasion, they were so surprised by the way it combined with the venue that they left it uncovered, allowing us to experience the installation in a whole new light, literally.
Microfeel ‘Fractal Synethesia’
Microfeel (ES/AR) well known on the local scene as multimedia artist Sebastian Seifert, dazzled us with his latest project ‘FRACTAL SYNESTHESIA.’ Sebastian leaves audiences looking for the visual artist only to discover that Microfeel is a one man band, where Sebastian simultaneously projects and performs in an extremely colourful, psychedelic live A/V show. This year he gave it more energy than ever, making it pretty tricky to photograph the artist still in any moment. His performance filled the room with energy.
Article by Hayley Cantor
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Refik Anadol is a media artist and director born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1985. Currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He is a lecturer and visiting researcher in UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts.
He is working in the fields of site-specific public art with parametric data sculpture approach and live audio/visual performance with immersive installation approach, particularly his works explore the space among digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts with machine intelligence.
He holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in Media Arts, master of fine arts degree from Istanbul Bilgi University in Visual Communication Design as well as bachelors of arts degree with summa cum laude in Photography and Video. Co-founder and Creative director at Antilop.
As a media artist, designer and spatial thinker, Refik Anadol is intrigued by the ways in which the transformation of the subject of contemporary culture requires rethinking of the new aesthetic, technique and dynamic perception of space. Anadol builds his works on the nomadic subject’s reaction to and interactions with unconventional spatial orientations with data and machine intelligence. Embedding media arts into architecture, he questions the possibility of a post-digital architectural future in which there are no more non-digital realities.
He invites the viewers to visualize alternative realities by presenting them the possibility of re-defining the functionalities of both interior and exterior architectural formations. Anadol’s work suggests that all spaces and facades have potentials to be utilized as the media artists’ canvases.
‘We live in an Ocean of Air’ is a virtual reality experience where the invisible connection between plant and human is revealed through breath. It was created by Marshmallow Laser Feast.
What happens is that the cutting-edge technology illuminates the invisible connections between the human and nature world. What you’ll see when the installation starts, is the giant Sequoia tree. You’re being transported into a world that’ll leave your jaw on the ground and eyes wide open- wanting to capture every detail you’re seeing. And as time passes, the scenery changes as well.
Breathe in and out and you’ll see you’re right in the installation. The color changes and you can even move it around as you breathe out. It’s done with breath and heart sensors that are tracking your real-time breathing and essentially put it in the virtual reality. Making it even more immersive than it already was.
It’s a magical world you’re stepping into and time will feel as none-existant.
The installation will embolden you to reflect on the reality that we, as human beings, aren’t the only thing on this planet. We share our planet with other organisms and it’ll make you cerebrate about the responsibility that we carry. And reflect on our dependence.
It is a great experience and it stays in your mind even when it’s over. Overwhelming and impressive! We need more installations like this.
AVC: Can you tell us something about yourself?
Mowgli: My first job out of school was DJ, I literally left school and I started working in a club fulltime as a DJ. One day I went to see my friend’s band play -they’re kind of a post-rock band- and he asked me after the gig what I thought about it and I thought it was great but it was quite boring to look at them. There was no frontman, and there’s no singer. They all just looked at the floor. They needed some visuals. And he said to me, “You do them”. And that was my first VJ’ing gig. That’s how I got into VJ’ing.
I mean, I’ve done visuals before but I never even thought it was a thing. I was just doing visuals with light projections but there was no VJ’ing. It was just ‘I’m putting a light projector in a club’. From there on I started to get into the VJ thing and I started doing visuals more and more. I started doing like corporate stuff and then I started coming to VJ London.
Suddenly it expanded and I realized that there were more and more people what I was doing and that it had a name. From there, in 2008, they did a VJ competition at the London International Music Show. Which happens every year. I was selected as one of the eight finalists of Europe for that. I didn’t win but it was a big thing at the time.
I played at the Big Chill festival. I play loads of festivals. Moving on from the VJ’ing, I started doing audiovisual performances. Which is what I do mostly nowadays. But I also started doing more interactive stuff. I had an award-winning installation at Burning Man, in 2011.
Marta: I’m a visual artist/ designer with a passion for performing arts. My artistic development has been initially shaped at The High School of Fine Arts in Krakow and later I mastered my skills in studying graphic design at the Pedagogical University of Krakow. I’ve got over 8 years of experience of creating video projections, mappings and LED installations for various music, arts, and events related projects. I’ve worked as a VJ at cyclical gigs in Krakow and London. During that time I collaborated with many musicians and artists from all around the world and I was a resident VJ at Prince of Wales, London.
Pete: I don’t think I consider myself a VJ anymore because I rarely do VJ’ing anymore for other people. I still love the culture and I believe that it’s something very important in my life, however, the last gig I did was like a half year ago in Brighton. It was a commercial gig and I completely hated it. Because basically, it was… I kind of forgot how the commercial part of VJ’ing looked like, so I was being asked to just show the logos. And people kept coming over to me that it was the wrong logo but they didn’t even bother me to give it to me before.
So I would say that a lot of stuff in my life happened because of the VJ’ing, but I don’t consider myself a VJ anymore.
AVC: What drew you into the AV culture?
Mowgli: I’ve always liked doing creative things but I’ve never had an agenda. I was never like ‘I wanna pursue that’. I’ve always been very open. So most of the things I’ve done, I’ve done because something’s happened. Something’s taken me down that road. But it wasn’t really a conscious thing most of the time. So getting a DJ job straight out of school, that was a complete coincidence. Like I used to go to this club with a friend of mine in Madrid, and it was a very niche club at that point in time. And then one day a DJ who worked there came over to us and said, “You two have got most of the records that we play here, right?” And we were like, “Yea, yea”. She told me that she wanted to go on a holiday but needed to find a replacement. She asked us to take over and we did. And she was never taken back by the club.
We basically stole her job. She gave us her job and then it was never given back to. But I never went out looking for that. It just happened. It’s the same with like doing VJ’ing. A friend of mine said, “Oh, you do it”. And then I was like, “Oh yea, I’ll do it”. And from then on, I mean that was the start really. With my friend saying that I should do it and then me getting more and more interested in it. And looking more into it and learning more things. Developing in that direction. And very involved in that use of technology.
Marta: In 2010, when I was living and studying in Krakow, I went to Jonsi’s concert during the Sacrum Profanum Festival. I didn’t expect that event to set a new direction in my life, I didn’t even plan to go there, it was very last minute, my friend gave me a spare ticket. I liked the concert a lot and I was absolutely amazed by the visual part of the show. Projection, lights, music and space, everything together was combined perfectly and it was a beautiful experience. I was so moved and inspired that at that moment I decided this is what I want to do in my life. In a very short time, I quit my job and I booked my first gig where I was going to do live visuals. It went pretty good and since then I worked as a VJ. I had a few other jobs in the meantime, but I never gave up my passion. I was lucky to meet many great people and we’ve done some awesome shows together. Three years ago I moved to London. I found the company that designed Jonsi’s live show that I saw in Krakow 8 years ago. It’s 59 Productions and another amazing part of this story is that now I work there.
Pete: Well, the thing is the VJ’ing is one thing and the audiovisual culture is some other thing. They’re not the same thing. They’re interconnected however, there are slight differences. Because for me it’s kind of the natural way of progressing from a purely visual side. Whilst to try to do audiovisual performances with people. Because I realized this is a powerful way of making people feel something.
However, my visual adventure started in coding. I was a programmer and I did graphics before it even was a thing and a name. I made the demos in 1996… 1998, I was sixteen back then. So that was my whole root of digital creativity. That’s where everything stems from. Because it kind of converted into the audiovisual performance group. They were playing the ambient music and I was playing the graphics. So my roots were actually in programming.
At the moment I mostly work as a creative developer. And I try to focus my activity on VR because I believe that is the next step forward. Because this is something that is the next level. You can not only the audio but also the visuals and movements, that gives you a very powerful storytelling opportunity.
AVC: What about your current and future projects?
Mowgli: I tend not to think about the future. As I said, I just go along and do things and keep evolving and suddenly… I’m easily distracted. I have millions of projects that I never finish. Like, I start something feeling excited, but halfway through I get excited by something else and pause the first one. And then sometimes I do go back to the previous things but not really finish them but utilize whatever state they’re in and doing something completely different. I recycle my stuff.
The thing I’ve been working on most in the last couple of years is an audiovisual synthesizer. Which sounds great but in reality it’s a mini-controller that’s mapped to both able in Live and Resolume. But I don’t need to look at the computer screen. It’s basically like a really big mini-controller with loads of sliders and stuff. And using that, I do audiovisual performances which are always improvised. It’s got generative visuals. And generative audio in a way. It’s about the interface. You just fiddle with the knobs and create visuals and audio at the same time. And I’ve been doing that for a while. So I’m starting to think I need to do a newer version of that. I got lots of ideas on how to make it better and whatever, so that’s one thing.
On the other side, I’m also getting more interested in doing just sound performances with no visuals. Because I’ve been getting more and more into them… I don’t want to call it music and call myself a musician. I don’t have enough musical training. I like making sounds.
It’s all just an exploration. Sometimes the stuff you stumble on and make is really bad and other times it’ll be really good. You just gotta roll with it.
Marta: Before joining 59 Productions I was working as a freelancer, mostly for music-related events, a huge part of that was live electronic music. My visuals were characterized by multiple dissolving and interfusing layers. With time, my work got more minimalistic and monochromatic.
I’m interested in creating interactive installations and audiovisual artworks that allows an audience to be a part of the performance, to experience sound, lights, and projections surrounding them. In order to achieve that I play with dimensions and visual perception, make projection seem 3-dimensional. I design shapes to project onto them or I use object and surfaces already existing in the space. My shows were never 100% planned, there was always lots of space for improvisation.
Currently, I am a part of a design team at 59 Productions– a company of artists creating video design for stage and live events. I assist with artwork and animation content for the show. Since joining 5 months ago I’ve worked on a variety of theatre, exhibition and VR projects, including an exhibition for Imperial War Museum in London, VR artwork ‘Nothing to be Written’ and ‘Deep Field’- a film inspired by the Hubble Space Telescope discovery. Most recently I was working on ‘Black and White’- a theatrical show produced by JACC in Kuwait. It was a great opportunity for me to get to know more about a narrative type of visual arts.
I’m looking forward to taking up new design challenges.
Pete: At the moment I’ve done some commercial projects for different companies. However, I have been getting more involved in tech. Because the big part of the whole audiovisual immersive business is knowing how to deal with tech. How to make tech do what you want them to do.
I found it really interesting to do this for a commercial purpose and reuse to my personal projects. So this year, because of my own personal circumstances, I was mostly focusing on commercial projects which might not have been that interesting. But one of the things I did this year that I want to continue with next year is an audiovisual look machine. That’s a project I’ve been doing for the last two-three years and with different people. We’re playing some events as well.
Hopefully, I’m going to reach a state where I go from software working progress and turn it into a hardware working instrument. And the other project is basically I want to explore more of the new technology with VR. With a new headset that’s cheap enough for people to buy it.
French digital artist, Mathieu Le Sourd (Maotik) focuses his work on the creation of immersive multimedia environments and generative visuals. His work has recently been presented in various festivals around the world, such as Mutek Festival, Live Cinema in Rio, Signal Festival in Prague, the British Film Institute in London and ARS Electronica in Linz.
As the lead of Moment Factory’s interactive team in 2011, Le Sourd produced several large-scale projects including a multimedia experience in the new terminal at Los Angeles International Airport as well as the visuals for Nine Inch Nails’ world tour. In 2013, he produced the critically-acclaimed immersive multimedia performance DROMOS, which was presented at the SATosphere in Montreal as part of Mutek festival.
Always in search of new challenges, Le Sourd designs his own visual tools; generating animations from algorithms and creating 3D worlds to transform perceptions of space. He collaborates with musicians, sound artists, and scientists in order to continue his research into the relationship between art, science, and technology.
(edited 29.11.19 by Marta Minguell)
ROMA 29 November – 07 December
FOTONICA 3rd edition launches with new audiovisual projects of italian-based and international artists.
FOTONICA from photon, historically as light, from Greek φωτός (photòs), is a FREE festival that investigates art forms related to the light element, in particular, digital light. PHOTONICA wants to be a new project in a field where Rome has always been a reference, but today it suffers from the lack of an international event: the Audio Visual Arts.
Wants to be a project of the newborn roman network of organizations active in contemporary video audio to build a program that represents the various forms of expression: Audio Video Performances, Video Mappings, Light Installations, DJ-VJ Sets, NetArt, Workshops, and lectures.
The initiative is part of the program of Contemporaneamente Roma 2019 promoted by Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Crescita Culturale and in collaboration with Siae. This 2019 will again play in the capital, specifically at Cinema Aquila in Pigneto area and at Fusolab 2.0 in Centocelle/Alessandrino in Rome.
FOTONICA is produced by Flyer communication, which in 2004 created the LPM Live Performers Meeting, the largest event in the industry. He came to his 18th edition, of which 11 in Rome and the others, thanks to the support of the European Community, Xalapa, Minsk, Mexico City, Cape Town, Eindhoven and Amsterdam. Since 2004, LPM has hosted more than 4600 artists, 2625 performances, workshops and showcases, with 72 participating countries and more than 1,500,000 visitors.
Microwave Festival began in 1996 as an annual video art festival of the local video art institution Videotage. As technology progressed and became more accessible, video art slowly evolved to involve other media; thus Microwave began to embrace the wider range of new media art. As the first and only art festival in Hong Kong dedicated to new media art, Microwave has steadily grown into a well-established festival that brings cutting-edge works to provoke thought in the technological hub every year.
In its 10th anniversary, Microwave Festival celebrated by becoming an independent organization, completed with a re-branding by design partner Milkxhake and a strengthened curatorial and working team. Microwave then continues the hard work to inspire Hong Kong and the rest of the world with pioneering media artworks selected to suit themes relevant to the society today, while also avidly supporting the exchange and dialogue between artists, professionals, and the general public.
They envision that through the Microwave network, Hong Kong artists will be introduced to international institutions and curators, working as a platform and gateway for them to develop their art and skills. Apart from the grand annual festival, Microwave also endeavors to nurture a rising local new media arts community, organizing various programmes such as educational workshops, seminars, forums, and exhibitions.
NONOTAK studio is the collaboration between the illustrator Noemi Schipfer and the architect musician Takami Nakamoto. Commissioned by the Architect Bigoni-Mortemard to create a mural in the lobby of a public housing building in Paris, NONOTAK was created in late 2011.
In early 2013, they start to work on light and sound installations, creating an ethereal, immersive and dreamlike environment meant to envelop the viewer, capitalizing on Takami Nakamoto’s approach of space & sound, and Noemi Schipfer’s experience in kinetic visual.
They presented their first audiovisual installation at the Mapping Festival in May 2013. In summer 2013, NONOTAK comes up with a performance, LATE SPECULATION, where they are the creators and contents of the project.