It all begun in 2009. After quitting my job as an engineer I moved to Madrid to study a Master in Motion Graphics while making my first experiences in the world of video art.
In 2010 I started up several collaborations with art organizations in Madrid and they proposed to me to shoot a dance performance by the choreographer Iratche Ansa.
The performance was going to be held at the Matadero in Madrid. From that recording I put together my first video dance “Comunicación Interpretación Automática” which had a very good reception.
A few months later I made my first dance pieces with live visuals with choreographer Barbara Fritsche.
Thanks to those projects I was able to work on the musical “Hoy No Me Puedo Levantar” in 2013. In 2014 I directed my first proper theatre show: “Girasomnis”.
I try to “connect” the visuals with the dancers. Sometimes I encourage the dancers to “connect” or follow my visuals.
In this project I also composed the music. This is very useful as I have better control of the creative process. With this project I tried to evoke feelings in the audience without words: just images, dance and instrumental music.
This quarantine caused an abrupt stop in my job, but also gave me time to start imagining something new.
The idea was born during the first week of confinement. At the start, It was simple: I just wanted to publish some of our best projects and make them public. But I also felt a need for a change.
The last 3 years I was quite disconnected from my artistic side due to working mostly on commercial projects.
I was just focusing on making money to pay my bills and trying to have a stable team for audiovisual production. The outbreak of the Covid-19 has been an absolute shift in our work. We started questioning the possibility of doing our shows as we did before.
So, in April I started to visualize and write a synopsis of this new project. I then decided to publish “Dance Mapping Virtual Tour 2020” as a memorandum of all these years of physical shows.
This new production is planned to be released in VR and physical 360 projection format in late 2021.
When I have the budget I can work with some powerful audiovisual freelancers from my network of collaborators. Failing that I work alone.
I also work with very talented dancers/choreographers from Barcelona. During the years they started to understand my ideas and transform them in beautiful choreographies.
I have mostly 2 ways of work. I compose a music draft and then I work on the visuals and choreography or vice versa: I make a draft of visual content with a draft choreography and I try to match the sounds and music.
Sometimes I give leeway to the dancer, so they can create their own choreography and then I create the visual content following their movements.
In the last few years I also worked with some talented musicians for a faster audiovisual production.
This was a concept from Roman Torre. In 2015 I shared a space with him and we collaborated together on a video mapping of a rotating stone. It was a nice project called Liquid Series.
In the video mapping area I also tried to develop innovative concepts, differing from the typical big projection on a building facade. 2 Years ago I started to develop the concept of “Holomapping”. I am planning to finish it next year as well.
Nowadays, it is possible to learn a lot following digital online courses, but it is always better if somebody guides you. As with everything in life the best way to learn is practice, making mistakes and improving.
Spain is not the best country for arts, I would say. As far as I know French artists or from other European countries have more grants and support from their governments, but everything is possible if you are passionate about your work.
It is interesting to notice the wide range of categories not necessarily related to the new media arts world. The inclusion of animation and manga highlights their wide recognition in the Japanese scene as special forms of art.
The Japan Media Arts Contest offers opportunities for young and emerging artists as well as recognized professionals making the audiovisual event a turning point every year for artistic innovation and excellency.
The Japan Media Arts Festival has been awarding prizes to outstanding artistic works since its establishment in 1997.
It is supported by The Agency of Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan to develop and promote the creation of Japanese and international media arts.
Through the annual Exhibition of Award-winning Works, the festival has offered the opportunity to the audience of directly appreciating these celebrated works.
The attendants are also invited to participate to the side events such as symposia, screenings and artists’ showcases.
Every year, the organizers propose a controversial and thought-provoking theme set to trigger reflection in the community and cutting-edge experimentation by the selected artists. Innovation in digital creativity is key and the festival creates a sonic space for this.
Every year, the result is an insanely powerful and immersive artistic rendez-vous that leaves a lingering impact awhile after the end of the festival.
In this Age of Pandemic, we are made acutely aware of our dependence on digital technology for work, education, and healthcare. Now more than ever, the growth of digital technology demands critical reflection.
Globalization and economic growth have brought us pandemic and environmental destruction. How can we break this cycle? Can we harness quantum technology to protect ourselves and the world we live in?
Ars Electronica features a wide variety of activities every year: Symposia, exhibitions, performances, concerts and interventions spanning a broad arc from speculative futuristic scenarios to analytical considerations, from provocative actionism to philosophical debate.
Combining amazing artworks with fruitful conversations is the perfect recipe to create a meaningful experience that constantly scans the new media landscape to find the most inspiring projects. The projects are not simply chosen based on their technical realization but most importantly because the social and artistic innovation they incorporate.
The result of this consistent endeavour is the creation of a loyal community of audiovisual artists, researchers and visitors from all over the world that every year reunites in Linz to inspire and get inspired.
Since its inception, the festival has been dedicated to develop new themes for each edition and the organizers are also constantly on the lookout for interesting new venues.
Indeed, the ongoing effort to break out of the narrow confines of conventional conference rooms and artistic spaces, and to stage cultural and scientific encounters in the public sphere has become something of an Ars Electronica trademark.
Stay tuned: Ars Electronica 2020 theme will be released soon!
Memo Akten describes himself as:
“an artist and researcher from Istanbul, Turkey. He works with emerging technologies as both a medium and subject matter, investigating their impact on society and culture – with a specific interest in the collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual and religion.”
His work goes much further your average visual artist, as he specialises in Artificial Intelligence, works with algorithms and large-scale responsive installations with image, sound and light. In AV culture’s layman terms he’s an audiovisual jack-of-all-trades and a true techy, oh and he’s studying for a PhD in AI as if that wasn’t enough. Here you can see a selection of his work in the very accurately named video, ‘Selection of work in 3 minutes’ (2017).
Akten received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica – the most prestigious award in Media Art – for his work ‘Forms’ in 2013. He has exhibited and performed internationally at exhibitions including The Grand Palais’s “Artistes & Robots” in 2018 (Paris FR), The Barbican’s “More than human” in 2017 (London UK) and the Victoria & Albert Museum’s landmark “Decode” exhibition in 2009 (London UK). He has shown work at venues such as the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow RU), Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum (Shanghai CN), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo JP), Royal Opera House (London UK), Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Lisbon PT), Itaú Cultural (Sao Paulo BR) and many others.
He has collaborated with celebrities such as Lenny Kravitz, U2, Depeche Mode and Professor Richard Dawkins, and brands including Google, Twitter, Deutsche Bank, Coca Cola and Sony PlayStation. Akten’s work is in numerous public and private collections around the world.
Alongside his practice, Akten is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in artificial intelligence and expressive human-machine interaction, to deepen collaborative creativity between humans and machines and augment human creative expression. Fascinated by trying to understand the world and human nature, he draws inspiration from fields such as physics, molecular & evolutionary biology, ecology, abiogenesis, neuroscience, anthropology, sociology and philosophy.
Memo hasn’t just emerged on the scene by any means. In 2007 Akten founded The Mega Super Awesome Visuals Company (MSA Visuals), an art and tech creative studio. For some of those who have been following audiovisual culture since before even Audiovisual City was born, then they’ll recognise the name Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) – the evolution of MSA Visuals in 2011. In more recent years and a lot of success, Akten is now focusing on his own work and research, though his contribution to audiovisual culture and performance, must not go unmentioned. I strongly recommend that you explore his exceptionally wide and varied body of artwork and scientific investigations, as it takes you on a socia cultural journey that goes beyond audiovisual art.BUY US A COFFEE?
ONLINE, 28 – 29 May 2020
As we slide into the new normal or la nueva normalidad it is inevitable that the AV world will experience a considerable amount of visibility during the pandemic as technology plays an important part in everything that we do. A surge of online events, meetings and live streams now fill up our diaries like they are going out of fashion and meeting up with your mates down the pub for a pint after work is so 2019.
Enter the evolution of user generated entertainment platforms like Twitch, which now boasts 17.5 million average daily visitors. Resident Advisor has invented its own virtual island Streamland where all virtual events that have been successfully submitted to RA exist. And MelodyVR brings the artist even closer to the fan through some very high spec virtual reality streaming experiences. Did somebody say Zoom quiz?
The drive for innovation and exploration in the world of audiovisual art and culture is again on the rise, opening up in new forms. Which leads me onto the question about interdisciplinary artists and institutions who challenge the status quo and dare to oppose the mainstream. Where are they and what is their artistic response to the pandemic?
I give you BODY (UN)MUTE. A two-day online festival curated by Bogomir Doringer hosted by ICK Dans Amsterdam that looks into the rituals of dancing and masking in times of social distancing. The audiovisual event will deliver a programme of workshops, talks and performances from all corners of new media, dance and conceptual art. But how can these rituals take place in an online space?
“Technology has been around forever, but most people are not familiar with the basics of streaming. Porn channels and video gaming platforms are way ahead of time and up until now artists haven’t really engaged with it, which makes it harder to get a certain quality that produces something more than just a Zoom call. I have been following the ritual of masking since 9/11 with my project Faceless – Re-inventing Privacy Through Subversive Media Strategies. What is the role of this in contemporary times? BODY (UN)MUTE is a physical representation of Faceless and my art exhibition Dance Of Urgency, which explores how dance and ritual rise in times of personal and collective crises, and how it can empower individuals and groups. In amongst a global pandemic both these ideas live together and that is why I want to explore this space with new media artists”– Bogomir Doringer
Some highlights come in the form of Famous New Media Artist Jeremy Bailey who wants you to join his Augmented Reality Makeover Party where step-by-step you can learn how to perfect your own Augmented Reality (AR) digital mask and alter ego. Transgress and queer-up your identity, become a drag unicorn or whatever else you can imagine!
Rosa Menkman, an art theorist and visual artist specialising in glitch art and resolution theory, will screen her work Pique Nique pour les Inconnues :: The CHORUS VERSION (2019-2020). The video looks at various unknown women whose images are linked to the history of image processing. While these women seem to be able to prolong their existence for as long as the (digital) realms will copy and reuse them, most of them have lost their name and identity.
Live performance comes in the form of Keren Rosenberg and Nicola Cavalazzi, who will present an audiovisual art installation which explores our social obsession in self-exposure through the use of modern technology. Together they will question what it means to perform in front of a camera – where does the body finish and the screen start?
Dr. Kelina Gotman talks about how Choreomania, the manic crave for dance, is not just a bi-product of lockdown. Choreographer Emio Greco will elaborate on the Pizzica, a dance from his native ground in Puglia that was danced to heal yourself from the bite of a poisonous spider. And Shanghai Radio will close the two day event giving us an insight into how creativity, music and online streaming kept the Chinese creative community connected during the lockdown.
In a reaction to the pandemic tickets for the event are based on the principles of donation, which provides the public freedom to support the hard work and dedication from all the artists involved.
BODY (UN)MUTE in collaboration with ICK Dans Amsterdam
Online Tickets available through the event website.
They combine digital media with other artistic disciplines such as music, dance, theatre and performance.
Medusa Lab took part of many national and international event such as Venice Biennale of Architecture 2014, Mediaxion, Live Performers Meeting and Circuito Electrovisiones.BUY US A COFFEE?
Delight Lab is an audiovisual design and experimentation studio pivoting around the concepts of video, light and space.
Established in 2009, covering a variety of projects such as large-scale videomapping projections on architecture, museology audiovisual installations, audiovisual stage design for performing arts, audiovisual content for commercial events, and audio-reactive visuals for live shows among other things.
The origin of Delight Lab goes back when two brothers decided to make projects together at the university: Germán (Design) and Andrea (Art and Aesthetics).
Both audiovisual artists had developed investigations and experimentation with light, the phantasmagoria, the video-projection and the intervention of spaces. All different experiments culminated in a projection mapping on the facade of The Contemporary Art museum of Santiago.
This projection realized in January, 2009 was one of the first mapping projections in Chile. This milestone opened the way to further investigation, artistic and technological experimentation, interdisciplinary exchange and cultural management. These values are still present in every project carried out by the duo.
Krakow, 4 – 11 October 2020
Unsound focuses on a broad swath of contemporary music — emerging, experimental, and left-field — whose sweep doesn’t follow typical genre constraints. Influential around the world, it has developed a reputation for identifying innovative scenes and radical sounds.
It’s a platform for an exchange of artistic ideas for musicians, visual artists, curators, journalists, record label owners and booking agents from every continent.
The theme for Unsound 2020 is Intermission. Meaning a break in a performance or production, here it also refers to the rupture caused by COVID-19, a period starkly separating before from after. The word therefore embodies multiple, and somehow contradictory, forces.
The audiovisual event takes place every year at a number of venues across Kraków, regular events also take place in New York, Adelaide, Toronto, and London. Between 2016 and 2018, Unsound also produced eleven festivals in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus, part of a long history of working with curators and artists in the post-Soviet region.
As well as spotlighting emerging artists, Unsound also commissions new shows and encourages trans-border collaborations, adapts and re-imagines abandoned spaces for concerts and club nights, manages cutting-edge artists, and is known for its sound-inspired Ephemera perfume project.
DubLab is the new label of Dub Video Connection, mix-media studio based in Lisbon since 1997. DubLab used to be the name of the Arts & Experimentation department, but now it became that department. New name, new life.
Stage & Visuals design for music labels and artists. DubLab creates concepts, visual contents and technical engineering projects for live performances. On top of that, they offer a long time experience with branded content and institutional video mappings on corporate events.
DubLab mission is to combine audiovisual technology with creativity, to achieve new sensorial light and video communication with the public. All this skills together, create excellence on project managing for show tours, DJ artworks and event design.
Amsterdam, 24 – 27 September 2020
FIBER Festival is an Amsterdam based festival for audio-visual art, digital culture and electronic music.
With the program – which consists of multi-sensory art, performances and in-depth lectures – FIBER presents emerging art practices that offer alternative perspectives on our 21st century society.
With the festival theme of Instability the festival explores new ways of adapting to an age of planetary and societal changes. What opportunities are open to artistic making and thinking to contribute to this transformation?
Our living environment is often presented to us as stable and unquestionable. Landscapes, borders and technological infrastructures are considered static entities. Yet current crises now force us to transform the way we relate to our ecological surroundings. Extreme weather, droughts, wildfires and viruses are forces of nature that tear apart our modern way of living with far-reaching consequences.
The festival aims to seek artistic narratives, skills and sensibilities to prepare us for an alternative life in a period of uncertainty and radical instability.