We’ve seen dramatic cancellations of big festivals – first Ultra, Tomorrowland Winter, and just today, SXSW has been called off. The reality is that these festivals and similar scale events have become what drives a lot of the dance music industry forward – and a fear of public gatherings could have huge impacts on DJs, […]
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Multi-award-winning comedy dares to touch delicate issues with candor and makes its Austin debut as part of the fest’s episodic pilot competition. SAN FRANCISCO— This Isn’t Me, an audacious new comedy series directed by ONE TWENTY NINE FILMS director Adrian Rojas Elliot and written by Ben Kawaller about an earnest but inept gay man’s search ...
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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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‘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.
AV Link Jam / BYOB was organized by Crux, the hub for learning, experimenting, collaborating and entertaining, on Thursday, November 15th, 2018. It was their second edition and free for everyone who wanted to join.
When you entered the space, it all seemed very open and chill. People were drinking beer, talking to each other, walking around and admiring the people’s work. Almost every wall had a beamer projection on it. It was very diverse which made it refreshing. You weren’t looking at the same thing at every wall. Every minute it’d change so even if you’d be watching the same projection, you wouldn’t look at a video that was on a loop.
Because it was a free event, the genuinely passionate artists show up. It looked like a community, people know each other and talk about the same topic. When you would talk to the artists about their projection, you could see the fierce enthusiasm they had for it.
The soundtrack worked really well with the atmosphere. Many different things were going on at the same time but the music helped to keep you focused.
All and all, it was quite mesmerizing and hypnotic. It kept your eyes stuck on the all the projects you were seeing. It all moved fast, had bright colors, and had recurring movements. It’s a very fun night where you can chat and check out new and different artists. A good concept!
I studied art and architecture at The Technical University in Liberec. Students of my generation were influenced by conceptual artist Stanislav Zippe. Maybe for this reason, I try to combine architecture and multimedia in my work. Therefore, we have established two platforms that work in synergy Kolmo.eu and Loom on the Moon.com
We have recently worked on an audiovisual representation of historical topics for various museums and installations. We find challenging to use contemporary visual language to speak about events and moments in our distant and recent history. It is not our only focus, yet it is a territory we have been exploring for a couple years now. We do not look in the past scenes as into the hermetic events which do not have any correlation with lives we have today. We rather pick out those which do have relevance to today in our view.
Memory of the Nations is the organization focused on collecting of testimonies. It is a wide archive (7000 people recorded up to date) of subjective views on past events. The phenomenon of subjectivity was very attractive to us as it’s in contradiction with mainstream explanation of history. We, in collaboration with Pink productions (coauthors of the exhibition), have tried to avoid black and white viewpoint, therefore, we have focused on situations in which the human rights or human dignity were most violated. In those darkest places we could find bravery, humanity, and characters with strong moral principles.
We feel that everyone is tired by straightforward information oriented rhetoric, for that reason we have split the installation into two main parts. Almost like the two halves of the brain, one-half emotional and subconscious and the other narrative and rational.
It was challenging to cover such a long historical period of 100 years so we highlighted two totalitarian periods our nation underwent during this time. It is important for us to keep these past atrophies on the display so the public could be on guard when politics start to go wrong. Somehow the recent rise of populists and post fact demagogues in the world makes us believe that such an ambition is more relevant than ever.
When I returned back to the Czech Republic from Netherlands where I had lived for 5 years, I noticed that Prague scene around film, animation, and multimedia is full of skilled people who were great to work with. For that reason, I have been trying to promote this field abroad. It is fun to work with these people on some projects in Singapore or Hong Kong or elsewhere and bring our sensitivity, skills, and improvisation to the table.
SIGNAL festival invited us to come to the festival in Prague which was on the 11th until the 14th of October, 2018. We are very grateful to have been invited and that they have taken such good care of us.
SIGNAL is a relatively young festival but made a huge impact on the audiovisual culture since the very beginning. It has a great offer of video mapping, interactive installations, and generative art. The last edition attracted around 600.000 people.
Every year, SIGNAL puts together an audiovisual journey across the beautiful backdrop that is the city of Prague. It gives the chance to locals and international visitors to really discover the city under a new light.
This is what we saw during our visit.
Event feature here.
Rococo is a totem made of 124 projectors shooting light beams. As soon as viewers step in, they are bombarded by powerful audiovisual inputs transforming the beautiful ‘Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace’ in an ever-changing space. The surrounding soundtrack makes you progressively forget where you are, bringing you in a captivating trance as you stare at the beams.
An impressive use of video mapping projection to document amongst the darkest moments in the last one hundred years of European history. Avoiding the spectacularization, ‘Memory of the Nation‘ enthralled the viewers, thanks to clever use of real video and audio footage
3dsense offered an impressive projection with two synchronized screens. It showed a creatively put and well-thought-out black hole’s gravitational field in the universe. That mixed with an intense soundtrack displayed a complex unity that immerses you into the piece.
A wonderful piece of interaction design, where the users had the chance to create their own lighting performance by the simple motion of their hands. Highly involving and easy to approach. It created an instant connection with the audience and the art.
_STROY is a multi-creative studio based in the Czech Republic. In their pioneering project, they combine graffiti with video mapping and sound art. Aesthetically astounding and captivating, they’re taking video mapping to a whole new level.
Quite new to the scene, the AV collective Hotaru Visual Guerrilla managed to capture the viewers’ senses from the first instant. An amazing 3D video mapping, dragging us in a future world where microorganism, bioforms, breathes and expands from the façade of the surrounding space. A must-see in the audiovisual culture.
Hyperbinary proposed a very mature and cutting-edge video mapping made of pure lights. The building Kooperative has been animated from the inside instead of being projected on it using LED strips. A thoughtful investigation about how particles are set in motion and spread across the space creating energy. The result is a calm and monumental wave.
On the Church of St. Ludmila Ruestungsschmie.de delivered a video mapping masterpiece, empowered by a stunning sound design. Every single element of the façade comes alive under the audiovisual thunderstorm. Our senses are constantly tickled and moved restlessly following the projective narrative across the service.
‘Watch 2,1/18’ is an ambitious and innovative art piece picturing a dystopian future under constant surveillance. The immersive installation used moving lights across the Vinohrady square to track the viewers. Microphones recorded their sounds to eventually combine them with an eerie soundtrack. No matter where you moved, you were always watched.
Simona Chládková & Matyáš Skalický
Simona and Matyáš are two students of ‘the Czech Technical University’. They created an LED interactive gateway connecting the train station to their university. Enjoyable and effective. We hope to see more from these young and upcoming artists.
Organik triggers an intense dialogue between new media, art, music, and architecture, in the beautiful Salvator church. The gothic constructive elements are gradually revealed and enhanced by the moving lights, while the compelling music from the organ surrounds the viewers. Our senses are fully absorbed in this powerful audiovisual symphony.
Future Ruins, a beautifully crafted video mapping dialoguing with the LED installations which decomposes the architectural elements of the Neo-Romanesque church of St. Cyril and Methodius.
Ruins of a dystopian future lie upon us and come back to life through the use of lights and video mapping.
An interactive installation with mirrors following the viewers, bouncing their reflection across the space together with the beautiful decorations of the ‘Mirror Chapel’.
A buoyant interactive piece immediately connects with the audience of all ages and backgrounds.
An interactive simulation that shows the sea life under a microscope. It’s a never-ending generative art project.
An interesting representation of the natural elements using new media. A piece with stormy clouds made of foam, lights, and sounds.
An overall high quality and several innovative art pieces, setting new trends and standards in audiovisual culture. Congratulations to the organizers and see you next year!
This is how it all went down.
The article about our time at SIGNAL is here.
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This is how it all went down.
The article about our time at SIGNAL is here.
We look forward to visual treats at Barcelona’s ever-growing digital arts festival, Mira. Hosted at the old fabric factory in the Sant Andreu district of Barcelona, Fabra i Coats is the venue of dreams for many festival goers and organisers. Each year, we’ve seen the gradual addition of a full dome experience, more and more live visual performances and installations, with this year including an impressive new media art exhibition to get the old brain cogs turning. Let’s leave the work to speak for itself. We present you with our summary of our Mira experience of the Friday night at the festival in form of a photographic journey through new media art time and space…
Mira Dome by Adidas Originals
“Extraordinary Alien” by Fatima Al Aqdiri & Transforma
The Search for (Modern) Pleasure (Exhibition, various artists)
Keiken, Nati Cerutti, AGF Hydra, Suzanah Pettigrew and George Jasper Stone: Digital Pleasures
Visual orgasms – Faith Holland
Filip Custic – Cuadro Virtual
Esmay Wagemans – New Humanity
Carlos Sáez – Hardware Fetish
Field – Scan I-IV Collection courtesy of Sedition
Tangerine Dream (Live A/V)
Interactive lighting system using Cinema 4D – 3D sound room by Tigrelab
Call super (DJ set) with Natalia Stuyk (VJ Set)
All photos copyright Hayley Cantor
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