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Jonas Denzel Interview – Genius Loci Winners

Par : Marco Savo



Meet the audiovisual artist behind THE SHAPE OF SOUND, projection mapping on the facade of the new Bauhaus Museum in Weimar.

We said it many times: audiovisual is vast and complex, and within audiovisual the different techniques branch out to a myriad of different styles and expressions.

Jonas Denzel here really embraced the think-outside-the-box approach delivering something unique, engaging and playfully attractive.

The projection might not strike at first impact. Nevertheless as soon as you pick up the complex audiovisual interaction and sound design, you realize that you haven’t quite seen anything like that before.

The protagonist is the hand, the starting point of the artistic expression. From a simple gesture the whole audiovisual narrative takes over the building, truly engaging with the audience by inviting them to play along.

As part of our series about the Genius Loci Weimar 2019 winners, our young journalist Marta Minguell asked the creator about his creative process and how he approached the audiovisual event open call.

1. Can you tell us about the interaction design process that is so prominent in this projection mapping artwork?

For me as an artist it is important to let the audience become part of the projection. They should not only look, they should have the chance to actively participate. The interactive part of the projection is based on a musical pattern: it’s called Call and Response.

Basically, one person claps a rhythm and the crowd responds by clapping the same rhythm. In “The Shape of Sound” hands on the façade animate the audience through gestures to participate and rhythmically respond.

It’s a game of call and response. The viewers communicate with their hands. It’s a dialogue between them and the new Bauhaus Museum. By responding to the façade, the audience completes the projection. The rhythms are arranged in a way that they become increasingly difficult.

The simple beginning encourages as many spectators as possible to participate. The increase of rhythmical difficulty is not only challenging but also fun for the audience. It creates a feeling of community.

Genius Loci Winners 2019 - Audiovisual artists
Photo Credits: Henry Sowinski
2. The piece celebrates the power of the gesture as an essential tool to create images and sounds. Which have been your sources of inspiration both in music and visual art for this piece and how did you link them together?

Hands are the oldest tools of mankind. They assist us in our everyday life: to work, to communicate, to make music, etc. The work “The Shape of Sound” is mainly inspired by playing drums.

“Body percussion” is a form of drums, where only hands are used to create rhythms and sounds on the body. I translated this to the new Bauhaus Museum and the projection. One can say it’s now no longer “Body Percussion” but actually “Bauhaus Percussion”.

Sören Schaudel and Jonas Denzel - Audiovisual artists
Photo Credit: Jonas Denzel

The building transforms into an oversized instrument which is played by hands. For me it’s important that not only the visuals but also the sounds refer to the building. This is why the sounds were directly recorded at the new Bauhaus Museum facade.

Together with sound designer Sören Schaudel, sounds and rhythms were recorded on the actual building by knocking on windows, stroking on rough walls, drumming on railings, anything that makes sounds.

These sounds are then arranged in a composition which is an interplay of image and sound. Recording the sounds on the façade is an essential and inspiring part of the design process of the projection.

Genius Loci Winners 2019 - Audiovisual artists
3. Can you share with us your creative approach when submitting an artwork to an open call?

First of all, I study the building, the architecture and its history. I then take a close look at the facade and its architectural structure to imagine what kind of musical instrument the building could be transformed into and how it could sound like.

In the specific case of the new Bauhaus Museum, the fine horizontal architectural lines on the facade were used to create a keyboard which then transforms the building into a huge piano played by over-dimensional hands.

Genius Loci Weimar

Interview to Genius Loci Weimar

The post Jonas Denzel Interview – Genius Loci Winners appeared first on Audiovisualcity.

ruestungsschmie.de and Soundselektor Interview – Genius Loci Winners

Par : Marco Savo



Meet the audiovisual artists behind REMAKE³, projection mapping on the facade of the German National Theatre (DNT) in Weimar.

ruestungsschmie.de are absolute masters of the video mapping technique while Soundselektor crafts unique soundtracks intertwined with the visual narrative.

The audiovisual duo has a very analytical and technical approach to the audiovisual art. Their aim is to get as close as possible to the architecture and its role within the urban environment.

The result is a mind-blowing explosion of structural elements hitting hard on the viewer’s senses. Every single element is visually enhanced and undergoes numerous levels of abstractions, constantly oscillating between the architectural and the geometrical.

We had the chance to see their artwork NUCLEUS³ live at Signal Festival 2018. An audiovisual thunderstorm infusing every element of the facade with vibrant life: another of their masterpiece!

As part of our series about the Genius Loci Weimar 2019 winners, our young journalist Marta Minguell asked the creators about their creative process and how they approached the audiovisual event open call.

1. Can you tell us about how you constructed the abstract story-line for the visual narrative and the relationship with the sound experimentation?

The graphics are buildings on top of each other, they slowly evolve from simple to complex. The journey is the destination. We visualize our work-process as a part of our creation.

Our work is multi-layered. Each layer describes a fragment of a topic. By adding the layers on top of each other we create a multi-topic collage. 

In the first layer, the absolute beginning, we chose the main “topics” to work on graphically. In this case the architecture, the facade composition and the historical and urban context of the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar.

Being architects, we believe that the building plays the part of the protagonist. Our main instruments for the visual narrative creation are building plans, sections, 3D-models, satellite images, 2D and 3D geodata, plans and models of the surroundings and finally the landscape of the city itself.

Genius Loci Winners 2019 - Audiovisual artists
Photo Credits: Oliver Blum

In the second layer we reflect upon the historical, political and social impact of the Nationaltheater in the past, present and future. With this in mind as well as the current political and social development in Germany and Europe we decided we have to make some kind of statement, in using clear font. Finally, the categorical imperative (Kant) and its analogies found in the different world religions seemed to be the right answer.

The third layer is the sound design. Obviously it is important for composing the atmosphere in the visuals. We try to envision what will happen visually. We start working in 2D and 3D.

As soon as we have a rough cut, we send it to Jarii van Gohl / Soundselektor (our sound magician). Then he works on the sound composition and sends it back to us. Then the ping-pong-game starts, by sending back and forth. This goes on until we achieve the desired result. 

2. The projection mapping features a great variety of textures and patterns. How did you create them and what tools did you use?

We use very different techniques to create our visuals. We create 3D models from architectural drawings and Geo-data. We also use 2D video footage to create 3D objects importing them in 3D programs. A technique we have been constantly working on and refined over the years.

We also use different techniques offered by video editing software like DaVinci Resolve and others. For 3D we mostly use Cinema 4D and some known and unknown Plugins.

Genius Loci Winners 2019 - Audiovisual artists
3. Can you share with us your creative approach when submitting an artwork to an open call?

It really depends on the task. First of all we analyze the object and its context. Typically, it is a building. We look at the facade, its specific details, patterns and composition and try to find plans and sections of the building.

We then look at the building’s history, the location within the city and the surroundings. Google Earth is our good friend there. When we can, we try to visit the city and see everything live.

Often there are given topics. Thereafter we start the conversation. Talking and sketching are the main instruments here. We shout out ideas and discuss them. This process leads to new ideas, which are also discussed and the wheel begins to turn. Eventually we find a concept which we can all agree on. 

Then the typing starts. We try to formulate our ideas the way an “outside” person would interpret it. Meanwhile the visualization starts. We try to squeeze in as much concept as possible within little pictures.

Finally we work on matching the text and the visuals, which is always a good test for the concept itself. If we cannot connect the written words with the images we created, we know there is a bug and we know what to do. Finally we add some artistic flavors and statements.

Then we win the call, the game begins and a new discussion starts. We love it!

Genius Loci Weimar

Interview to Genius Loci Weimar

ruestungsschmie.de

The post ruestungsschmie.de and Soundselektor Interview – Genius Loci Winners appeared first on Audiovisualcity.

Laura Seitz and Daniel Pitts Interview – Genius Loci Winners

Par : Marco Savo



Meet the audiovisual artists behind REVERSE IMAGINATION, projection mapping on the facade of the MON AMI cultural centre in Weimar.

Laura Seitz and Daniel Pitts’ audiovisual work stands out for its detailed storytelling and figurative approach.

Rather than opting for simply highlighting the architecture, they have decided to tell us the story behind the construction of the building, through a captivating audiovisual narrative.

As part of our series about the Genius Loci Weimar 2019 winners, our young journalist Marta Minguell asked the creators about their creative process and how they approached the audiovisual event open call.

1. What are the main references that inspired you to create the “Reverse Imagination” audiovisual narrative?

In order to start the foundations of the building, the people of Weimar had to drain parts of a swamp located in this area. Without that effort the construction of the MON AMI would not have been possible.

We found this tedious task to be a good symbolic starting point for a broader approach to the theme: individuals working together to open up space for their community.

The ground, that otherwise would have been inaccessible or even hostile to life, became fertile. Ideas that couldn’t be previously heard can now be shared and developed.

The whole building can be perceived as a foundation stone for decades of dialogue, cultural and artistic expression, political engagement and countless untold personal stories that otherwise would have not been possible.

We reenacted that progress, but not in a historically accurate way. Instead we opted for a fantastic reinterpretation of the construction of the building. Abstract beings finding themselves back in the former swamp surrounded by ruins and rubble.

They are there to rebuild an alternative MON AMI, revealing more of the
inner nature of the place than the facade might be able to show on its
own.

Laura Seits and Daniel Pitts - Audiovisual artists
Photo Credits: Henry Sowinski
2. Can you tell us about the techniques you used and the creative process you followed to create this animation mapping piece?

We wanted to put emphasis on the audiovisual story telling in this work right from the beginning. So we did a fair amount of writing work and concept art, to develop a solid narrative structure, that is engaging and suitable for the site.

Furthermore we had to consider the different spectators experiences, due to the wide range of viewing angles and visual obstacles, like trees in front of the building.

Since our story evolved around the fictitious rebuild of MON AMI, we tried not only to superimpose imagery onto the real world structure.

Instead we referenced it and played with its spatial perception to immerse a viewer even further by forcing perspectives and vanishing points.

While the composition of the different elements, their movements and lighting was done in a digital 3d environment, almost all visible surfaces were hand drawn, scanned and then integrated into the scene.

This mixture of analog and digital technology enabled intriguing animated movement, dynamic lighting and complex scene setup. But it was also providing the necessary detail, texture and imperfection that created a natural and tangible look, even at the scale of such a mapping piece.

Genius Loci Winners 2019 - Audiovisual artists
3. Can you share with us your creative approach when submitting an artwork to an open call?

Genius Loci Weimar 2019 was the first video mapping project that we did of that kind. Visiting the audiovisual event in recent years, gave us an impression of the unique mood in the streets of Weimar during those nights.

Entire areas of the city seemed to be immersed in a dream-like state. Yet all the locations featured different atmospheres achieved in many different ways.Inspired by that we were eager to create our own approach reflecting our interests and skill sets.

For the submission we wanted to create an artwork that well portrays
our stylistic decisions as well as giving a glimpse of the narrative
structure we planned for the full animation piece.

At the same time, we were trying to figure out whether our ideas could work on a medium that we only knew from a spectator’s point of view back then.

Genius Loci Weimar

Interview to Genius Loci Weimar

The post Laura Seitz and Daniel Pitts Interview – Genius Loci Winners appeared first on Audiovisualcity.

Interview to Genius Loci Weimar

Par : Marco Savo

We have supported Genius Loci Weimar and promoted their open call for audiovisual artists since their early start.

We felt now was the perfect time to interview the organizers of the projection mapping festival. One of the fastest growing audiovisual events in Europe. (German version below)

1. Can you tell us about the history, concept ans goals of Genius Loci Weimar?

The history of Genius Loci Weimar began 8 years ago, in 2012, when, as part of various regional development initiatives, we were looking for a concept that could combine modern media and historical heritage.

This is how the Genius Loci Weimar Festival came into being, initially on a smaller scale, which has since developed into an event with up to 50,000 visitors annually. The concept has always been to deal with the “spirit of the place” and its individual history, the “Genius Loci”.

We want to achieve several things with GLW: Always present is the goal of presenting aesthetically pleasing and high-quality artworks in Weimar. In addition, we also want to create a positive public and to address audiences of all ages and backgrounds throughout the festival.

As already mentioned, the “Genius Loci” is the focus of our artistic works. It is therefore also the goal to discuss history and to stimulate historical-cultural reflection, which certainly also has political and social aspects.
Another goal is to create and develop our own format, a brand that can provide a framework for the production of artistic works in this field.

The projection mapping scene is still quite young. Visibility, communication and networking are therefore also important concerns of our festival. Especially through the programme formats TALK, CLUB and LAB. There, in the LAB, the support and encouragement of young talents is increasingly taking place.

The AV media are to be further established as an art form and artistic format and to move away from the “avant-garde” or even “nerd corner”, in which they are still often located. To emphasize their potential as an aesthetic direction with different artistic styles and tastes is the goal of Genius Loci Weimar.



2. The festival advocates the importance of video mapping as an audiovisual tool to deliver relevant contents, rather than mere entertainment gimmick. How do you think GLW have been impacting the relationship between the community and the architectonic heritage of the city?



Thanks to the festival, a considerable exchange takes place every year on several levels within the city. The citizens of Weimar have become real “fans” of the festival and its formats and are curiously looking forward to seeing which new locations will be played at each year and can be experienced in new ways.

Thus, in addition to very prominent buildings such as the National Theatre or the Herderkirche in the city centre, the Ilmpark and a squatted house in Gerberstraße have already been in the spotlight.

Especially at controverse locations, such as Gerberstraße 3, exciting exchanges can arise: There, the “bourgeoisie” became observer of the usually sceptically eyed façade of the squatted house, the inhabitants of the house project became hosts at the same time – also for the otherwise avoided “establishment”. An exciting situation for everyone, which can only arise during a live event and on-site.

Genius Loci Weimar 2015 Winner - Audiovisual Event

However, in any case, reflection is always encouraged: exchange and examination of past times and other lifestyles. The buildings also appear in new contexts, the library was once filled with fictitious visions or the theatre was shown as an important place of democracy. The selection and the type of performance should always have a very specific effect.

The fact that the concept is sustainable can be seen from the fact that other projection festivals are following up, launching similar strategies or even asking for a transferable concept.

In the end, the awareness for places and cities is always sensitized by the unique, site-specific spectacles.



3. GLW Open Call is the core of the festival. Can you explain the complex decision process you undertake every year to award the three prizes? Are there any project that have been particularly relevant for you in the past editions?


The audiovisual event starts already in spring with the publication of our Open Call and the announcement of the three competition buildings. A prize money of 15.000 Euro per building is awarded and we receive applications with artistic projects from all over the world during the competition period.

At the end of the competition, the applications will be judged by a jury of experts, while the public will also be able to vote at this early stage to decide who will perform their work in late summer.

During the past eight festival editions, a wide range of artistic styles were chosen as competition winners. Exciting, for example, was last year’s masterfully implemented, seemingly interactive audiovisual performance by Jonas Denzel on the façade of the newly opened Bauhaus Museum in Weimar.



Of 2016, the combination of live performance and video projection on a surface of water from Dieselqueen is also remembered.



Or the already mentioned mapping with the title “Grain Metal Punk” by VJZARIA on the façade of the squatted house in Gerberstraße.



4. During these uncertain times many audiovisual events decided to implement hybrid or online formats. Can you tell us about GLW position in the current scenario?


Genius Loci Weimar continues to believe in the presence and magic of live events. We continue to believe in video mapping as a unique, ephemeral and sensual event, accompanied by overwhelming sound and an immense size that can be experienced collectively in public space. This is why we continue to focus on the live event on-site.


5. How do you see Genius Loci Weimar in the next 10 years?


Genius Loci Weimar aims to further extend its constant growth path of recent years. As a festival and brand, GLW will continue to grow in breadth, but also in depth.

The reflective formats such as the relatively new TALK will continue to be expanded and refined. AV hybrids as a stage format, as has been the case with AV cinema in recent years, are also to be further developed and refined.

In the middle and long term, closer cooperation with universities is also conceivable, for example in the form of the creation of a new institute or similar. However, the core will always be the video and its connection to the historical heritage of the city!


Discover more about the audiovisual event




GERMAN VERSION

Können Sie uns etwas über die Geschichte, das Konzept und die Ziele von Genius Loci Weimar erzählen?

Angefangen hat die Geschichte von Genius Loci Weimar bereits vor 8 Jahren, im Jahr 2012. Im Rahmen verschiedener Initiativen zur Regionalentwicklung suchten wir nach einem Konzept, das es schafft, moderne Medien und historisches Erbe miteinander zu verbinden. Dabei entstand das Genius Loci Weimar Festival, zunächst in kleinerem Umfang, das sich inzwischen zu einer Veranstaltung mit bis zu 50.000 Besucher*innen jährlich entwickelt hat. Das Konzept war dabei schon immer die Auseinandersetzung mit dem „Geist des Ortes“ und seiner individuellen Geschichte, dem „Genius Loci“ eben.

Wir möchten mit GLW mehre Dinge erreichen: Immer präsent ist natürlich das Ziel, ästhetisch ansprechende und hochwertige Kunstwerke in Weimar zur Aufführung zu bringen. Dazu kommt aber auch der Anspruch, eine positive Öffentlichkeit zu schaffen und mit dem Festival milieu- und altersübergreifend Zuschauer*innen anzusprechen.

Wie schon eben gesagt steht der „Genius Loci“ im Mittelpunkt unserer künstlerischen Arbeiten. Es ist also auch Ziel, Geschichte zu thematisieren und zu einer historisch-kulturellen Reflexion anzuregen, die durchaus auch politische und gesellschaftliche Facetten in sich trägt.

Ein weiteres Ziel ist das Erschaffen und Weiterentwickeln eines eigenen Formats, einer Marke, die der Produktion von künstlerischen Arbeiten in diesem Bereich einen Rahmen geben kann.

Die Videomapping-Szene ist noch recht jung. Sichtbarkeit, Kommunikation und Vernetzung sind also auch wichtige Anliegen unseres Festivals, insbesondere durch die Veranstaltungsteile TALK, CLUB und LAB. Dort, im LAB, findet auch verstärkt die Nachwuchsförderung statt. Die AV-Medien sollen als Kunstform und als künstlerisches Format noch weiter etabliert werden und heraus aus der „Avantgarde-“ oder sogar „Nerd-Ecke“, in der sie noch teilweise verortet werden. Ihr Potenzial als eine ästhetische Richtung mit unterschiedlichen künstlerischen Stilen und Geschmacksrichtungen herauszustellen, ist Ziel von Genius Loci Weima

Das Festival befürwortet die Bedeutung von Video-Mapping als audiovisuelles Instrument zur Vermittlung relevanter Inhalte und nicht als bloßen Unterhaltungsgag. Wie hat GLW Ihrer Meinung nach die Beziehung zwischen der Gemeinschaft und dem architektonischen Erbe der Stadt beeinflusst?

Innerhalb der Stadt findet dank des Festivals jedes Jahr aufs Neue ein erheblicher Austausch auf mehreren Ebenen statt. Die Weimarer*innen sind inzwischen zu richtigen „Fans“ des Festivals und seiner Formate geworden und erwarten gespannt, welche neuen Orte jedes Jahr bespielt und auf neue Weise erfahren werden können.

So war neben sehr prominenten Gebäuden wie dem Nationaltheater oder der Herderkirche in der Innenstadt auch schon der Ilmpark und ein besetztes Haus in der Gerberstraße im Rampenlicht.

Gerade an kontroversen Orten, wie beispielsweise der Gerberstraße 3, können spannende Begegnungen entstehen: Das „Bürgertum“ wurde dort zum Betrachter der sonst so skeptisch beäugten Fassade des besetzten Hauses, die Bewohnerinnen des Hausprojekts wurden gleichzeitig zu Gastgeberinnen – auch für das sonst gemiedene „Establishment“. Eine spannende Situation für alle, die so nur im Moment eines Live-Events vor Ort entstehen kann.

Auf jeden Fall wird aber immer zur Reflexion angeregt: Austausch und Auseinandersetzung mit vergangenen Zeiten und anderen Lebenswelten. Auch die Gebäude treten in neuen Kontexten auf, die Bibliothek wurde einmal mit fiktiven Gebäudevisionen bespielt oder das Theater als Ort der Demokratie thematisiert. Die Auswahl und die Art der Bespielung sollen dabei immer eine ganz bestimmte Wirkung erzielen.

Dass das Konzept trägt, sieht man auch daran, dass andere Projektionsfestivals nachlegen und ähnliche Konzepte an den Start bringen oder sogar nach einem übertragbaren Konzept anfragen.

Letztlich wird immer das Bewusstsein für Orte und Städte durch die einmaligen, ortsgebundenen Spektakel sensibilisiert.

Der GLW Open Call ist das Herzstück des Festivals. Können Sie den komplexen Entscheidungsprozess erklären, den Sie jedes Jahr für die Vergabe der drei Preise durchführen? Gibt es Projekte, die für Sie in den vergangenen Ausgaben besonders relevant waren?

Das Festival beginnt bereits im Frühjahr mit der Veröffentlichung unseres Open Calls und der Bekanntgabe der drei Wettbewerbsgebäude. Pro Gebäude ist ein Preisgeld von 15.000 Euro ausgelobt und uns erreichen im Wettbewerbszeitraum Bewerbungen mit künstlerischen Projekten aus der ganzen Welt ein.

Nach Ende werden die Bewerbungen zum einen von einer Expert*innenjury beurteilt, und zum anderen kann auch das Publikum bereits an dieser frühen Stelle mit Hilfe des Public Votes mitbestimmen, wer im Spätsommer seinen Wettbewerbsbeitrag zur Aufführung bringen wird.

Während der vergangenen acht Festivaleditionen konnte eine große Bandbreite an künstlerischen Stilen als Wettbewerbssieger*innen gekürt werden. Spannend war zum Beispiel im letzten Jahr die gekonnt umgesetzte, scheinbar interaktive, audiovisuelle Performance von Jonas Denzel auf der Fassade des neu eröffneten Bauhaus-Museums in Weimar.

Aus 2016 ist aber auch die Kombination aus Live-Performance und Video-Projektion auf eine Wasserfläche von Dieselqueen in Erinnerung geblieben.

Oder das schon angesprochene Mapping mit dem Titel „Grain Metal Punk“ von VJZARIA an der Fassade des besetzten Hauses in der Gerberstraße.

In diesen unsicheren Zeiten haben sich viele audiovisuelle Veranstaltungen entschieden, hybride oder Online-Formate einzusetzen. Können Sie uns über die Position des GLW im aktuellen Szenario berichten?

Genius Loci Weimar glaubt auch weiterhin an die Präsenz und die Magie des Live-Events. An das Videomapping als einmaliges, vergängliches und sinnliches Ereignis, begleitet von überwältigendem Sound und einer immensen Größe, das kollektiv im Stadtraum erfahren werden kann. Deshalb fokussieren wir uns auch weiterhin auf die Live-Veranstaltung vor Ort.

Wie sehen Sie Genius Loci Weimar in den nächsten 10 Jahren?

Genius Loci Weimar will seinen konstanten Wachstumspfad der letzten Jahre weiter ausbauen. Als Festival und Marke soll weiter in die Breite, aber auch in die Tiefe gewachsen werden. Die reflektiven Formate wie etwa der noch recht neue TALK sollen auch weiterhin ausgebaut und verfeinert werden. Auch die AV-Hybride als Bühnenformat, wie beim AV-KINO in den letzten Jahren schon geschehen, soll noch weiter verfeinert werden.
Mittel- und Langfristig ist aber auch eine engere Kooperation mit Hochschulen, etwa in Form der Schaffung eines eigenen Instituts oder ähnliches denkbar

Kern wird aber immer das Video und seine Verknüpfung mit dem historischen Erbe der Stadt bleiben!

The post Interview to Genius Loci Weimar appeared first on Audiovisualcity.

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