FILE VITORIA 2017
From 18 April to 11 June
FILE – the Electronic Language International Festival – presents FILE Vitoria 2017: Touch Here from 18 April to 11 June 2017 at SESI Art Gallery with 8 interactive installations, 4 games and 20 animations by artists from Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Spain, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Portugal, Serbia and Sweden.
For 18 years, FILE has encouraged the debate about the relationship between art and technology with exhibitions, workshops and seminars. FILE is the largest celebration of electronic art in Latin America, with an annual event in São Paulo and exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Porto Alegre and São Luís, as well as participation in international events.
FILE’s first edition in Vitoria offers visitors the chance to interact with the works and amongst themselves using virtual reality devices, including 3D glasses, augmented reality, installations and physical objects. Since the middle of the 20th century, interaction between the visitor and works of art has been one of the principal ways of appreciating art. While the 1960s saw visitors to exhibitions becoming involved in performances and physical installations, by the 1990s the digital world had become part of the experience. The installations selected for FILE Vitoria 2017 give the visitor the chance to experience this integration between the physical world and the new digital technologies.
Amongst the works where the viewer uses 3D glasses, Mac Cauley’s The Night Cafe explores the paintings of Van Gogh from the inside, with an opportunity to meet the painter himself in animated form. In Christin Marczinzik and Thi Binh Minh Nguyen’s Swing, the dream of flying becomes a reality. Sitting on a swing, the more the visitor moves, the more vivid are the colors they experience. The games in the exhibition also give the visitor the chance to interact with the digital world. They include Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, from the Canadian developer Asteroid Base; Back to Bed, from the Danish company Bedtime Digital Games; Push Me Pull You, from House House in Australia; and Tearaway Unfolded from the British developer Media Molecule.
Amongst the installations, Fated Ascent, by Donald Abad, uses augmented reality to create a space where the visitor can sense the presence of another visitor, connected virtually to a pile of stones. All that is needed to see the stones is a tablet or a smartphone.
The use of visual devices is also explored by Karina Smigla-Bobinski in Simulacra. When a magnifying glass is held in front of the monitor, images of hands, feet, and long black hair appear from nowhere. But when the viewer moves the lens around, the polarized film changes the colors or shows negative versions of the images. The work changes every time it is viewed, depending on the interaction of the viewer.
Visitor interaction is also central to the construction of collaborative works such as ADA, also by Smigla-Bobinski. ADA is a transparent globe filled with helium which floats freely round the exhibition space. As it moves around randomly, helped along by the visitors, charcoal sticks fixed to its surface mark the walls, ceiling and floor. The collaborative work Floor, by Håkan Lidbo and Max Björverud, is a musical instrument which is played with the feet, producing up to 68 billion sound combinations from six different groups of instruments. Efecto Mariposa (Butterfly Effect), by Patricio Gonzalez Vivo, is an interactive installation where the visitor can create and destroy an ecosystem in real time in a scene filled with volcanic ashes. The visitor can use their own hands to change the topology and atmosphere of this digital world, unleashing all kinds of climatic and topological changes, directly impacting on the ability of life to thrive.
While in Efecto Mariposa we interact with ashes, another form of physical interaction is made possible in Martela (Hammer) by Ricardo Barreto and Maria Hsu, which consists of a tactile robot with 27 motors. The points, vectors and textures of the installation react to the presence of the visitor, whose movements create what may be pleasant or conflicting situations. The work offers the participant a powerful sensorial experience to reflect upon afterwards.
FILE Vitoria 2017 also features a selection of independent animations that dialog with the technological advances seen in FILE Anima+. Independent animated films date back to when animation became an art form. Advances in animation software have enabled independent animators, be they small producers or working on their own, to find more and more opportunities for their work. This opening up of the market is directly related to the speed and ease of communication offered by the internet. The constant and frenetic development of techniques and technologies has led to opportunities for new, more intense and original narrative forms to emerge.
Entry to all FILE Vitoria 2017 events is free.
Christin Marczinzik & Thi Binh Minh Nguyen – “Swing” – Germany
Swings have always held a special fascination for us. As children, we used to play with them. Today we like to reminisce about the enjoyment which we felt while swinging. We felt disconnected from reality, weightless and free.
“Swing” brings these feelings back and makes a dream come true: the dream of flying. Thus, the swing becomes a physical component of an interactive installation. The use of 3D oculus enhances the swinging experience with virtual reality, creating a unique immersive adventure and sending you to a crafted watercolor world.
While swinging you leave the drab monotony of everyday life behind, find a place to ease your mind and regain your strength. You rise smoothly into the virtual world. The flight level depends on how long and how high you actually swing.
The starting point in the digital world is the same as in the physical world: the ground. Here everything is pale and dull. When you have the courage to swing more intensively, you will fly higher and the vibrancy of colors will increase. The climax is in space. Upon reaching it the world reaches its maximum in color intensity. If you want to go down, you have to stop swinging, but the colors around you will stay vivid and bright.
Donald Abad – “Fated Ascent” – France
A cairn is a man-made pile of rocks, used by hikers to indicate the path to be followed. The piles vary in shape depending on the rocks in the area. Hikers passing by can add new rocks on top of the pile, as a sign of respect to thank nature, but also to mark their passage. This cairn of Parisian artist Donald Abad (1978), who traded his atelier for working outside combining nature with digital media, embodies the passing by of many hikers.
By looking at the cairn through a tablet or a smartphone, visitors can reveal the presence of one of them, virtually linked to the rocks. Mixing land-art, performance, and psycho-geography, Donald Abad’s installation reveals the memory of what is inanimate
Original concept and creation: Donald Abad (http://donaldabad.com)
Production: Juliette Bibasse (http://julietteb.com/production/)
Co-production: machine, Centre culturel numérique Saint-Exupéry, 2014
Development: Lemine Beyrouk (iOS) / Jérôme Sallmann (Android)
Thanks to: STRP Festival, Valentina Zajackowski, Géraldine Taillandier, Clémentine Trey, Olivier Delporte, Sophie Varin, Nicolas Chaverou, Akatre studio, Cyriac Allard and Sophie Menoux.
Håkan Lidbo & Max Björverud – “The Flooor” – Sweden
The patterns printed on the carpet invite people to explore different combinations. 6 groups with different instruments, 6 zones in each group. By standing or dancing on different combinations of the 6 zones, 64 different loops can be triggered. Total 384 loops, all synchronized so that they all sound good in every possible combination. If no-one stands on any zone for more than 2 seconds, the loops in each group is randomly re-arranged. The whole floor can produce 68.000.000.000 possible combinations.
Music is a part of the very human construction. Music is an expression on gravity on earth and of our bodily proportions. Listening to and creating music together is also a very important social glue. In times where individual and passive consumption of music is taking over, a collaborative, physical music instrument like “The Flooor” can be of importance.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski – “Simulacra” – Germany
No design das imagens de vídeo que passam pelas telas, Karina Smigla-Bobinski trabalhou habilmente com o efeito de um corpo de luz brilhante e obscuro: — mãos, pés, cabelos negros e longos pressionados contra o interior das telas, sendo visíveis apenas através das lentes, antes de desaparecerem no vazio branco.
“SIMULACRA” is an optophysical experimental arrangement. At its heart are four LCD monitor panels, which are assembled in the form of a hollow square, and installed at eye level in the middle of the room. The ensemble appears internally gutted, overgrown and embraced. A tangle of cables and control devices pours out of the middle of the square. All around it several magnifying lenses dangle from chains. The imageless glaring ray of the monitors looks as if the images had fallen out of them. What remains is the essence of the medium: Light.
But the images are still in the screens. It requires only a small visual aid to recognize them. LCD-Monitors require several polarizing films in front and behind the pixel layers to produce visible images. These polarizing films filter the certain vibration directions of the emitting light. One of them is located on the surface of the monitor and can easily be scraped off using solvent and a glass scraper. The stripped monitor doesn’t display any more pictures, but shines with an intense white light.
If you hold a polarizing film, as in “SIMULACRA” in a magnifying glass version, before the monitor, then the function is restored. It is an impressive, wondrous experience when images suddenly appear from the pure white by the mere glance through a seemingly transparent film. But if you turn the lens in front of your eyes, the polarizing structure of the film creates wild color shifts or even complementary negative images.
In the design of video images that run across the screens, Karina Smigla-Bobinski worked skillfully with the effect of an opaque glistening body of light: – hands, feet, long black hair pressed against the inside surface of the screens, making them only visible within through the lenses, before disappearing into the white nothingness.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski – “ADA” – Germany
ADA – analogue interactive kinetic sculpture.
Similar to Tinguely’s “Méta-Matics”, “ADA” is an artwork with a soul. It acts itself. At Tinguely’s it is sufficient to be an unawarely struggling mechanical being. He took it wryly: the machine produces nothing but its industrial self-destruction. Whereas “ADA”, by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, is a post-industrial “creature”, visitor-animated, creatively acting artist-sculpture, self-forming artwork, resembling a molecular hybrid, such as a one from nanobiotechnology. It develops the same rotating silicon-carbon-hybrids, midget tools, miniature machines able to generate simple structures. “ADA” is much larger, esthetically much more complex, an interactive art-making machine. Filled up with helium, floating freely in the room, a transparent, membrane-like globe, spiked with charcoals that leave marks on the walls, ceilings and floors. Marks which “ADA” produces quite autonomously, although moved by a visitor. The globe obtains an aura of liveliness and its black coal traces, the appearance of a drawing. The globe put in action fabricates a composition of lines and points, which remains incalculable in their intensity, expression, form, however hard the visitor tries to control “ADA”, to drive her, to domesticate her. Whatever he tries out, he will notice very soon that “ADA” is an independent performer, studding the originally white walls with drawings and signs. More and more complicated fabric structures arise. It is a movement experienced visually, which, like a computer, makes an unforeseeable output after entering a command. Not in vain, “ADA” reminds of Ada Lovelace, who in the 19th century, together with Charles Babbage, developed the very first prototype of a computer. Babbage provided the preliminary computing machine, Lovelace the first software. A symbiosis of mathematics with the romantic legacy of her father, Lord Byron, emerged there. Ada Lovelace intended to create a machine that would be able to create works of art, such as poetry, music, or pictures, like an artist does. “ADA” by Karina Smigla-Bobinski stands in this very tradition, as well as in the one of Vannevar Bush, who built a Memex Machine (Memory Index) in 1930 (“We wanted the memex to behave like the intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain”), or the Jacquard’s loom, that in order to weave flowers and leaves needed a punch card; or the “analytic machine” of Babbage, which extracted algorithmic patterns. “ADA” uprose in nowadays spirit of biotechnology. She is a vital performance machine, and her patterns of lines and points get more and more complex as the number of the audience playing-in increases. Leaving traces which neither the artist nor the visitors are able to decipher, not to mention “ADA” herself. And still, “ADA’s” work is unmistakably potentially humane, because the only available decoding method for these signs and drawings is the association which our brain corresponds at the most when it sleeps: the truculent jazziness of our dreams.
Mac Cauley – “The Night Cafe” – United States
“The Night Cafe” is an immersive VR environment that allows you to explore the world of Vincent van Gogh first hand. Take a moment to enjoy his iconic sunflowers in 3 dimensions or walk around the chair he painted in his bedroom to see it from another angle. Step into the vivid colors straight from his palette.
Patricio Gonzalez Vivo – “Efecto Mariposa” – Argentina
On Saturday June 4, 2011, after decades of inactivity, Puyehue volcano ejected a plume of ashes 10 kilometers high and five kilometers wide. This led to a natural disaster with strong environmental and financial impacts in the region. At the same time, the ashes that are now killing thousands of living beings, ensure the fertility of the region for years to come. The same ashes are the raw material of this work.
“Efecto Mariposa” (butterfly effect) is an interactive installation that provides the opportunity to explore destruction and creation, which are combined in an infinite fractal dance, demonstrating the ability of life to cut through the face of adversity. This is done by simulating an ecosystem on the surface of a set of real-time volcanic ashes. The interactor can modify with his own hands the “topology” and the “atmosphere” of this virtual world, unleashing all sorts of climatic and topographic changes that directly influence the conditions of life. The proposal is to alternate the perception among the micro and the macro to discover the complexity and richness of the world around us, as well as to realize our participation and responsibility in this whole.
Ricardo Barreto & Maria Hsu – “Martela” – Brazil
Tactila is an art form whose medium is the sense of touch which is independent from the all the other ones and has its own intelligence, imagination, memory, perception, and sensation. It is well known that vision and sound have hegemony in arts and in other disciplines. Tactila takes place in time and, therefore, can be recorded and have various forms of notation for subsequent executions. That is why its development became possible only now, thanks to mechatronic and robotic systems which are compatible with machine languages.
The creation of tactile works involves a composition, which can be made through handmade notation and played on a keyboard or directly on the computer of the tactile machine (robot).
Tactile machines can present numerous tactile possibilities through points, vectors, and textures with varying rhythms and intensities, and be run in different extensions and locations of our body.
The first tactile machine is called “Martela”. It is a tactile robot comprised of 27 engines subdivided into three squares (3 x 3), i.e., each square has 9 engines. Each engine corresponds to a matrix point, so we have 27 tactile units that allow to touch the user’s body with various intensities.
Points, vectors, and textures, each one of them in different rhythms, correspond to movements of the touches on the body which can be single or multiple and in different directions, what may create agreeable or conflicting situations. The composition involves sensory relations that will be interpreted later by the user’s sensibility, and this fruition, as in all forms of art, improves with further experience and research.
Curatorship: Raquel Fukuda
Independent animations are as old as animation art itself. Through them, artists seek to experiment new techniques with low budgets. Advance in animation software technologies, which have lowered the costs and cut down production stages, have been helping independent animation, be it in small studios or even through DIY, to conquer more and more space. This conquest is directly related to how fast you can exchange information, and spread it on the internet.
Independence from big studios and the short film format allow artists to deal with more experimental narratives and innovative techniques. Discovering new artists, new works, and new languages has become an accessible pastime for anyone with an internet connection. However, finding non-virtual spaces to promote these works and the exchange between the artist and the public, as well as finding a place that unites works with diverse techniques and narratives, is still a challenge.
Perhaps the key to animation is not necessarily the technique, but its lines, colors, soundtrack, screenplay, the characters’ gestures, movements that are created, and the stories told frame by frame… When one becomes involved with those delicate fragments that make up an animation, there is a direct relationship with the work.
This reinforces the idea that animation is a very powerful medium due to its immense ability to synthesize complex ideas in images and sounds. The constant evolution of methods and technologies opens spaces for new forms of narratives which are much more intense and singular.
Raquel Olivia Fukuda
1 Asteroid Base – “Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime” – Canada
2 Bedtime Digital Games – “Back to Bed” – Denmark
3 House House – “Push Me Pull You” – Australia
4 Media Molecule – “Tearaway Unfolded” – England
1 Adrian Flury – “A Place I’ve Never Been” – Switzerland
2 Anthony Rousseau – “My Last Round” – France
3 Camilo Colmenares – “Quimtai” – Germany
4 Christo Guelov – “White Cubes | DLC2015” – Spain
5 Daniela Krajcova – “Stability” – Slovakia
6 David Mussel – “Cartas” – Brazil
7 Fabricio Lima & Marcelo Jeneci – “Um de nós” – Brazil
8 Henning M. Lederer – “Anatomic” – Germany
9 Jan Goldfuß – “2=1(+1=n) (Cold Memories 2)” – Germany
10 Jorge F. – “Nightmare Endless” – Brazil
11 Leandro Angare – “O Sapato” – Brazil
12 Matthew Schoen – “Vehicles” – Canada
13 Milan Zulic – “The Circle of life” – Serbia
14 Ove Pictures: Veronika Obertova & Michaela Copikova – “Nina” – Slovakia
15 Peter Whittenberger – “What’s the Worst that Can Happen?” – United States
16 Sandrine Deumier, Sonia Paço-Rocchia & Philippe Lamy – “[Play;]” – France
17 Sandra Crisp – “Auroville Dream (Tales from the City)” – England
18 s-ara – “Telephonophobia” – Portugal
19 Tiny Inventions: Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter – “Perfect Houseguest” – United States
20 Uwe Heine Debrodt – “Fotosintetico” – Mexico