WHEN DIGITAL ART BECOMES AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE

The current development of art moves along paths increasingly connected with technology and digital language. Although in the beginning, the virtual works had been to a certain extent unconsidered, because they seem to play down the importance of the authors who execute their pieces with their own hands; these forms of expression have followed a constant evolution to position themselves in their place, where they deserve the same respect and admiration as traditional disciplines.

teamLab, “Black Waves: Lost, Immersed and Reborn”, 2019. Digital Installation, Continuous Loop, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi. ©teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery.

One of the main differences offered by digital works is their ability to create parallel realities in an immersive way. Their power transcends mere evocation since they overcome the mind of the spectator, who does not have to imagine the things suggested to him, but he is involved in them actively and directly. The connection of these pieces with the moving image is understood today as a natural outlet... because the movement is precisely what the traditional branches of art cannot capture.

In this path, the work of teamLab, an artistic collective composed of numerous professionals from different specialities, who unite their energy and knowledge to create impressive digital immersive pieces, is deployed. Their own work system is based on the philosophy they want to convey in their works. It is about pooling the effort of all, seeking complementarity and joint action, giving rise to artworks that flow, that explore for themselves a balance in the elements, a harmony in the exteriorisation of an idea as simple as complex.

teamLab, “Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders, Ephemeral Life born in Au-delà des limites”, 2018, installation in La Villette, Paris. © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery.

This group, founded in Tokyo in 2001, prefers to reinforce the collective work and reject the traditional concept of authorship in the art to focus its efforts on the production of works. Its pieces have already been exhibited in numerous capitals of the world and are part of important collections.

While searching for putting together nature, technology, science and art, teamLab's work explores the possibilities of digital recreation of natural elements taken on a large scale to involve the viewer in an experience that transcends and brings it to another place. Its digital creations are often interactive and change in a constant cyclic movement that evolves according to the elements that appear in the scene. The result is an artistic-digital experience that reacts to the visitor, in a non-verbal dialogue that invites us to reflect on our environmental impact, the interaction with living beings and the need to feel a vital connection with nature.

teamLab, “Enso - Cold Light”, 2018, Digital Installation, Continuous Loop. ©teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery.

The Espacio Fundación Telefónica exhibits three works of this collective to offer an unforgettable experience to the visitor. "Black Waves: Lost, Immersed and Reborn", "Flutter of Butterflies, Born from Hands" and "Enso - Cold Light" unfold on the walls of the showing-room to wrap, in a dark atmosphere with quiet music, the fascinated gaze of the spectator. Everything changes in the constant oscillation of the water and the waves of a rough, but peaceful sea.

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.