Author: Santiago Tavera (page 1 of 4)

Reblog: Four of FotoFest’s Dazzling Displays Focus on Indian Portraiture

Photo: Leila Sujir combines video of lost-looking but regal peacocks with floating animations in her stereoscopic 3D video projection, “Peacocks Dream.”

Four of FotoFest’s dazzling displays focus on Indian portraiture

 India, so vast and complex in its history and cultural influence, makes a head-spinning subject for the FotoFest 2018 Biennial.

Technically, as director Steven Evans explained, “It’s not really about India. It’s about these artists of Indian origin and what their concerns are.”

Through that lens, he and curator Sunil Gupta also are showing that India is not a monolithic place. “It’s got 140 official languages, with 600 languages spoken; multiple religions and ethnicities; concerns of philosophy, language, indigenous people, environment and a new queer sensibility emerging,” Evans said.

Viewers may be dazzled, or dazed, by the busy mix of images that unfold across four venues.

A few categories emerge through what appears to be a scattershot organization: Documentary work and portraiture (especially self-portraiture that employs elaborate impersonations to explore identity) are especially strong.

Most of the 47 featured artists live and work in India. That context matters.

Gupta contrasts India’s contemporary photography scene with that of China, which has 60 schools, a thriving publishing industry and numerous art fairs. In India, art photography is still the activity of the English-speaking elite, he said.

FotoFest’s abundance of documentary photography from numerous regions reflects artists’ familiarity with India’s documentary filmmaking tradition, he said. “It’s not because they know Walker Evans.”

But they do know technology. Like others around the world, India’s contemporary artists have embraced new technology because it’s accessible, cheap to produce and gives them “a certain kind of global credibility,” Gupta said.

About a third of this biennial features new media installations — the most ever — although it doesn’t feel that way because the rooms devoted to projected work are sprinkled across the venues.

Four installations — three by female artists — have stayed with me for their evocative storytelling. There’s one more week to see those at the three locations near Fotofest headquarters; Asia Society Texas Center’s smaller portion is up through late July.

‘Peacocks Dream’

During the opening reception in March, Leila Sujir’s “Peacocks Dream” turned an alcove of the Silver Street Studios building into a spectacle. I fell into its spell on a quieter day, when the nearly 16-minute stereoscopic 3-D (SD3) video, or anaglyph, was projected onto just one wall and I could don 3-D glasses, sit on a bench and hear the audio component.

Regal peacocks amble through a garden of mazes at what appears to be an ancient estate in England, looking out of place with their exotic, brilliant plumage, as viewers hear the measured reading of letters between family members who are worlds apart. Sujir layers funny animated peacocks, floating paisley designs and a fanciful border onto the photography, touches of levity that balance the melancholy tone.

She lives in Montreal. The letters are from her family’s archive, written from her paternal grandfather in Mangalore, India, to her father, who died young, in his mid-30s, in a plane crash in Canada. For years, she feared that her father’s story would become her own because his journeys placed him in precarious positions, too far away from home. Her narrative is abstract enough that “Peacocks Dream” expresses a universal sense of disorientation and loss.

SD3 dates from the mid-1800s but has evolved. Anaglyphs combine superimposed imagery and colored filters. Sujir has experimented with projection mapping, which places SD3 video space into the built environment — to create installations — for more than a decade. She appreciates the “haptic sense of space” it creates to help convey themes of migration that have intrigued her for 30 years. “SD3 video spaces are elastic and dream-like places, ephemeral, yet capable of extending a sensation of volume, physicality, and presence to the viewer,” she writes.

Watching “Peacocks Dream” made me wish I could see Sujir’s entire “Elastic City Spacey” series.

 

To read the full article click here

Reverberations of a Topological Daydream at Forest City Gallery

REVERBERATIONS OF A TOPOLOGICAL DAYDREAM

A solo exhibition by Santiago Tavera
March 2, 2018 to April 13, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, March 2, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Reverberations of a Topological Daydream is a multimedia architectural installation that presents a virtual space in constant translation between physical and digital experiences. Multiple video projections and 3D graphic animations immerse the gallery space, taking viewers into the vastness of a virtual suburban galaxy. Within this constructed digital environment, plexiglass and vinyl structures are used as reflective screens and visual filters, which are activated through the light of the projected image. Memories and sensations are translated around the space through the repetitions and echoes of images and sounds, creating a perceptual topology of virtual reverberations. Topology, as a mathematical term, refers to the exploration of how shapes preserve their permanence in change, by only bending, twisting and stretching, without ever breaking and losing their original self.

This multimedia exhibition presents digital architectural houses as sites of refuge, where memories and illusions emerge, and where perception collides with that of the immediate future and the re-constructed past. Interlacing the role of an outside observer with the one that inhabits an interior site, viewers virtually journey through a familiar place. Viewers inhabit the exhibition space, while virtual spaces are consequently inhabiting them. Reverberations of a Topological Daydream, aims to illustrate the impact digital culture has on how we form our identity within multiple realms. Digital media allows subjects to constantly navigate between perception, memory, physicality and the virtual. Individuals find themselves in a never-ending process of constructing and re-constructing their sense of being, and in turn their sense of belonging. Dislocation, familiar to those who have experienced cultural displacement, has become more apparent as subjects now live as virtual immigrants within the realm of the digital. In cyberspace, subjects and objects exist as images that are constantly moving from one screen to the next, a virtual dislocation similar to the one of a migrant body. Within a state of dislocation, as the displacement of the conscious mind, the body experiences a double sense of place with multiple perceptions and memories. There is a simultaneous sense of being physically here and virtually there, while belonging everywhere and nowhere.

 

Workshop: Experimental Collectivities, Collaborations, and (Dis)embodied Digital Experiences

Experimental Collectivities, Collaborations, and (Dis)embodied Digital Experiences

Hemispheric Institute GSI Convergence 2017 – Unsettling the Americas: Radical Hospitalities and Intimate Geographies
Artscape Youngplace, Toronto, Ontario.
October 5-8, 2017

This workshop was organized by Santiago Tavera in collaboration with New York based artist and performer, Candace Thompson.

The workshop generated a social collaboration between participants working towards conflict resolutions between collective and subjective narratives, our histories, and our illusions of the future. Using collaboratively created ritual we established an experimental environment for embodied and disembodied media making. The use of digital media presents the potential to simulate a state of disembodiment (elasticity, translation…), allowing for the alteration of participants’ senses, while pushing the boundaries of their perceptual thresholds and understanding of space, selves, and others. Questions of location and displacement, migration and transience, cultural heirlooms, trauma, and personal narratives—both real and imagined—can be brought to bear in creating work which integrates audio and video recording techniques, live-feed cameras, analog technologies, projection mapping, AR, installation, and performance.

For more information on this workshop click here

ISEA2017 & The International Image Festival of Manizales

Anthony Head (Bath, UK) and Santiago Tavera (Montreal, QC) attended one of the world’s most prominent international arts and technology events, the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA). This years ISEA aligned with the XVI International Image Festival of Manizales in Colombia from the 11th to the 18th of June. Head and Tavera organized an experimental and interactive workshop titled, Projected Narratives of Being and Belonging, in collaboration with Colombian and Canadian artist, Laura Acosta.

The workshop invited interdisciplinary artists to collaborate on an multiple video projection installation in La Universidad de Caldas. Over 20 participants combined fictional and personal narratives of belonging or displacement along with video experimentation. The workshop brought together scholars and artists to an interdisciplinary discussion and showcase of creative productions applying new technologies in art. This year’s conference theme, Bio-creation and Peace, encouraged participants to reflect on the contributions and alternatives that art, design and technology provide for social development, biodiversity and the establishment of peaceful relationships between diverse communities. The workshop Projected Narratives of Being and Belonging generated social collaboration between participants in order to work towards conflict resolutions between heritage surfaces and subjective narratives, past histories and illusions of the future, and finally, effects of war and visions of peace. 

Furthermore Tavera had the opportunity to give an artist talk on his creative-research, Translational Spaces which will also be published in the upcoming ISEA 2017 special issues in the Virtual Creativity Journal, Intellect Books later this year.

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http://www.isea2017.info/

Besides the Screen 2017 Conference

Anthony Head (Bath, UK) and Santiago Tavera (Montreal, QC) attended the Besides the Screen conference,  in Vitoria, Brazil from May 31st to June 2nd. This year’s conference theme was Unfolding Images: VR, Volumetric Cinema and Space Control, where Head and Tavera had the opportunity to present the Elastic Spaces lab to an international crowd, as well as their personal projects. Head presented SPHERE,  a Sensor Platform for Healthcare in a Residential Environment project developed in the UK. Tavera had the opportunity to present his work, Translational Spaces, which he also exhibited at the Galeria de Arte e Pesquisa – UFES throughout the duration of the conference.

Besides the Screen is an international research network that aims to reconfigure the field of screen studies within art. This conference brings together artists and academics that explore digital art to frame growing trends in spatialized image art projects, addressing the new possibilities of digital technologies. Head and Tavera’s participation at this conference, allowed them to engage in conversations about the potential of digital media to expand our perception of space and the moving image. The proceedings of the Besides the Screen 2017 conference will be published in the fall of 2017, which will include an essay on Projected Narratives of Being and Belonging.


http://besidesthescreen.com/

 

Paul Landon | Dissolving futures | Austria Symposium

As speculative practices accelerate urban transformation, the city adorns itself in images of what it is to become in the future. This future never fully attained leaves these images lingering and fading, dissolving into a ruptured matrix of urban decay and unfinished potential. Rather than reflecting on what architecture could be I reflect on what the future is becoming: faded imprints of spectacular promises.

Dissolving futures explores the future of architecture as it dissolves into the present. It documents the transformation of abandoned buildings and vacant lots, empty premises, into future promises. It presents the replacement of the architecture of the shared public space of the street with a spectacle of speculation as a veil of digitally rendered representation between the lived street-space and the abstract machinations of investment and real estate.

This is an ongoing project started more than ten years ago while photographing the advertising on hoardings and posters around building sites in Berlin. Over a thousand photos from over twenty cities and from four continents have been taken since. One hundred of these have been (so far) selected to be used. The project will take the form an installation with the images projected in a continuous dissolve sequence in the exhibition space.

The first presentation of this project will take place at the Architecture after the Future symposium at the Haus der Architektur, Graz, Austria, opening on June 23, 2017

All photos copyright Paul Landon

Maria Lantin | I Am Afraid | CVR Conference Performance | Vancouver

Maria Lantin has been invited to perform her Google Daydream VR application, I am Afraid, at the CVR Vancouver 2017 expo on May 6th and 7th. CVR is an expo featuring all that VR & AR has to offer. The expo floor is 3x bigger than last year and will feature demos, games to play, technology to try, entertaining experiences, and much more!

Location:
Vancouver Convention Centre West
1055 Canada Place
Vancouver, BC
V6C 0C3

Date:
Saturday, May 6- 10:00AM – 6:00PM & Sunday, May 7-10:00AM – 4:00PM

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Besides the Screen 2017 Conference | Brazil

Anthony Head and Santiago Tavera have been invited to the Besides the Screen 2017 conference from March 31st to June 2nd at the Federal University of Espirito Santo, in Vitoria, Brazil. Besides the Screen is an international research network that aims to reconfigure the field of screen studies within art. This conference brings together artists and academics that explore digital art to frame growing trends in spatialized image art projects, addressing the new possibilities of digital technologies.

During the 7th Besides the Screen conference- Unfolding Images, VR, Volumetric Filmaking and Spatial Control; Anthony Head will be presenting his project, 3D House Visualisation, exploring real-time sensing in a home environment with University of Bristol. Santiago Tavera will present his research on translational and elastic spaces as digital and physical experiences of dislocation and disembodiment. Head and Tavera’s immersive media works, expand the cinematic experience into sensorial and interactive spaces that reframe physical sites, but through different approaches. Elastic Spaces: Projected Narratives of Being and Belonging will further develop by working together on a workshop Head and Tavera are organizing with collaborator and artist Laura Acosta for the International Symposium on Electronic Art and the International Images Festival in Manizales, Colombia in June 2017.

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