Long gone are the times when the first Vjs entered the scene in the clubs brightening up the dance-floor.
Over the last few years live video has stretched its borders merging with parallel visual and artistic disciplines to become an out-and-out communication tool that allows to range from artistic projects, mainly performances and video installations, to purely commercial projects, down to the world of advertising with creative and innovating ideas.
The increasing number of softwares that have been developed to meet the most diverse needs have allowed all the enthusiasts to have a blast creating video sets that appeared to be unthinkable until only a decade ago.
The introduction of mapping has certainly been one of the most interesting aspects in the field of live video over the last decade. It is not uncommon nowadays to see performances and video installations boasting remarkable architectural elements with base supports that are a far cry from the classic projection surfaces on a 4:3 screen, and that allow to wrap up the public in dynamic environments thanks to the use of broad multi-screen projections. Some even project the images straight onto pre-existing objects and walls.
It’s about time we introduce another group that has turned mapping into their strength: Apparati Effimeri, a collective of video artists that was founded in Bologna in 2008. They develop unique visual settings, making the most of any kind of environment.
Apparati Effimeri consists of Marco Grassivaro, Federico Bigi and Roberto Fazio, three talented Italian guys, whose personal projects go under the name of Mcfly, Lardz, Grassivaro at events, festivals, national and international meetings. I had the chance to exchange a few words with them for an interview that will better illustrate where live video is going and what its future developments may be.
Marvin Milanese: Hello guys, how did the idea of Apparati Effimeri come to life?
Apparati Effimeri: We were sharing the video console at electronic music, visual art festivals and vjing events. The idea of Apparati Effimeri is the result of the meeting of our personal artistic experiences. Academically Marco Grassivaro comes from a visual arts background and has enriched his technical and cultural know-how by working with an international theatre research company. Roberto Fazio has a web programming and graphic design background and has focused his research on the development of interactive systems that bear a connection with video. Federico Bigi is a cinematographic language and 3D animation expert.
Marvin Milanese: What is your relationship with architecture and visual arts in general?
Apparati Effimeri: Architecture is for us a natural screening support base, which sets us free from the limits of the cinematographic screen. The name itself Apparati Effimeri describes an element that has constantly been used in history.
Marvin Milanese: How do you develop your projects and what are the basics for a good location in your video installations?
Apparati Effimeri: Generally we let ourselves be guided by the aesthetic analysis of the shapes. Our goal is to craft a perfect illusion, therefore the choice of the perfect location is often linked with technical motivations. Our research aims at the perfect match between our ideas and the existing technical elements.
Marvin Milanese: What triggered your artistic research and how did you approach the mapping technique?
Apparati Effimeri: Our desire to overcome the limits imposed by the classic screen used in vjing lead us to the discovery of Mapping.
Marvin Milanese: From a technical and artistic viewpoint one of your latest video installations Hexagram for Enlargment is definitely a step forwards, if compared with the existing standards in terms of relationship between visual arts and architecture. How did this project come to life and what are its goals?
Apparati Effimeri: Hexagram for Enlargment has been developed for the Itinerario Festival di Rocca Malatestiana Cesena. The show, from planning down to execution, granted our work an outstanding reception. Our aim is to create a very captivating show.
Marvin Milanese: If until yesterday the support base for a projection was the screen and today any surface can serve the task, where are we going to, exactly?
Apparati Effimeri: There are countless possibilities, just think about the big techno-metropolis like Tokyo or Dubai, where images are being increasingly used or about the most advanced technologies such as augmented realty.
Marvin Milanese: The time seems to be approaching when all the visual disciplines will merge and be born under new principles. A mutual contamination that will entail the development of new forms of artistic expression. What’s your opinion?
Apparati Effimeri: This artistic trend has always been constant and a goad for artists, because it allows to create new forms of expression. The only difference is that today the process is faster and standardized.
Marvin Milanese: Art and technology, today more often than ever, are going hand in hand. We often talk about the pros of the technological revolution that has characterized the last few years, but what are in your opinion the drawbacks from an artistic viewpoint in this historical period?
Apparati Effimeri: The development of technology and its user-friendliness have increased the artistic proposal, standardizing it; in this framework research and criticism have taken up a crucial role to help get one’s bearings in this myriad contemporary works.
Marvin Milanese: What are the projects you are working on at the moment and what are the dreams of Apparati Effimeri?
Apparati Effimeri: We are working on new mapping and interactive installation projects. Our dream is to take our works abroad.
Marvin Milanese: A message to finish
Apparati Effimeri: Thank you very much for the interview and keep up your great work.