Dear Readers,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all you. We wish you a lot of light and hope that all your dreams will come true! As a gift we are sharing our interview with Antonio Rosciano with you. He’s a VJ festival Kaleidosoup 2015 organizer.

Hello, Antonio!

Tell us about yourself, please. When did you start to be interested in VJing? Which your projects were first? What about projects you’re working on now?

Hello Eva and cheers to all the Lumeners, I wish a joy and visionary 2016 to everybody!

Well, I am from the South of Italy; I belong to those people who have theatre in their blood and who are used to gesticulate seamlessly to enrich their words of further meanings. I suppose to be a transcultural animator. In fact I am only an art and event producer. I like to work with artists to create new experiences or build communities and I find my full satisfaction when I succeed in foreseeing compatibility between two or more artists which actually work in some new collaboration.

I started VJing in 2001 as VJ paki and it was absolutely just for fun. I was accompanying my friends Valeria aka Nikky and Mitja aka Meta2 who were performing in a squat in Rome called Blue Cheese. Sharing the video console with them I learned how to mix videos and soon I became part of “FLxER abUsers”, a staff of VJs was born around the development of FLxER, which is a freeware video-mixer coded by Gianluca del Gobbo.

Right after that I began to collaborate with Nikky for the visual performances of Coq Madame and Phag Off, two successful parties of the Queer scene in Rome.

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Currently I am based in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam). A couple of years ago some my friends and me founded a collective of digital art performers called LAV and now I am developing, among others, a project called KaleidoSoup, which is an international meeting for visual-art performers. I have just opened my own company as well; its name is Pandora Studio.

How was an idea about KaleidoSoup 2015 born? Why did you find it interesting for you?

Since 2005 I have been collaborating with a group of friends in the development of Live Performers Meeting in Rome. That experience has been more than amazing and nowadays LPM is a big and successful meeting/festival for new media artists from all over the world. I think LPM contributed in an important way to give awareness of the impact and the depth of VJing as new art language and also to the growth of the VJing scene in Europe, fostering a larger interconnection among communities and networks of (digital) artists. I am trying to export and adapt the LPM formula here in South-Eastern Asia. In this part of the world there are a lot of VJs, but they stay apart by the rest of the VJ’s networks, they remain mostly unknown, they usually have a poor level of interconnection. I think the situation is full of potential now, it is willing and ready to leap forward and I would like to give my contribution to “unblock” it and make it grow up. KaleidoSoup is an attempt in this direction. Indeed there is a group of Vjs here in Saigon who are more than willing to host and meet other VJs and visual art performers. KaleidoSoup is the result of the collaboration of this bunch of Vjs. It is an exciting adventure!

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Moreover I am still one of the directors of LPM and then a sort of LPM ambassadors in South-Eastern Asia, so I am verifying if there is any chance to have an LPM edition hither.

What was the most impressive during those two days of festival? Were there some surprises for visitors?

This has been the first edition of KaleidoSoup, the average quality of the performances was surprisingly high. A lot of talent has been expressed and several projects deserve to be mentioned. Here I can not describe everything; we are preparing a video-report where we show the most interesting performances. Personally I enjoyed particular two AV performances, especially for their poetic approach: “Treatment for Film” performed by Joee & I and Tengal from Manila and “You Are Not Your Eyes” performed by Fairuz Sulaiman and Euseng Seto from Kuala Lumpur. Both of these performances were a wise blend of analogue and digital aesthetic 🙂 Treatment for Film proposed something like an intimate trip debating the artists’ identity over a cultural belonging, I guess. You Are Not Your Eyes was more abstract, an elegant exercise in style playing with colours, shapes and electronic textures, a building of a minimal alternative dimension.

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Visitors remained to be surprised by the variety of performances and especially their impact. The set-up of the main area was arranged in order to wrap completely their sight, with a projection surface six meters tall and more than 30 meters wide, surrounding the audience space. An idea of Daniel Day Long, co-founder of LAV collective and co-director of this first edition of KaleidoSoup.

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How is VJing going in Vietnam? Did you achieve all of your goals and objectives?

The request of live performed visual contents for events is quick increasing a couple of years now. Vietnam is becoming a rich country, and it is very young. The request of entertainment is booming. The consequence is that lately new Vietnamese VJs are coming out like mushrooms. It is a normal reaction to the new opportunities and it is exciting. But for what I can observe the average quality of VJing is still low in Vietnam. Mostly there is a lack of style, a weak awareness of the medium and its language, very few attempts of authorial paths, and almost no stable collaborations between VJs and musicians or DJs. I guess this situation will evolve soon and quickly, like everything in this country. I think that an international meeting like KaleidoSoup will help this process, through the setting up of examples and inspiring the local scene of VJing.

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Remaining on KaleidoSoup project, we are just at the beginning of the path. We have in mind ambitious goals, because we feel the availability of good chances for a project like this our. And I believe this is the very right moment to begin. KaleidoSoup can surely become a reference appointment for artists and professionals of live video sector, not only for South-East Asia, but also for Australia and Far East. Becoming a hub of direct connection with Middle East Asia and Europe. But before achieving all our goals, a lot of work needs to be done; a lot of details need to be cared. I surely need the collaboration of talented and motivated young people around me who share the same passion for Art and a fair amount of luck as well!

What are your plans for 2016? Have you already had ideas about some new festivals?

Well my plans include the strategic enlargement of my network of collaborations here in Ho Chi Minh City, as necessary base for the preparation of next edition of KaleidoSoup on mid December 2016. There are a lot of new and interesting art projects in this metropolis. Moreover I am talking with my friend Gianluca del Gobbo in these days. It seems I will work once again for the LPM edition in Rome this year, and this is fantastic!

At the moment I am also dealing with other curators who organize Festivals and Events in Manila and Bangkok in order to start building a circuit of events related to digital live performance field.

By the end of the year I will have also probably begun to work on the production of a new interactive and contemporary dance project, with 3 great Vietnamese dancers.

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New Festival? mmmm … I do not think I’ll be ready for that before two or three more years. Meanwhile I am open to work with some already established festivals, if someone else should require.

Thanks a lot for the interview, Antonio! 

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