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Antonio Rosciano: Italian Art and Event Producer From Vietnam With Love
Lumen: Please, introduce yourself for those readers who missed your first Lumen interview.
Antonio Rosciano: Ciao Marina, thanks for inviting, it is nice to be here on Lumen again. Ciao to everybody, my name is Antonio Rosciano and I am an Art and Event Producer. I am from Salerno, little town in the South of Italy but now I am based in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
I lived for some years in Rome, where in 2001, I began to perform as VJ in nightclubs and squats, within the collective known as “FLxER abUsers”. All the members of that collective was using the same software to mix videos, called FLxER. My master was Nikky who dragged me in some of the coolest parties of that period.
From 2006 I started my career as producer helping the organization of Live Performers Meeting (LPM) in Rome, for which I am still on the board of directors. For the 2016 LPM edition in Amsterdam I curated the Workshops & Lectures section.
Recently in HCMC, I worked as general producer and project manager of the HCMC International Dance Festival (December 2014), as well as the Creator/Director of KaleidoSoup first international meeting and playground for VJs and Visual Art Performers in South-Eastern Asia (November 2015). Last year I opened my own company in HCMC, called Pandora Studio.
Lumen: How did you decide to busy yourself with art and event producing? Did you need the relevant education?
Antonio Rosciano: Ernst Gombrich claimed that Art is what artists make. I like to say that first of all, I am busy with artists.
The beginning it has been a luck stroke. Niko Stumpo, an artist, friend of a dear friend, suggested me to begin to work for Gianluca Del Gobbo in Rome and he gave me his contact. So I found myself working in a web agency and surrounded by artists. A few years later I was helping the same people with the organization of small events in Rome. Everything has been a natural flow and I never got bored in the process. Therefore I engaged more and more myself in this field and step by step learned how to do several things, so I became an event producer. And this is still something that I am passionate about.
In my university time I studied mostly mass communication, philosophy and cultural anthropology. My readings on Art are mostly a hobby. Ah, I am italian, and perhaps this helps with Art.
Lumen: Why did you decide to change the location so dramatically? How does Italian feels in Vietnam?
Antonio Rosciano: Personal reasons brought me in Vietnam. I have got a wife and a family here. More important I guess, are the reasons which keep me here. Vietnam is a very dynamic country, changing rapidly, where the most of the people is young, full of positive energy and willing to do as much as in the “advanced” countries. This generates opportunities and it is motivating. Somebody could think I am odd, but I find here more freedom and possibilities than in Europe.
This italian feels quite ok in Vietnam. Family here is important, vietnamese people like to live outdoor, unboxed, and food and climate are nice. I just need to find a way to escape from the pollution of the metropolis, then I will be really happy! ..I am working on it 🙂
Lumen: Did you manage to develop the Vietnamese VJing culture? Did KaleidoSoup project become a zone of concentration and absorption?
Antonio Rosciano: I try to do my part. It takes some time to get where I see it is possible to arrive. For sure KaleidoSoup project goes in that direction and somehow we have got already some little results. But we are just at the beginning of our route, we are organizing now the second edition. Our wish surely is that KaleidoSoup become a big spot of absorption and concertation.
Lumen: Please, tell about the concept of KaleidoSoup and share plans for the nearest and distant future.
Antonio Rosciano: The KaleidoSoup’s concept does not differ too much from the LPM one. KaleidoSoup is an international meeting of VJs the first of its kind in South-East Asia, is an exciting occasion for artists to know one another, exchange knowledge, contacts, get inspired by others unreleased projects and share an empowering experience on a common playground. KaleidoSoup helps to compact a community of new media artists and offer links to other similar communities around the world.
Our Plan for the Future. Well, after the second edition that we are preparing in Ho Chi Minh City for the end of this year, we intend to propose another KaleidoSoup meeting in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. After that I think we will work on a Festival, which is easier to prepare. Our long plan is to become a central node of a cohesive network of new media artists in South-East Asia and then extend steady links till Australia, Japan, India and Middle-East.
Lumen: Your plans in Vietnam remind the blue ocean strategy. Was your aim to open up a new market space and create new demand? Why didn’t you create one another European venue a la LPM, where audience is ready and pretty excited?
You know? Before you mentioned about this blue ocean strategy I did not know anything about it. I have just read something on Wikipedia now. Well, to be concise, I personally do not care at all about this American way to divide and define the whole world in its markets. I find the Globalization a new totalitarianism and in its arrogance it is a kind of sneaky and dangerous mystification. I prefer to base my considerations on communication and communities. All I put in my considerations when I write the concepts of my projects are the detection of the communities of artists and lovers of Art, and the one of their real needs. Then I try to put them in communication. In my projects I just use the word “market” when I need to make sure to be understood by funders and sponsors. In my life I always try to tune myself to the flow of the significant things that happen to me, trying to avoid straining situations. I just stop doing stuff that get me bored or leave me with no motivations. I found myself in Vietnam because it was necessary for my life, for a good life, and I began to do what I know how to do and give me shivers, good vibes and nice motivations. It is just the normal need to feel alive I guess. It is my way to feel alive and happy.
Lumen: Are you an artist? Why or why not?
Antonio Rosciano: If I am an artist it is not up to me to say it. What I do is to contribute in creating experiences and building communities. If communities can be considered artifacts, perhaps with some stronger results later on I will be considered an artist by someone. But this is not really at the center of my thoughts.
Lumen: What do you like and dislike about the art world?
Antonio Rosciano: I like that there are always artists able to decode the complexity and the fast changing of our social life with new and better perspectives of consideration who help to adapt our approach to daily life. Real artists help the society to better understand the dimension of life where we live in. Where is the good and the bad of our way of living. And there is nothing elitist in this “mission”. Real art is for everybody.
I do not like that also in the Art world too many people are subservient to the business logic.
Lumen: Your favorite movie?
I don’t have one favorite movie. I love cinema and I have a list of favorite directors. Luc Besson, Tim Burton, Brothers Cohen, Federico Fellini, Wong Kar-wai, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Stanley Kubrik, Akira Kurosawa, Sergio Leone, Terrence Malick, Hayao Miyazaki, Godfrey Reggio, Paolo Sorrentino, Quentin Tarantino, Massimo Troisi, Gus Van Sant, Wim Wenders. In the filmography of each of them there are at least three movies that I love.
Lumen: How do you see the border between art and technologies in the future? Or no borders at all?
Antonio Rosciano: The ancient Greeks defined art and technology with the same term: techne (τέχνη). I guess artists have always been very curious and updated about the novelty of technology and willing to use them for the production of their artwork.
I believe that nowadays a lot of artists work on the development and design of sinesthesia and immersive experiences for the users of their works. This is possible thanks to the means made available by new technologies.
Let’s say like this. Many artists use the innovations made available by technology, often beyond the functions predisposed by their inventors. But technology, in most cases, does not necessarily care too much about the needs of artists.