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Xavi Bové’s career has been focused on the relationship between visual and musical disciplines, specialized in live events.
Born in Lleida (Spain), Xavi Bové is an award-winning innovative video director with an extensive background in music, particularly opera (Barcelona’s Liceu) and electronic music. Bringing a sensitive and artistic approach to media projects, his work covers a wide range of fields including video mapping, live visuals, corporate and advertising clips, documentaries and films. Well-versed in live broadcasting and Internet streaming (Sonar festival…), he also teaches new media in arts. (Visit http://xavibove.com/ to get more biographic information)
Lumen: How do you get in touch with FIMG?
Xavi: I have been working on three main lines: CREATION, EDUCATION, AND CURATION, always in the area where the art and technology shake hands…
My first contact with FIMG was last year, the first edition, applying on the contest, where I won an award for innovation for my project “Cycle of Life”, an interactive Video-Mapping show with real-time video generation from live performed music.
I also curated for the festival a project of mapping projection on Girona buildings models (about 70cm high).
I believe the festival is a great opportunity for artists and professionals to gather and discuss creating art using mapping techniques.
So after the festival I have been meeting the director Richard Hebert to propose a more artistic approach dealing with it, following these goals:
– To become a Hub of best international professionals.
– To increase the quality of the proposals, creating a subject for each edition where to encourage reflection.
– Opening the festival to the city of Girona and its artists, with micro-mapping and educational program.
Lumen: It’s very impressive projects as it seems! And what does it mean – to curate festival? Can any artist do that? Do you spend less time on your projects because of festival curation?
Xavi: Yes, it’s not easy to combine creating and curating, but I feel it is very exciting being on both sides of the coin… It happens nowadays in other areas, such as theater or cinema, where directors also run festivals or theater seasons. And it is also very exciting to work on the pedagogical field, so where you can transmit your knowledge to others and encourage creativity.
Lumen: Oh, it’s one of the most interesting moment – to share your knowledge. So please, share some knowledge with us 🙂 What are your favorite facilities and software for video mapping? What was the most complex your a/v project and what do you use for it to make it brilliant?
Xavi: My motto is to use technology at the service of creation. So I do not have any specific software. Nowadays we have a lot of different great programs, such as Millumin, MadMapper, Modul8, Resolume, and for big projects servers such as Watchout, each of them may have better options for peculiar goals. But the main aspect is that software and technology must be transparent. I am aiming to express emotions, and I am trying to reach as many people as possible, so for each project I try to find best solutions.
For example, regarding “Cycle of Life”, the idea was that the music, the oldest and most extensive language, would be the source of life for dead matter, the inert architecture, through light projection. I selected some works of Richard Strauss, composer concerned about the representation of life and death in his works, and I made an adaptation performed by Elisabet Vilaplana (soprano) and Raúl Patiño (keyboard).
As it was real-time, I created an own software with openFrameworks and mapped with Resolume. I worked with my colleague Pelayo Méndez, he is an expert creative coder, with whom we discussed and end up with our scenes for the show. Piano notes acted on the stones of the building and generate particles that have an organic and interactive behavior according to the voice of the singer, and we marked different scenes: gestation, birth, growing, aging, and death. That’s the best approach, to decide what, and then how.
Lumen: Your approach as an artist is very unusual. Because we’ve met a lot of talented guys who say that the commerce is the main point of any art. Can you comment the commerce issues of your work? How the art project differ from the commerce project?
Xavi: What do you mean about commerce? Thinking if I can sell it?
Lumen: Yes, or creating some advertisement products for customer. In art, the commerce may be treated as any art project where the unprofitable idea is replaced by profitable.
Xavi: Understand… When you get commissioned for a brand, for instance, you normally have to deal with many limitations and requirements. It can be a very interesting experience, and, of course, necessary for paying bills, but most of the time you cannot develop you own challenges or concerns. That’s the controversy of working as an artist or a craftsman. Picasso said that the difference between an artist and a painter is that a painter paints what he sells, and an artist sells what he paints. I try to combine both kinds of projects.
This is also the reason that FIMG gives a space for artists to develop their creativity and innovation on their projects. I decided to propose a leitmotiv, a concept from where the participants can develop their ideas. This year will be “The contradictions”.
Lumen: But even among commerce project we can find very deep ideas and even mythology.
Xavi: Yes, there are magnificent commerce projects also, I don’t say the opposite.
Lumen: What’s the biggest problem with connecting music and visual objects? Have the PC learn to sing or paint by itself to create a perfect a/v project?
Xavi:I do not believe in a perfect a/v project. Would you say “La Traviata”, for example, is perfect? It has to touch you in some way, and in a way more than just entertaining. Connecting Music and Visual disciplines is a subject that has been approached in many incredible ways, specially from the vanguards of the XX’s century, with artists such as Oskar Fischinger, Walter Ruttman or Len Lye, who have worked intuitively with film animation or painting over the celluloid. Also, some painters have represented music in a canvas, like the abstracts Robert Delaunay or Vasíli Kandinsky.
Today there are some contemporary artists working on that, such as Quayola, Memo Akten or Alba G. corral, based more on the data analysis. The phenomenon of synesthesia is now everywhere.One of my actual projects is dealing with this, it will be a personalised visual representation of songs based on the music, the album cover and the user movement.
Xavi: I would like to end up saying that the FIMG is preparing a lot of interesting contents for the International Congress that will be held from the 30th July to the 1st August, with professionals of areas such as architecture, video art, theatre, and also the best professionals on mapping, artists, software systems and technologies. And we have some surprises that will be revealed soon.
We are working very hard to make Girona a reference point for all mapping lovers, artists and industry, and also the general audience. We invite everyone to come and enjoy this exciting Festival. And since it is at the end of July, it would be a great occasion for taking the opportunity to enjoy the charming city and Costa Brava. See you in Girona!
Lumen: Wonderful! Thanks! It was a great pleasure to get your thoughts!