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Today the guest of Lumen magazine is VJ Suave: Ygor Marotta and Ceci Soloaga, a new media artduo, based in SãoPaulo, Brazil. These two artists make their own animations on streets of all the cities which they visit. Their project is called “Suaveciclos”. The artists explained: ”Using Tagtool app for drawing and animating live, together with 20.000 lumens projectors we do video mapping mixtured with live drawings, and create a colorful canvas in big scale walls. We have been invited to film and music festivals around the world and also do digital graffiti from friend’s windows”.
These two artists are constantly keeping abreast of the city life; always appear at the time and place where they are the most harmoni ously-fitted. Their works are products of a nonstop interaction with the public, with the rhythm of the city, with the motion and dynamics. It seems that VJ Suare created a new language of urban space – a language full of love, kindness and thousands of lumens projectors.
We spoke to these magicians in order to find out a little bit more about their idea and creativity.
Lumen: Hi, VJ Suave, the readers of Lumen are happy to greet you. Do you remember the days when you still were individual artists? How has the joint work on VJ Suave project changed you? How many projects have been implemented and in what countries?
VJ Suave: When we met in 2009 we wanted to create something together, something made with love, so we could stay together for longer. Ceci had experience with animation and technology, and Ygor with drawings, urban intervention and graffiti. We mixed our best and created VJ Suave.
Before VJ Suave , Ygor had already had an intense work on the streets of São Paulo . Through the urban intervention , pasted posters with slogans “Mais amor por favor” on the urban surfaces . The movement has spread throughout the country and even abroad.
When we started VJ Suave, we wanted to give people more love, with little narratives talking about kindness, respect and compassion.
The project came to Luxembourg, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France and many cities in Brazil.
Lumen: Your project “Suaveciclos” impresses urban space and public by a deep interaction. Does it feel like after each of your performance the place and the people become a bit lighter, filled with love?
VJ Suave: We want to inspire people, to give them love. With suaveciclo we can play and interact with anybody in the streets. We have total freedom to show what we like. Each moment is unique, we are able to manipulate the videos in air-time to play certain animations tailored to different environments, create unpredictable moments between space, audience, and art.
Lumen: you seem to go deep into Brazilian folklore. Your project “FolcloreDigital” tells the history of your nation by using the simple language of light and animation. How important is the role of contemporary artist in creating the pictures and stories of the past, learning the old traditions and building the new ones?
VJ Suave: Folclore digital is an audiovisual installation. We have created a 22 minute piece with traditional animation talking about creature myths and popular festivals. As an artist, it’s important to maintain our culture. In Brazil we have a character named curupira, it is the guard of the forest, it protects the nature from people who want to destroy, like killing animals or cutting out trees. (Ygor): When I was a little child people told me the story about Curupira and I was scared. The stories were narrated to make you scared, to make you think that he is a monster. We want to show people that Curupira is a magical character that represents the energy of the forest, make people feel this energy in nature. Iara is a mermaid, she represents the enchantment of rivers and waterfalls. Iemanja is very popular in candomblé and umbanda religion, she represents mother of the sea.
The sound was made specific for each frame animations by Bmind and Psilosamples, and we took care of nature sound records and mix with african instruments and synthetizers, creating an audiovisual experience. For this installation we had 3 walls, more than 180º of projection, so that the viewer is immersed in the stories, he feels the part of the art.
Lumen: Your short films are logically extending your performances. Tell us about the inspiration and work on them. Are you working on some new movies now?
VJ Suave: When we were shotting Run (2011) we wanted to show that here in São Paulo most people had lost money to go to work and to come back. Most of poor people lost more than 2 or 3 hours by day. And when they came back home, first thing was to turn on the television. The short movie was made with support of MTV. This was our first experience with animations on the streets.
Then we recorded Homeless (2011), and for this piece we had little more support for rent high lummens projector, we had 2x 7.000 lummens, and it was our first experience of video-mapping. The story leads to pay attention on forgotten homeless who live in the streets, it’s a story between two characters living with a dream of hope and love.
La cena (2012) was made in the middle of the argentinian jungles. We were on vacation with some friends in Delta Tigre, we had 1 week for developing the story, animations and shot. The story is about the circle of life. We shot in 2 days using stopmotion technics to capture the natural light of full moon in the nature. Lots of photos were exposed to 30 seconds of exposure. La cena is very short, but you can see details of the river going down or up, and shadows between the trees and the moon moving in the scene.
And finally Trip (2013) tells a story about a spiritual journey in search of self-knowledge, conscience and love.
Now, we are trying to get some support for record “a natureza invade a cidade” (nature invades the city). For this installation we need lots of huge projectors, like 20k lummens.
We are also starting to create our first interact a/v installation, but this is a secret.
Lumen: Tell our readers about the purely technical side of your work: what hardware and software do you use for your works?
VJ Suave: For traditional animation adobe flash, for digital graffiti (draw and animation in real time) tagtool, vj software is modul8, videomapping madmapper, composition and motion graphics is after effects. In the Suaveciclo we have deep cycle batteries, inversor 12v-110v, sound modul, speaker, macbook pro retina 15″. But the most important thing is love, passion and belief in what we do.
Lumen: On your example we can see that the role and place of VJs in the world is changing rapidly. They are leaving the clubs and concert halls, becoming closer to the people and everyday life of the city. The light shows appear in different parts of cities, often even beyond the settlements. How, in your opinion, will transform the role and work of VJs in the future? Should we expect some new astonishing projects from VJ Suave?
VJ Suave: We began our work doing visuals in clubs, trying to approximate music and image as one thing. Later when we shot our first shortmovie, we saw that our art works on the street, have much much more potential, and we believe in the streets we can comunicate with everybody, lots of people, every kind of person, poor, rich, child, adult, and it’s easy to give them a message. We don’t depend on some curator or gallery telling us what to do, we can do whatever we like, boundless, we are free to do what we love the most.
Thank you for your answers!