By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The art of video mapping involves projecting images onto objects, landscapes and buildings to turn their surfaces into dynamic video displays. Beginning on Monday, August 18th, Rio de Janeiro will host its first international video mapping festival, named the Rio Mapping Festival 2014.
Celebrating the innovative visual techniques of video projection mapping, the free festival will run through Sunday, August 24th and feature live performances from musicians and DJs, as well as, workshops, installations and numerous video jockeys (VJs), whose projections will creatively showcase architecture throughout the city.
“When video mapping arrived in Brazil, it was used mostly for [commercial] trade. Never has there been a free festival in the city that could reach all areas,” Paulinho Sacramento, creator and curator of the Rio Mapping Festival (RMF), told The Rio Times. “This is the first event of this size and the Rio scene has interesting and excellent artists in this area of art, with almost all of them participating in the festival.”
During the six-day long festival, VJs will include; Sacramento himself, along with fellow Cariocas (Rio natives) Chico Abreu, Paulo China, Notívago, Raphael Jansen, Sará, PH, Marcus Vinicius, and Lê Pantoja. São Paulo native Robson Victor, Ratón from Bolivia, Vigas from Santa Catarina state and the collective Telenoika from Barcelona, Spain will also perform during the festival. Additionally, the RMF will pay special tribute to VJ Jodele Larcher, one of the biggest names in video mapping in the city and the producer behind the collective of VJs known as Az0ia Lab.
Sites to be used during the festival are spread throughout the the city, from Zona Norte (North Zone) to Zona Sul (South Zone) and in between. The locations include; one of Rio’s historic churches, Igreja Nossa Senhora da Penha; the library, Real Gabinete Português de Leitura and Nave do Conhecimento Padre Miguel, among others.
When asked how the locales were chosen for the festival, Sacramento said; “I was born in Bonsucesso, Zona Norte of the city and always wanted to bring art and culture to where I was born. From my bedroom window […] I watched a light show daily. I lived across from the Complexo do Alemão and the war between the factions colored the sky red with tracers from bullets from AR-15 rifles. The colors have always intrigued me.”
“After finishing preparations for the festival my idea was to start it in Morro da Providência, because that was the first favela in Brazil, emerging in the center of Rio there in 1897,” Sacramento continued. “The other places I had already mapped in my research and the partnership with the Secretaria de Ciência e Tecnologia [Department of Science and Technology] gave me the opportunity to bring the festival to all areas of the city, through the Naves do Conhecimento [Naves of Knowledge], which are scattered throughout Rio.”
Also helping to showcase the city and its people, the festival will include the Mostra Localidade (Show Places) section, which highlights the works of photographers by projecting their images onto large surfaces. This year, that section will include photos from the exhibition “Samba identidade nossa” (Samba Our Identity) by Rio photographer Ierê Ferreira.
When asked about the future of the event, Scaramento said; “We are working for this to be the first of many festivals, not only in [Rio de Janeiro], but in all parts of Brazil. Our goal for 2015 is to have more festival days, double the capacity of the workshops, double the number of artists involved and in 2016 to make the Rio Mapping Festival, a gift to cariocas [Rio residents] and its tourists. To make it a month of a lit city, becoming the largest party of lights in Latin America.”
Additionally, musicians and performers during the festival will include; Soul de Santa, Projecto Som + Eu, Grupo Derê, DJ Sapucaia, Baailão do Castelo,and Tupiniquim. For a complete list of this year’s installations, performances, and workshops and their times and locations, see the RMF website.
What: Rio Mapping Festival 2014
When: August 18th-24th, 2014
Where: Various locations